Michail Antonio will need an assessment before West Ham’s FA Cup match against Manchester United. David Moyes confirmed that the striker is suffering from fatigue and it is unclear whether or not he will be able to play against the Red Devils.
"“He’s still fatigued so it’ll be a close call whether he makes it or not. We’ll need to assess him tomorrow to see if he’s able to play or not.”Moyes on Antonio’s fitness."
The news of Antonio’s fitness is one that will concern many West Ham fans. The 30-year-old is the only recognised senior striker in the club after the sale of Sebastien Haller in January. Only Andriy Yarmolenko and youngster Ademipo Obudeko could help fulfil the role. Obudeko is only young and lacks much first-team experience, and Yarmolenko is naturally a winger.
Over the past three seasons, Antonio has struggled with injuries, especially to his hamstring. With the packed schedule at the moment, it should come as no surprise that the striker is struggling to maintain his fitness.
West Ham manager David Moyes is sweating on the fitness of Michail Antonio ahead of the club’s FA Cup tie with Manchester United.
Antonio has played in every game when he has been declared fit, even when it has been a poor decision. The striker reinjured his hamstring earlier in the season after he was rushed back into the starting eleven against Aston Villa. The result of this was Antonio being out for a further month.
Moyes is reliant on the fitness of Antonio as he has developed the team around the power the striker brings to the side. During Antonio’s previous layoff, the Hammers lost a lot of the natural attacking flow and struggled to attack sides with the same amount of threat.
Even if Antonio is fit enough to play in the FA Cup, it is likely that he will have to miss a couple of games at some point. The striker’s all-action play style can only last for so long until his hamstring gives way again. This was seen in the Fulham match as Antonio could not manage the same level of effectiveness he offered in other matches.
It does beg the question, why did the club not sign a back-up striker in the January transfer market. Fans knew this situation was likely to happen before the end fo the season.