Aaron Cresswell is injured, Winston Reid has lost form as has Adrian, and James Collins is showing his age. Angelo Ogbonna is rusty, Arthur Masuaku blows hot and cold and James Tomkins plays for Crystal Palace.
A summer spent searching for top striking talent now looks like a distraction for West Ham Utd who endured their second 4-2 defeat in a row after another week of defences lapses.
Although it is still early in the season, they sit in the bottom three, with one win and four defeats, shipping in 11 goals in three games and there is already talk of the Southampton match on Sunday being the relaunch, so soon after the relaunch following the international break.
The manager Slaven Bilic was thoroughly ashamed of the capitulation, according to the interviews he gave after the match against West Brom.
He told the club’s website : “It’s my responsibility to act, and to try to change it. For me, last year was exactly what I meant with how we wanted to play.
“Defend as a unit, like brothers, and to be solid. Tough men, tough to beat. We wanted to do that with the players who had skill and quality, and we did that for the majority of the season.
“At the moment, we are not doing that. I’m not going to hide behind being unlucky or individual mistakes.
“You have to act before the opponent, it’s not complicated to detect the problem, but it takes effort to solve it.
“The problem would be if we had a new team, but we have to start doing the things we were doing not that long ago.”
Although this is direct contrast to the beginning of last season when West Ham were the surprise package, stealing points from top teams in dramatic away games.
But now opposition teams can read them. Their expansive, open play caught teams by surprise last year but now teams understand the story. West Ham don’t always work back, they leave the defence to deal with assaults and sit high waiting for the opportunity to counter. At home matches, the problem is exacerbated but the size of the London Stadium pitch and a general feeling of airiness that emboldens the opposition.
“We knew if we were patient today and worked the ball in the final third, we could hurt them,” said West Brom’s Jonny Evans.
The poor form on the pitch is mirrored by disquiet over the London Stadium – although it is likely that one feeds the other. A run of good matches would make a re-organisation of the stadium a more pleasant task while rancour in the stands is likely to affect a team that is still coming to terms with an absence of Upton Park.
Among the bright points has been the form of Michail Antonio with five goals. He scored another on Saturday.
“Right now, we have to start again,” he said. “The Premier League season starts against Southampton – we have to start there and push on because right now it’s just not clicking together defensively.
“We don’t have the resilience we had last year and we need to get that back. We haven’t changed players, nothing’s changed – the only new player there is Arthur and he’s a quality left back.
“I don’t see what the difference is. It has to be mentality more than anything, because we haven’t changed players.
“We’ve all played the games to understand what we need and we have to perform on the day.”