Striker, left wing, right wing, full back…where actually should we play Antonio? That’s the task I have undertaken, and been presented, ahead of our crucial game against Southampton this weekend.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that we have seen the same Michail Antonio over the past two seasons as we were privileged to half way through our final season at Upton Park. It was that season where he fell into the full back slot. He did alright for the majority of the time, even offering an additional outlet when attacking. Defensively, huge question marks. Question marks that turned to worries after the move and exposed his limitations with the additional space. For me, he is not a full back.

As with any season following West Ham, the inevitable injury to a Mr. Carroll and another doomed striker signing led to Antonio featuring as a striker. What a waste this was. Limiting his running with the ball due to our playing style just seemed like a total waste of time and talent. What I love about Antonio is the unpredictable nature he has. He’s a curve ball. A diamond in the rough. Moments of brilliance delicately balanced with some bizarre choices. Remember Crystal Palace?

That leaves the wings. A chance for Antonio to bully those in his way. Bartering helpless defenders who dare to stand in his path. Just as he did when he broke into the first team. All that seems to have evaporated from his game. The problem being the countless injuries it feels he has picked up. Additionally, the England call ups have made a negative impact. That rough round the edges player seems to have been replaced by a more thoughtful approach.

It’s this new style that bugs me. There are faults to all areas of his game. His strongest position seems to have resulted in more self inflicted problems. Which leads me to, potentially, left field opinion. Sell Antonio.

If ‘Moyseh’ is staying, I don’t see how he fits in to the style of play. If we do the right thing (although that’s for another blog) and hire a manager with a degree of tactical awareness, could the funds from his sale be used to develop the side? In an ideal scenario I’d love to see option 2 and they bring the old Antonio back. If they can’t, I’d part ways.

By Stu Cole ( @stuCole6 )

Jon Pope

By Jon Pope

Use to sit in the BML for 10 years, been a West Ham fan all my life, and my great grandfather was a founder member of the TIW. I also help run the Hammer Chat website.

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