Tuesday, September 8

Are West Ham stronger with James Tomkins?

One point to note from the season so far is that West Ham have won both the games in which James Tomkins has played at right back, keeping clean sheets against Arsenal and Liverpool. Which suggests there is a case for keeping Tomkins in the side.

Tomka is by no means a natural right-back and his best position is clearly in central defence. Carl Jenkinson has had a slow start, but we know from last season that he can be very effective going forward. But he was vulnerable against Leicester's Jamie Vardy and turned too easily for Bournemouth's third goal and then sent off after being outpaced for the fourth. Tomkins might not be an attacking option but he has looked a more natural defender and has formed an uncompromising unit with Ogbonna and Reid. Even a head injury at the Emirates didn't stop him as he bravely played on. Tomkins also came on against Bournemouth after WHU were 2-0 down after half an hour and Ogbonna was struggling.

After a 3-0 win at Anfield it will be difficult for Bilic to change the side. One other option for selected games is to play three centre backs in Tomkins, Reid and Ogbonna and Jenkinson and Cresswell as wing backs. The encouraging thing though is that we have real competition for the centre back positions, with Collins, Henry and Reece Burke (who scored his first goal while on loan to Bradford) in reserve too.


PT said...

At present I think you make a very good point. With Jenkinson out of form and Tomkins playing well I think it's up to Jenkinson to earn his place back.However, Bilic might favour Jenkinson at home because of his attacking play.

Pete May said...

Yes, hard to leave out Tomka after a 3-0 win though long term he has to be a centre back. Sure Jenkinson will improve, perhaps not being loaned until quite late in the close season was the problem...