With the winter break upon us and plummeting temperatures making us feel the wrath of another frigid seasonal delay, we can reflect on the most adorably vomitous valentine relationship at the club and examine why it needs to end immediately.
This West Ham relationship, of course, is between David Moyes and Manuel Lanzini. The undying love Moyes has for Lanzini is deep. He’s obviously still enamored with the attacking midfielder but to former Hammers’ talisman needs to be dropped for his awful form.
Why does Moyes love him so much? Well, in Moyes’ first stint with the Hammers he relied on Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic to fire the team to safety and thankfully for him, they did. Lanzini was played just behind Arnautovic up top and was able to capitalize on the Moyes tactic of lump the ball up top and chase it down for a scrappy goal or two.
Now, it’s clear Moyes feels indebted to Lanzini who helped save his career. He’s repaying him by constantly picking him whether as a starter or sub, and it needs to end now. I understand there is a connection there, but it isn’t what’s best for the team.
It should end soon, though, as the team clearly functions better with two strikers, pushing out the likes of Lanzini, a central midfield attacker, to the bench or out of position. With Sebastien Haller and Michail Antonio likely to be used up top as the striker duo, it’s on Lanzini to beat our new recruit Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals, and Roberto Snodgrass for the other wide attacking positions.
Thankfully, Moyes didn’t pick him for the Brighton match. Maybe this is the turning point needed in Moyes’ mentality and a realization that relegation threats are stronger than loyalty for past successes. Maybe it’s a tough-to-swallow heartbreak, but dropping Lanzini is exactly what is needed for all parties.