Four things we learnt from West Ham United's Premier League win over Brentford
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Emerson Palmieri of West Ham United celebrates with Lucas Paqueta after scoring his team's fourth goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Brentford FC at London Stadium on February 26, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

West Ham United secured their first win of 2024 with an emphatic 4-2 win over Brentford at the London Stadium on Monday night.

Both teams have struggled for form prior to this game but the signs of a West Ham win were there to see early on with two early goals setting the tone for the hosts courtesy of Jarrod Bowen.

There were some sticky moments for the hosts as the visitors had their chances, especially with the score at 2-1, but as soon as Bowen confirmed his hattrick to double the Hammers’ lead, it was as comfortable a game as you could expect for West Ham, aside from Yoane Wissa’s consolation goal.

Bowen may be the headline maker today, but the best goal of the game came through fullback Emerson Palmieri, a screamer fitting of the performance put on tonight by the hosts.

  • Jarrod Bowen is back

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Jarrod Bowen of <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/19/premier-league/1173072-david-moyes-the-right-man-to-lead-west-ham-united-forward.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/19/premier-league/1173072-david-moyes-the-right-man-to-lead-west-ham-united-forward.html'><strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/17/premier-league/1172867-burnley-0-5-arsenal-arsenal-continue-impressive-roadshow-with-burnley-rout.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/17/premier-league/1172867-burnley-0-5-arsenal-arsenal-continue-impressive-roadshow-with-burnley-rout.html'>West Ham</a></strong> United</a></strong> celebrates after scoring his second goal during the <b><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/data/premier-league' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/data/premier-league'>Premier League</a></b> match between <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/19/premier-league/1173072-david-moyes-the-right-man-to-lead-west-ham-united-forward.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/19/premier-league/1173072-david-moyes-the-right-man-to-lead-west-ham-united-forward.html'><strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/16/premier-league/1172674-burnley-vs-arsenal-premier-league-preview-gameweek-25-2024.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/16/premier-league/1172674-burnley-vs-arsenal-premier-league-preview-gameweek-25-2024.html'>West Ham</a></strong> United</a></strong> and Brentford FC at <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/23/premier-league/1173631-mark-flekken-set-for-crucial-role-as-brentford-fight-for-premier-league-survival.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/23/premier-league/1173631-mark-flekken-set-for-crucial-role-as-brentford-fight-for-premier-league-survival.html'>London Stadium</a></strong> on February 26, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Jarrod Bowen of West Ham United celebrates after scoring his second goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Brentford FC at London Stadium on February 26, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)

It had been a tough stretch of form for the Leominster born forward. Before tonight’s game, he had gone six games without a goal or assist in the league. His last goal came in the win over Manchester United on December 23rd and he had not scored or assisted since December 28th in the league, and since January 7th in all competitions. 

His lack of goals or assists led to concerns over his recent form. However, he answered those questions tonight, with a double inside the first seven minutes before completing his hattrick just after the hour mark, the first of his career.

None of Bowen’s goals were runs from inside his own half, or 40-yard screamers. They were all scored inside the box, but Bowen proved clinical in these areas.  

Bowen now has 14 goals in the Premier League this season and getting back into form will be crucial for the Hammers in an important part of the season, as they hope to make it back into Europe next season, or even win European silverware once again.

  • Goals after Toney?

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/09/premier-league/1171768-wolves-vs-brentford-premier-league-preview-gameweek-24-2024.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/09/premier-league/1171768-wolves-vs-brentford-premier-league-preview-gameweek-24-2024.html'>Neal Maupay</a></strong> of Brentford is challenged by Kurt Zouma of <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/17/premier-league/1172867-burnley-0-5-arsenal-arsenal-continue-impressive-roadshow-with-burnley-rout.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/17/premier-league/1172867-burnley-0-5-arsenal-arsenal-continue-impressive-roadshow-with-burnley-rout.html'>West Ham</a></strong> United during the <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/25/premier-league/1173911-four-things-we-learnt-from-wolves-unconvincing-victory-against-sheffield-united.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/25/premier-league/1173911-four-things-we-learnt-from-wolves-unconvincing-victory-against-sheffield-united.html'>Premier League</a></strong> match between <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/16/premier-league/1172674-burnley-vs-arsenal-premier-league-preview-gameweek-25-2024.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/16/premier-league/1172674-burnley-vs-arsenal-premier-league-preview-gameweek-25-2024.html'>West Ham</a></strong> United and Brentford FC at London Stadium on February 26, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Neal Maupay of Brentford is challenged by Kurt Zouma of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Brentford FC at London Stadium on February 26, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Brentford striker Ivan Toney had a well-documented eight month ban from football after betting charges.  He has come back with a bang, with four goals in the five games prior. As expected, especially with the club’s league position, the links between Toney and the big clubs are back where they left off before the ban.

