All of the hype from West Ham United’s summer exploits was quickly diminished on Saturday afternoon as the Premier League champions Manchester City arrived at the London Stadium and showed no mercy whatsoever.
It was going relatively smoothly as the teams headed in for half-time, the Hammers were just one goal down due to a bit of brilliance from Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus down the right side.
The proceedings got a bit out of hand in the second period though, as Raheem Sterling netted a hatrick and Sergio Aguero also got off the mark from the penalty spot amid a slice of VAR controversy.
The Premier League was back, alright.
It was an afternoon to forget in East London, and one that will be brushed to one side ahead of the trip to face Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend. However, who makes our first Power Rankings of the season?
We’re starting a new series on Read West Ham, in which the Game-Week’s five top players are recognised, no matter the result.
So without further ado, here are the Power Rankings from week one:
5 – Michail Antonio
Antonio may have been replaced by Fornals at half-time, but fans were rightly confused by the decision. He looked to be offering plenty more than Felipe Anderson on the left-wing, despite a tough opponent in Kyle Walker.
4 – Jack Wilshere
Hopefully the knock Wilshere suffered that forced him off after 56 minutes isn’t too serious, because he’ll bring plenty of quality to the midfield if he stays fit.
He won four of his six ground duels, as well as maintaining a 100% aerial duel success rate and 87.5% passing accuracy. There’s certainly a place for him in the team, with or without Noble.
3 – Declan Rice
Wilshere’s midfield partner was all the more impressive, or as impressive as you can be in a 5-0 defeat. Rice was stranded for large chunks of the game against one of Europe’s best midfield set-ups but made a good account of himself.
At just 19, he’s going to play a pivotal role this season and starts the first Power Rankings top three.
2 – Manuel Lanzini
Coming in at no. 2 in Game-Week 1 is Lanzini. It’s brilliant to see him start this season fully fit, and he’ll be an important fixture in Pellegrini’s side. He understandably didn’t have much room for his creative juices to flow here but showed plenty of signs that he’s ready for a good campaign.
1 – Sebastien Haller
Topping the first Power Rankings of the season is West Ham’s marquee summer signing, Haller.
He was starved of service for big periods of the game as the Hammers were overrun, but showed plenty of promise for the season ahead. His hold-up play was a joy to watch and his pace and power could make him the complete striker.