A season where not many of our players have flourished. But after another tough season this has been epitomised by Michail.

Despite his arrival dividing opinion amongst the fanbase, he was the winger we had been desperately crying out for since the era of Matty Etherington. A raw winger, he could create space from nothing and left most defenders in his stride with blistering pace. So many times, he would steal the ball back from his opponent and be a constant nuisance. Leaving opposition players behind him, always having that knack of scoring goals at the back post. This happened every game, Michail changed games because of his imposing physicality.

But suddenly ‘that’ injury came along, he hasn’t looked the same player since, along with his bumper new contract, and has gone from looking one of our best players to the player that was once meant to be.

He’s one of our most valuable players when fit and firing, but our mere disastrous season has papered over the cracks regarding the former Hammer of the Year. He had excelled under the guidance of Slav, having a free roam to score goals and express himself in the Premier League. But, since becoming a makeshift right wing-back and looking broken when he was subbed off against Chelsea, he’s never really looked settled.

In the few games he’s featured in this season Michail has never got going. With little pre-season minutes under his belt after a three month lay-off, Antonio hasn’t looked fully fit, but looked noticeably bulkier which, in my opinion, has affected his mobility offensively. With our injury record, you know we never have much luck, and it was a pity he went down in the Southampton game. He looked ready for the cause and it could have been the catalyst to finish his and our season off strongly.

No doubt he will be frustrated, more or less on the road to full fitness and aiming to keep his team in the Premier League, as you can tell he didn’t look in a good way when he came off, and we all wish Michail the best on his road to recovery. A full pre-season under his belt for next season and he could feel like a new player for us.

But with our squad needing a revamp in the summer, I can’t help but feel Antonio could be one of the players that could be heading towards the exit door, as we’ve heard on a couple of occasions this season. Whether Moyes stays or goes, we need to sit him down and ask him what his ambitions are, whether that be at West Ham or elsewhere.

What do you think? Give him another chance, or move him on?

 

By Dan Woffenden

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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