With two games against Manchester United fast approaching on the horizon after Hammers fixture against Dinamo Zagreb this Thursday, much attention will be given to David Moyes' team selection, Whoever is 'in' on the night might not necessarily be 'in' for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash, likewise those who play on Sunday will more than likely NOT play on Wednesday's relatively meaningless Moose Cup fixture.
The selection equation is further complicated by Mikey Antonio's 'brainless' sending off at 'Stephens' gate'. (The defender of that name knows!) Were Antonio to be available for the League game he might have been reserved for then, but as he has picked up a one match ban his role may be reversed, he CAN play against Zagreb and then sit out the League game before playing in the Moose Cup.
It would mean Moyes playing a much stronger team for the 'useless' Cup than he would have, normally he would have kept Antonio out, at least for the bulk of the game but he might as well make use of a valuable asset. However Moyes might elect to keep Antonio's hamstrings rested until the League game against Leeds on the 25th.
Nikola Vlasic has big boots to fill, fans will be disappointed if they are expecting Antonio 2:0 from the Croatian national player, he has similar qualities but is more provider than finisher, an aspect of his game that will doubtless be honed by Chicken Kiev and Psycho in the future.
Antonio's red managed to disrupt the plans that had already been laid out for the next FOUR fixtures, silly boy! His absence will possibly have a season changing effect even this early on and as such he should be fined a week's wages with the money going to a good charity. - LN