As great as Pablo Fornals and Sebastien Haller are, neither have the blistering pace that can terrorize teams on the counter-attack. This needs to be a huge focus for the club over the summer transfer window.
The biggest problem that sticks out when watching this season’s West Ham squad is a clear lack of pace throughout the squad. As skilled as players like Fornals, Haller, and Manuel Lanzini are, these players thrive in a possession-based offence and are better when picking teams apart with accurate passing and smart runs.
When you look at some of the non “Big Six” clubs that have thrived the past couple of years, the main thing that sticks out about these squads is how rapidly they can counter-attack and outpace even the best of defenders.
Take Adama Traore from Wolves, for example, a player with absolutely blistering pace who can tear down the wing and help Wolves on the counter late in matches. Jamie Vardy and his rapid pace have had Leicester City at the top of the table the entire season, as the Foxes have been lethal on the counter the whole year.
West Ham needs to have more pace heavy options depending on the kind of match they get into. If David Moyes and the Irons feel as though they can control the ball for 90 minutes, players like Lanzini and Robert Snodgrass may be more suited for that kind of match. However, if the Hammers are going to sit back and defend against a team like Liverpool, it would be very beneficial to have a few pacy options that could at least give us a chance on the counter.
I think all West Ham fans can agree that this current squad needs a pace injection in all phases. Let’s hope that the board and David Moyes can sort this issue out over the summer and give us a few rapid options off the bench to help with our overall squad speed.