West Ham: Breaking down Jesse Lingard in a False 9 role

Jesse Lingard of West Ham United celebrates. (Photo by John Walton - Pool/Getty Images)
Jesse Lingard of West Ham United celebrates. (Photo by John Walton - Pool/Getty Images) /

Jesse Lingard has been the topic of conversation around West Ham all summer. With new news coming out, how can he fill a false-9 role if needed?

It depends on who you talk to or what you read, but the false-9 formation came into existence back in the early 1930s by the Austrians. Famous managers such as Francesco Totti, Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola, and Vicente Del Bosque all made this setup a success. Now, David Moyes might deploy it at West Ham if he can get his man.

The purpose of the false-9 formation is to confuse the opposition’s backline. Commonly with a traditional striker, one of the center-backs marks him, and the extra one covers for him, but with a false-9, both the center-backs during the build-up play are left loose. When the false-9 is deployed, it confuses their roles and can set up massive counter plays.

According to reports, David Moyes met with the English international on Sunday after the matches to talk about a move back to East London. ExWHUemployee stated that the Gaffer hoped to use Jesse in a false-9 role, something that the Hammers could need considering they only have one center forward on the books.

West Ham: Breaking down Lingard in a False 9 role

The 28-year-old is a top-class athlete, and he undoubtedly has what it takes to flourish in the false-9 role. Lingard has unbelievable energy, plenty of speed and is an outstanding finisher. His ability to drop deep and link-up play between midfield and attack makes him tailor-made for the false-9 role.

Another key element to Jesse Lingard’s game is his unselfish nature. In just half a season last year, Jesse contributed four key assists during a time when he was the main attacking force for West Ham. If he is thrown into a false-9 formation, his ability to seek out the open man and connect with a spot-on pass will be a game-changer for David Moyes and his happy Hammers.

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Obviously, this is all subject to change depending on whether or not West Ham gets the transfer across the table before the deadline this week. Michail Antonio cannot do it all, and this will give him needed rest and allow Lingard to get the playtime he so desires. There’s nothing traditional about it, but then again, what really is at West Ham at the moment?