David Moyes has concluded his pre-match press conference and to say the news that came from it was less than inspiring would be an understatement.
David Moyes has basically given just about the worst bit of news heading into a very important London Derby against Tottenham. Just days after a pathetic showing from West Ham against Wolves, Sam Inkersole of Football.London has recorded the latest injury news for the Hammers.
West Ham Need Goal – Sebastien Haller has not trained
Michail Antonio wasn’t bad, per se, but he isn’t a centre-forward and needs to be playing alongside a skilled playmaker if he is going to be relied upon for central runs forward. Whether Antonio will be starting or not against Spurs, he won’t have his natural striker partner alongside him.
Sebastien Haller missed the Wolves clash and is in line to miss the Spurs match as well with a groin strain sustained in training this week. Haller hasn’t been in top form this season but he managed to score in both friendlies in the past two weeks.
Will it be Jarrod Bowen up top, Albian Ajeti getting a runout, or Andriy Yarmolenko playing striker as he often does for Ukraine? Regardless, it’ll likely be an amalgamation of these players as Antonio shouldn’t be risked due to his injury record. Desperate times…
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West Ham Need Service and Creativity – Robert Snodgrass out long-term
If Moyes was to use Jarrod Bowen as a striker, Robert Snodgrass would be the perfect replacement at right-mid in a 4-4-2. He has the best corner kick and set-piece delivery on the team and has the attitude to get stuck in during a pivotal derby match.
Unfortunately, Moyes has confirmed a back injury for the Scot, one that could keep him out of the team long-term. Snodgrass has been a surprisingly key player this season for the Hammers and he’s a leader on the pitch for the team. His absence will be missed direly in this match and moving forward.
West Ham Need Defensive Reliability – Angelo Ogbonna is 50/50 for Spurs
A glimmer of hope for Tuesday’s match could be the return of Hammer of the Year elect Angelo Ogbonna. His presence was missed against Wolves, although Declan Rice did admirably in arguably his best position at centre-back. A leader and a defender who can impact both sides of the play, Ogbonna is certainly needed back in the starting XI.
Issa Diop had a bad match against Wolves and Fabian Balbuena was looked over by Moyes as he doesn’t rate the Paraguayan. If Ogbonna is fit, it should be him and Rice at centre-back with Tomas Soucek and Jack Wilshere in the midfield ahead of them to provide coverage.
We can all hold on hope that Ogbonna will return and pop up with a setpiece goal like he has against Spurs in the past. Having all three of these players back would have obviously been ideal, but in a match many are counting West Ham out of already, it could be an opportunity for fringe players to make an impact.