West Ham slumped to their fourth consecutive defeat as they gave away a goal lead to lose 2-1 to Hull City at the KCOM Stadium.
The Hammers were comfortably ahead thanks to an Andy Carroll goal at half-time, but Hull boss Marco Silva made a tactical switch at the break and Slaven Bilic's men failed to cope. Moving to 4-2-4 meant Hull dominated the second period and the home side deservedly won the game thanks to an 85th minute Andrea Ranocchia header. The hosts had equalised with Andrew Robertson's 53rd minute goal -- his first Premier League strike -- and that should have served as a warning to Bilic that the tactical switch had undermined his team plans. As it was, Hull waltzed through the Hammers' porous defence at will, as the home side piled pressure on Bilic's position at the club.
West Ham have now dropped 20 points from a winning position this season and, while still only three points from a top ten place, supporters are now nervously glancing behind at the closing relegation pack.
The slump is worrying and fan pressure is adding to West Ham woes. The better side for periods at the KCOM though, the Hammers are going to have to tough it out. They have a difficult trip across North London to face Arsenal in midweek but then meet relegations strugglers Swansea and Sunderland next.
The problem though, is that on this form, most teams will be looking at West Ham to grab three points.
A good first half could have seen the Hammers comfortably ahead, but Andy Carroll's sole strike was never going to be enough.
The team were tactically outthought by Marco Silva and had nothing with which to counter the changes the Portuguese boss made to his formation. With several key first-team players out, Slaven Bilic is struggling to keep the team's confidence up.
Manager rating out of 10:
4 -- Slaven Bilic made some tactical errors in his starting lineup and then failed to cope with Silva's move to 4-2-4 after the break. The Croatian boss admitted post-match that he is "ignoring the rumours" about his position at the club, but too many more mistakes and he will be forced to sit up and take notice
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Darren Randolph, 5 -- Rumours that Adrian had forced his way back into the first-team were soon dispelled as Randolph kept his place between the posts. Displays like this are just increasing the clamour for a change though. The Irish stopper may be affected by the uncertainty in front of him, but his presence does nothing to instill confidence in the back-four either.
DF Sam Byram, 6 -- Byram sometimes looks slightly overawed but sticks to his task well. It's a shame more confidence wasn't shown in him earlier as it may have paid better dividends by now.
DF Jose Fonte, 5 -- The Hammers really need Fonte to show the class and composure he displayed at Southampton but there is still little sign of it yet.
DF James Collins, 6 -- Replacing the injured Winston Reid, the ever-reliable Collins was probably the pick of the West Ham defence. Unfortunately, that is not saying much..
DF Aaron Cresswell, 6 -- His floating ball deceived Hull's Curtis Davies allowing Andy Carroll to poke home after 18 minutes. .
MF Cheikhou Kouyate, 6 -- Once again, supporters are asking questions about Kouyate's position in the team. Employed in front of the back-four against Hull, the Senegalese international looks wasted and he should have been more alert for Ranocchia's headed winner. Bilic could save himself a lot of headaches if he just stopped using Kouyate as a utility player.
MF Sofiane Feghouli, 5 -- Now the target of the fans ire, Feghouli continues to frustrate.
MF Manuel Lanzini, 7 -- Lanzini has now really stepped into the space left by Dimitri Payet but wasn't able to add to his goal tally against Hull despite getting into some good positions.
MF Robert Snodgrass, 5 -- Was kept largely quiet by Ahmed Elmohamady -- himself a replacement for Omar Elabdellaoui -- as his return to the KCOM became a tame affair. Had one chance but was otherwise anonymous. Roundly booed by the home supporters but now getting flak from his new club's supporters. Snodgrass is still Hull's leading scorer this season; he now needs to add a few for his new club.
MF Andre Ayew, 5 -- With Michail Antonio out, Ayew needs to step up and show why the Hammers paid £20m for him. In this match the question remains unanswered.
FW Andy Carroll, 7 -- Captain for the day, Carroll scored a solid opener and was a threat throughout. However, whether by design or by needing to show why he had the armband, the big striker seemed to spend a lot of time trying to do too much and his end product suffered as a result. Still the Hammers best outlet; it is crucial he stays fit till the end of the season.
Arthur Masuaku, 6 -- On for Cresswell after 68 minutes, this switch had the air of being one of Bilic's standard ploys. Unfortunately, Masuaka added little going forward and was on the pitch when Hull scored their winner.
Edimilson Fernandes, 5 -- A substitute for the disappointing Snodgrass, Fernandes is a player fans want to see more off. Unfortunately, his presence in this match failed to produce anything meaningful.
Jonathan Calleri, N/R -- Replaced Kouyate to try and get something from the game, his 92nd minute introduction was too little, too late. It's rumoured that Bilic likes the Argentine forward and would like to sign him for next season. This beggars the question as to why Calleri plays such as small part in the manager's plans.