Wednesday, March 8

Support needed for Andy Carroll

Looking back at Monday's game it seems we still need more support for Andy Carroll. West Ham got in 13 crosses in the half hour before Hazard scored, but Carroll was always tightly marked by the three centre-backs. West Ham lack a Plan B when the aerial bombardment doesn't work, the default option being to give the ball to Lanzini. Antonio certainly enhanced his reputation through not playing and has to be fitted back in the side, either as a second striker, wideman or wing back. 

There's also a case for starting with Andre Ayew at Bournemouth (he was a little unlucky not to get in the side after scoring at Watford) in a deep-lying striker role alongside Andy if Antonio plays wide. Assuming Lanzini is kept as our main playmaker that would mean dropping Feghouli and/or Snodgrass or possibly Noble, though Slaven is unlikely to depose his captain. Obiang certainly played well against Chelsea despite inadvertently making the Costa goal with his back header and deserves to keep his place. 

And then there's the problem of what to do with Kouyate, whether to retain him as an emergency right-back, or restore him to central defence or midfield. If you add in Byram and Collins as options we have 15 players contesting 11 positions, which is not a bad situation for Bilic to be in.

6 comments:

matt said...

If we play AC, Ayew, Michail and Manu, as you suggest, surely that means dropping both Snoddy and The Feg? Unless Nobes is dropped, which seems unlikely. Do we know if Winston will be out?

Pete May said...

Yes, we need one winger so if a straight choice between Antonio and Ayew it's Antonio in and Ayew on the bench unless we played Antonio as a wing-back. Not sure about Winston. Guess could do a midfield diamond if dropped both wingers but unlikely to happen.

Pete May said...

Or we could play Antonio as a winger and drop Feggy and Snodgrass to give Ayew a game I guess.

matt said...

We tried Antonio at wing-back and it was a total failure, so I doubt we'll go back there. Not that the experiment of playing Cheikhou there is working any better. I am sure he'll play AC, Antonio and Lanzini, but who knows beyond that? In other news, the medical news claim there's "good news" about Sakho, as he'll return to full training in April. Which doesn't strike me as particularly good news, as it means he'll miss the rest of the season, and we were originally duped into thinking he might be back in March...

Pete May said...

Never known a player miss a whole season with a back problem before. Should have recommended my osteopath to him...

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