Monday, February 27

Do West Ham need a second striker?

Jermaine Jenas made a good point on Match of the Day when he highlighted the fact that not enough West Ham midfielders were getting into the box. Antonio had a great game as a lone striker, but as Slaven said, he can't cross to himself. Both Feghouli and Snodgrass look more comfortable on the flanks and Lanzini is probably our only other player who regularly gets in the penalty area. 

Ayew made a difference when he came on, and with the equaliser you can see that he shows a striker's instinct to run straight for the middle of the goal as Antonio shoots against both posts. With Antonio suspended for the Chelsea match I'd like to see Andy Carroll return with Ayew playing just behind him. Ayew netted 11 goals for Swansea last season so with a bit of confidence from scoring on Saturday he might yet turn out to be a decent signing, even if he was overpriced at £20 million. 

There's also the formation to consider. If West Ham played three at the back in Fonte, Reid and Kouyate plus wing-backs (Cresswell and Byram or Feghouli) they could still have five men in midfield, perhaps resting Snodgrass who is still adapting. That's the system where we have looked most secure this season and might be necessary to keep Costa and co at bay. 


matt said...

In a 3-4-2-1 we could play: Randolph; Kouyate, Reid, Fonte; Cresswell, Byram, Noble, Obiang; Lanzini, Ayew; Carroll. That would mean no Snodgrass or Feghouli and we might lack width. Byram struggled against Man City, and it's a shame he didn't get a game against Baggies or Watford, as Chelsea is another tough one. I'd be tempted to say, Randolph; Reid, Fonte, Collins; Obiang, Noble; Kouyate, Cresswell, Snodgrass; Lanzini; Carroll. With Snodgrass diligently tracking back. But Feghouli might be provide better balance on the right? And all this assumes Carroll will be fit....

I'd take a point, right now

Pete May said...

With our tactical knowledge we should clearly be managing in the PL! Snodgrass had a pretty poor game on Saturday but think will come good. Could rest Snoddy or Feggy or even Noble and play Byram. Byram did well against Palace and most of the defence was given runaround against City. Kouyate was a lot better when going forward as Watford stopped attacking but is not a right back, as you say. Presumably Bilic rates Byram, otherwise why did he buy him?