With no shot of European football next season, instead being involved in a potential relegation battle and Toney turning 28 next month, he may feel that this summer is his final chance to make that move. If he is to do so, then they will need to find goals from a different source and Neal Maupay may just be the guy.

They say never go back, but Maupay may disprove this theory with a great start to life back at Brentford. He joined on loan on September 1st, 2023 from Everton after a difficult spell with the Toffees, and whilst it took him a long time to get going, he now has four in his last seven games as he makes a strong case for his loan move to be made permanent.  

  • Could that be the result that turns West Ham’s season around?

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Emerson Palmieri of <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/20/arsenal/1173188-turning-the-tidearsenals-signings-key-in-form-turnaround.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/20/arsenal/1173188-turning-the-tidearsenals-signings-key-in-form-turnaround.html'>West Ham</a></strong> United celebrates after scoring with Edson Álvarez of <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/20/arsenal/1173188-turning-the-tidearsenals-signings-key-in-form-turnaround.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/20/arsenal/1173188-turning-the-tidearsenals-signings-key-in-form-turnaround.html'>West Ham</a></strong> United during the <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/25/premier-league/1173911-four-things-we-learnt-from-wolves-unconvincing-victory-against-sheffield-united.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/25/premier-league/1173911-four-things-we-learnt-from-wolves-unconvincing-victory-against-sheffield-united.html'>Premier League</a></strong> match between <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/20/arsenal/1173188-turning-the-tidearsenals-signings-key-in-form-turnaround.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/20/arsenal/1173188-turning-the-tidearsenals-signings-key-in-form-turnaround.html'>West Ham</a></strong> United and Brentford FC at London Stadium on February 26, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Emerson Palmieri of West Ham United celebrates after scoring with Edson Álvarez of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Brentford FC at London Stadium on February 26, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)

We have seen with Manchester City time after time, as well as many other great sports teams, that they save their best form for when it really matters. West Ham proved it last season. There was a point last season where people were calling for David Moyes’ head before a turn of form saw West Ham go on to win the Europa Conference League.

Moyes has always been a slow starter, whether that was his successful period with Everton or unsuccessful time at Manchester United. Everton and Moyes always found a way to turn things round, often finishing in the European places and West Ham will feel that they can once again hit form at the right time, with an important game to come against SC Freiberg that could define their season. 

In tonight’s win, West Ham looked the best they have all season, a far cry from their 6-0 loss to Arsenal just a matter of weeks ago. They were direct, fluid and made it look easy. This will be a win that fans look back on at the end of the season if it is to be a successful one.

A concern at the back for the Bees

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Mathias Jensen and Kristoffer Ajer of Brentford react after their side concedes the second goal scored by Jarrod Bowen of West Ham United (not pictured) during the <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/24/premier-league/1173770-measured-oliver-glasner-assesses-okay-start-to-life-as-crystal-palace-boss.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/24/premier-league/1173770-measured-oliver-glasner-assesses-okay-start-to-life-as-crystal-palace-boss.html'>Premier League</a></strong> match between West Ham United and Brentford FC at London Stadium on February 26, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Mathias Jensen and Kristoffer Ajer of Brentford react after their side concedes the second goal scored by Jarrod Bowen of West Ham United (not pictured) during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Brentford FC at London Stadium on February 26, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Brentford’s form is worrying, with just two wins since December 2nd. To make it worse, they are conceding goals like there is no tomorrow. In fact, only Luton Town, Burnley and Sheffield United have conceded more goals this season, and they are the three teams occupying the bottom three of the Premier League table.

They lie just five points ahead of the relegation zone and with games against Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Brighton and Hove Albion and Aston Villa to come in their next six league games, their predicament could be even worse.

Amongst their last eight games in the league, they conceded four against Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers and three against Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester City. They will need to fix this soon, as no matter how many goals you score, if you cannot defend then you have no hope.

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