West Ham manager Slaven Bilic rued his side’s “disastrous” start to the season after the Hammers began the new campaign with a 4-0 trouncing by an incisive Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The visitors barely threatened as a Romelu Lukaku double and goals from substitute Anthony Martial and midfielder Paul Pogba condemned West Ham to their 11th opening day Premier League defeat – the most of any club.
It also consigned the Hammers to bottom place in the first, if largely irrelevant, league table of the season, but perhaps more significantly quelled the optimism from a positive summer, fuelled by the recruitment of experienced top-flight players.
“I expected more, but I have to admit they were a much better side in every aspect of the game,” said Bilic. “We knew they had a strong side, but I expected us to do much better.
“It’s very hard to find any positives when you lose 4-0. It is a disastrous result for us and the worst scenario that could have happened.”
Bilic conceded that his players’ poise was bound to have taken a battering by such a torrid start but took solace in the likely return to the Hammers matchday squad of a number of absentees in the coming weeks.
The east London club’s next clash is an away fixture at Southampton, who began the season with a goalless draw at home to Swansea, on Saturday before a trip to Newcastle and, following the international break, a home showdown with Huddersfield.
“It shouldn’t affect our confidence but it will,” added Bilic. “We are very low, the players feel bad and so do I.
“Michail Antonio should be back for Southampton. Cheikhou [Kouyate], Manuel [Lanzini], Andy [Carroll] should be there for Newcastle, latest after the international break. They will be back soon.”