Behrami laments 'bad luck' as Hammers slide continues

Stoke City 2 West Ham United 1

The only consolation for West Ham fans is that things were at least this bad last season, "worse" if you believe their manager, Gianfranco Zola.

Then they had endured a run of just one win in 12 before turning their season round by winning 4-1 at Portsmouth, although they had at least begun the season by winning four of their first six games; Saturday's defeat at Stoke was their fifth in their first eight games ad leaves them second bottom.

"We have made a lot of little mistakes," said the midfielder Valon Behrami. "And, every mistake that we do, we have paid with one goal. That is a strange thing. Sometimes we make one mistake and they score but the other team will make three or four mistakes – but we don't score. And that is the difference. The Premier League is like this. We are just in an unlucky moment."

Well, maybe. Rumours rumble on – again – about a possible takeover, and for all the denials the uncertainty about the future of the club seems to be having a debilitating affect. West Ham are playing like a team short on confidence and, although they controlled possession for the middle hour on Saturday, they were indecisive and their threat was only vague. Their defeat, though, had less to do with a lot of little mistakes than one big one: the decision to pick Julien Faubert at right-back.

It is not, it should be said, his natural position, but he nonetheless had a nightmare. It was his panicky lunge that conceded the penalty from which James Beattie put Stoke ahead, and Beattie then capitalised on his hesitancy to stab in the winner after Rob Green had pushed out Ricardo Fuller's low drive. He should have capped a miserable day with a red card after an awful foul on Liam Lawrence in the final minute.

Faubert wasn't the only one who should have gone off. Robert Huth managed to swing an open hand into the face of Matthew Upson, who had headed West Ham's equaliser, without drawing the attention of the referee, Martin Atkinson. Tony Pulis, Stoke's manager, promised to review the video and take internal action if necessary.

Understandably, Pulis was keener to talk about his other centre-back, Ryan Shawcross, who had another excellent game, making one superb recovery challenge on Carlton Cole. "You have to understand how hard he works in training," he said. "He always stays behind and does extra work. He has good pace for a big lad. He needs to quicken his feet up on the ball sometimes because he will play against top, top players but he understands that.'

Stoke City (4-4-2): Sorensen; Huth, Faye, Shawcross, Collins; Delap (Lawrence, 68), Diao (Whelan, 78), Whitehead, Etherington; Beattie (Kitson, 84), Fuller. Substitutes not used: Simonsen (g), Higginbotham, Tuncay, Wilkinson.

West Ham (4-3-2-1): Green; Faubert, Upson, Tomkins, Ilunga; Behrami, Kovac (Stanislas, 83), Collison (Franco, 89); Diamanti (Hines, 79), Noble; Cole. Substitutes not used: Kurucz (gk), Jimenez, Spector, Da Costa, Stanislas

Referee: M Atkinson (West Yorkshire).

Booked: Stoke Diao, Shawcross, Whelan; West Ham Faubert, Cole, Hines.

Man of the match: Shawcross.

Attendance: 27,026.

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015