Three Thin Attacking Options Left For West Ham

West Ham manager David Moyes. (Photo by ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
West Ham manager David Moyes. (Photo by ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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West Ham are currently being served poetic justice for their inaction in the January transfer window as attacking options are few and far between. Here are the three most logical answers to West Ham’s striker option within the squad.

As a prenote – Michail Antonio is likely to be fit for the Sheffield match. Moving forward, if Antonio is fit he should and will be the starting striker up top. However, as many West Ham fans know, Antonio’s fitness cannot be relied on. If he goes down, here are the options left.

Jesse Lingard as a False Nine

Jesse Lingard was brought in to be David Moyes’ swiss-army-knife player; fitting every need on the pitch, barring a deployment in the backline. He settled in quite quickly as a number 10, netting twice against Aston Villa, but as quickly as he looked settled in claret and blue, he abandoned that role.

Now the abandonment wasn’t a bad thing. Lingard had free reign to attack Villa across the front line. He proved this with his cross-pitch offensive support runs and by scoring to Emi Martinez’s right and left in this match.

With just one recognized striker in the squad, West Ham may need to rely on Lingard atop their attack.

He worked well with Antonio, but without a striker can he be relied on to push forward by himself and spearhead the Hammers’ attack? With a supporting cast of Said Benrahma, Jarrod Bowen, and Pablo Fornals, Lingard should be able to do this, but don’t expect him to play the Antonio style.

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Instead, if Lingard is our striker, it’ll probably in be a 4-3-3 formation with him sitting in the centre as a false nine; a sunken in spearhead. This formation will allow him to move forward and create space behind him for Fornals or Benrahma, while also allowing him to get out wide and allow for Tomas Soucek to thunder up the pitch to provide an aerial threat.

This may be what we see, or even a 5-2-3 formation with extra wide support from the wingbacks, allowing a central midfielder to be removed for three more narrow attackers. Regardless, if Lingard is at the tip of the attack, expect it to be an unorthodox approach to Irons attacking football.