Friday, March 17

Antonio for England

Congratulations to Michail Antonio on his deserved call-up by Gareth Southgate. The BBC website has a good stat. Since making his debut in September 2015 Antonio has scored 17 goals, more than any other West Ham player in the same period. Andy Carroll has scored 15 in the same period while Dimitri Payet only got eight. Or to put it another way he's scored 17 in 65 appearances. That's a pretty astonishing strike rate considering Antonio's spent some of that period playing as a makeshift right back. 

When I was recently on the Stop! Hammer Time podcast host Phil Whelans came up with an interesting theory. He thought that possibly Bilic was so used to playing and managing technically brilliant players like Modric that he thought a trier like Antonio, who could be a mixture of brilliance and clumsiness, didn't belong in a forward line with the likes of Lanzini and Payet, but was better suited to defending. Slaven was proved absolutely wrong on that count of course, and now Antonio is our most important forward player. In fact Antonio is all set to unleash a Tempest against Shakespeare's Leicester. 

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