Payet injury couldn't have come at a worse time: Five things we learned from West Ham's draw with Everton

Payet Skill

West Ham United were pegged back in a 1-1 draw against Everton on Saturday but what did we learn from a game which leaves them sixth in the Premier League?

We are now almost a third of the way through the season and the Hammers are looking good for a top six challenge after an excellent start.

Slaven Bilic's side were looking to bounce back after a poor display in a 2-0 defeat to Watford last time out and Argentine Manuel Lanzini opened the scoring with a superb curling finish into the top corner.

The East Londoners were pegged back by bogey man Romelu Lukaku, though, as he finished off Gerard Deulofeu’s through-ball to secure a point for Roberto Martinez's side.

But what did we learn about West Ham from the game?

1) Injury to star player Payet couldn't have come at a worse time

West Ham fans have already experienced the joy of beating Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea this season. But if you asked them which team they would like to beat most the vast majority would say Tottenham Hotspur. They take on their hated rivals at White Hart Lane after the international break but may well have to do so without their best player, Dimitri Payet. The Frenchman has been one of the stars of the Premier League season so far winning rave reviews and helping the Hammers to sixth in the table with his sublime skills, assists and goals. But there was a collective sigh when he slumped to the floor five minutes into the second half against Everton and had to be substituted. Hammers fans have been salivating at the prospect of their new midfield hero helping them get one over their North London rivals, but it looks doubtful he will make it back in time for that match now as the club anxiously awaits the outcome of a scan.

2) West Ham are going to need their big squad

A lot has been made of the fact West Ham finally have a big enough squad, with plenty of depth and quality, to enjoy a successful Premier League season. There were fears Bilic would struggle to keep all his players happy after exiting the Europa League and League Cup early on. But it seems the former Croatia boss is going to need all the bodies as the Hammers have started to pick up injures ahead of the manic festive fixture schedule after the international break. Key striker Diafra Sakho has missed the last two games through injury while Pedro Obiang also picked up a knock in training ahead of the Everton game. Alex Song is still a few weeks away from a return as he works on his fitness following a long-term lay-off and now Payet and Enner Valencia - who has only recently returned from three months out - are both injured after tackles against the Toffees. Both looked pretty serious and both required scans to assess the full extent of the injuries. Bilic will have everything crossed this week, despite having a big squad.

3) Slaven Bilic clearly knows how to get a reaction from his team

This was by no means a vintage West Ham performance but it sticks out for a number of reasons. Everton are the Hammers' perienniel tormentors, the ultimate bogey team. They have lost to Everton, and their rivals Liverpool, more times than any other team in their history and only won one of the last 18 games against them. So when West Ham went into the game off the back of losing their seven-game unbeaten run in a poor 2-0 defeat at Watford while the Toffees came to town after mauling Sunderland 6-2 the omens did not look great. Throw in the fact Romelu Lukaku, West Ham's bogeyman, had scored in the last seven games against the Hammers - a figure he made eight - and everything pointed to an Everton win. But all the talk from Bilic in the build-up to the game dismissed the hoodoo talk and was fully focused on the here and now and showing the right attitude and response to the Watford performance. And while they weren't spectacular Bilic certainly got a reaction with his side more than holding their own against a strong Everton team with a point a decent result for both sides all things considered.

4) The Hammers are genuine top six challengers

A few weeks ago Jamie Carragher said that if West Ham could beat Chelsea they would be 'genuine top six challengers'. They did just that but promptly lost 2-0 to Watford a week later. I would argue this draw with Everton says more about their credentials for the season. A real bogey team, who are bang in form and will be battling for similar territory in the Premier League table. It was a mature performance especially when you throw in the double injury West Ham suffered. Gerard Deulofeu admitted on Twitter afterwards that West Ham provided the Merseysiders with a very difficult opponent. Bilic's side have proved they can do it against the elite with that collection of famous wins over some of the top sides in the division. But their result over Everton was proof they can raise their game to match teams on their level too.

5) This is the Victor Moses West Ham... and Chelsea fans want to see

So far in his time at West Ham, Victor Moses has showed exactly why his parent club Chelsea have been willing to loan him out season after season... inconsistency. One week he has been brilliant for the Hammers, the next average. Last time out in a 2-0 defeat to Watford he was pulled off at half-time. But against Everton Moses was West Ham's best player and always looked a real threat. He helped make the Hammers' goal and this is the sort of form Slaven Bilic will want to see from his loan winger. Chelsea rate Moses a lot, they gave him a new four-year deal before allowing him to switch West for East London in the summer. And it is this performance level he must reach on a regular basis to A) keep his place at West Ham and B) eventually make a success of his Chelsea career.

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