Hammers spirited but eventually pointless visit to the GTech Stadium in West London raised certain issues that just won't go away! Primarily the club or its manager's inability to 'find' a striker has come back to haunt the club in a massive way. It is not as if it is a new scenario, having failed to sign a replacement for Gianluca Scammaca following hot on the heels of not signing a replacement for Sebastien Haller, somehow somewhere there is a serial offender at large!
Big Mikey Antonio seems as if he is 'prepping' himself for a life after football as an 'entertainer', in addition to his ill-advised podcast that he shares with opposition forward Callum Wilson of Newcastle, the Hammers striker looks like Bamby on ice when on the field, falling over to such an extent some may think his 'inner ear' is failing!
What happened to the 'bull' who bullied? Once upon a time Antonio literally 'terrorised' defenders with his powerful runs and 'boisterous' physicality that shunted most defenders out of the way and scared the 'mahooney' out of others. During his halcyon days all that toughness came at a price as he regularly picked up injuries, particularly his huge hamstrings!
Antonio adopted a healthier eating regime which saw his injuries dramatically reduced, unfortunately it also seemed to have taken the 'edge' out of his final product. Of course age plays a part as well losing half Yard is the difference between leaving a defender for dust and looking stupid, it happens to ALL players, especially forwards.
If he would accept it, a role from the bench would be best for all parties. Moyes could throw Antonio on for the last 25 minutes and the effect could be devastating, but starting the game is soon going to be an ever decreasing option. However, Said Benrahma and Mohammed Kudus will both be absent from the January Premier League schedule due to the African Cup of Nations so Antonio's services will still be required, it is a faite accomplie, but a short term one and Mikey knows it as well.
The Lad Potts must surely be recalled from his loan deal, the club have the option and the sparsity of good CDM's was abundantly clear against Brentford, it is a fact of life that an 'all action' defender like Edson Alvarez will inevitably pick up a raft of yellow and possibly red cards, therefore it is ESSENTIAL that some 'proper' cover is available, James Ward-Prowse is NOT a CDM!
Emerson at left back is a perfect fit, but when he is unavailable the team really struggle, a decent back up is a must! Equally, at right back Vlad Coufal cannot go on indefinitely without having more of a backup than Thilo Kehrer, not that Kehrer hasn't performed well, but he either should be given a proper run of games or just be kept as a utility player, which he might not fancy in the long run.
Finally, the elephant in the room, the manager! The unexpected victory over Arsenal in the League Cup meant that Moyes bought himself precious time, 'oxygen' in the rarefied atmosphere that lives between success and failure. However, that is only a temporary reprieve as the 60 year old Scot will find his position more and more undermined due to the influence of David Sullivan appointed Tim Steidten. An unstoppable force colliding with an unmoveable object springs to mind and as things stand it will be the 'Steid' who will be left standing -LN