Sinclair questions West Ham mentality in Sunderland draw

West Ham United drew 2-2 at Sunderland on Saturday.

BBC pundit Trevor Sinclair feels West Ham United struggle with the mentality of facing the Premier League’s lesser sides, after seeing them pick up a 2-2 draw at Sunderland.

The Black Cats raced into a two-goal lead at the Stadium of Light, and it could have been much worse for the visitors as Fabio Borini spurned a number of good opportunities.

Carl Jenkinson and Dimitri Payet ultimately rescued a point for the Hammers, though their performance will be of some concern as they struggled to assert control when the onus was on them to attack.

Speaking on Twitter during the match, Sinclair put their abject first-half display down to a mentality issue.

So far this season, the Hammers have been superb as a compact unit, breaking with speed on the counter and punishing their opponents - as illustrated in the wins over Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.

However, a real lack of purpose in breaking teams down has seen them come unstuck against so-called lesser sides such as Leicester City, Bournemouth and in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League.

Some could argue that the onus was on Slaven Bilic’s side to take the game to Sunderland on Saturday, yet a lack of conviction and know-how seemingly worked against them in the opening 40 minutes.

Yet, it’s also worth remembering that Bilic is still in the early days of his reign in East London, and striking the right balance between defensive and attacking transitions will take time.

The acquisition of Victor Moses and fellow wide man Michail Antonio has certainly helped counter the lack of width, though in January we can expect more additions as the team continues to take shape.

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