Our new weekly debate blog lunches with our first topic, Is Arnautovic our main striker? Daz and Jack put their views across, for & against Arnie being the main striker.  Take a read below and let us know your thoughts below or tweet @hammers_chat and vote on our poll.


Daz – Arnautovic is NOT our main striker

With 4 goals in 8 appearances this season, it all looks set for Arnie to be around 18-20 goals for the season.

So why shouldn’t he play as the main striker?

For me you have to look at the team we have available and the players out injured.

At the start of the season I thought we were well set to hit a record number of goals with Hernandez, Arnie, Yarmolenko all with a good strike rate. Lanzini coming back in the new year and with Anderson adding a few then surely, we could score at least the amount we did in the last season at Upton Park.

But the season hasn’t started how we all hoped it would.

With Yarmolenko starting slow and now injured, Antonio nowhere near the player he was and Chicharito not being able to get a run in the team we now look like a team who will struggle to score.

If Arnie continues to play up front as the main striker, then we will have to rely on him to score most of our goals. We do not have a midfield that are going to add very many in the season until Lanzini comes back or we spend more money in January.

Anderson may still find form and score a few but his record doesn’t show a great scoring ratio. Noble, Obiang, Rice, Wilshere will not score many goals in any formation. So that would leave Perez, Snodgrass or Antonio to start finding the net.

Arnie is our talisman, we need him involved in the game making us tick all over the pitch. If he continues to play as the main striker he will drift in and out of the game, becoming frustrated if opportunities don’t fall his way.

Yes he will score goals in the striker position but will it be enough for us as a team?

We need to get another striker on the pitch who can score goals and can drift in and out of the game without affecting the team as a whole, we can’t afford this to be Arnie.

For me it’s time to give Chicharito a run in the team to see if he can make it work at West Ham. If he does then he will score goals and will be the striker that stays up front and in the box rather than dropping deeper looking to influence play.

Arnie should be given a free role behind Chicharito, not only will he have someone in a more advance position to set up but also someone occupying the opponents centre backs.

If Arnie plays in a free number 10 role he will still score goals, maybe not as many as being an out and out striker but he will also add assists.

In a number 10 role he will have the freedom to go left or right and get on the ball wherever he wants.

I’m sure if it works then the combination of Chicharito scoring up front and Arnie scoring from an advance midfield/no 10 role will add more goals for the team than Arnie up front and any other Midfielder currently fit.

If we go out in the transfer window and buy a free scoring midfielder or Lanzini comes back the player he was before the injury then we may have the midfield we need to score goals and Arnie could go back up front. But at the moment the team needs to come first and we need the creativity and goals from Arnie behind a front man.

I feel Arnie is so important to our team at the moment that we must maximise his overall game influence even if it does sacrifice a few goals to him personally.


By DazP@Kirtonhammer



Jack – Arnautovic IS our main striker

I slated Moyes continually from the time it seemed a possibility that he would become our manager up until it was announced he would be leaving. I had a lot of time for what he achieved at Everton and did admire the way he conducted himself as our manager but the style of football was not what I want to see. Although upon reflection it may well have been what we needed as we were in a perilous position and he certainly stabilised the club. But he may just have left us with one of the best strikers to arrive at the club for a long time.

When we signed Marko I was happy with the signing, he was always a special player just a little temperamental, a maverick. But we like that in a player generally and personally I felt he was the real replacement for Payet. The concerns were never regarding his ability and within 2 games he had shown the worst he had to offer and had already been sent off.

He didn’t look like the player we expected to have signed at any point under Bilic and he has acknowledged that and apologised for that himself. But under Moyes he became a very different player.

He has all the attributes you could ask for in a striker, he is a natural finisher, he has pace, power, he is skilful, he can hold the ball up. The only thing he is missing technically is ability in the air. He can do it but I think that this is more due to the way he wants to play and as a team we want to play, although he does look to shy away from aerial battles at times.

I wasn’t convinced that he was the right man to take the lead in our team but even his attitude towards other players seems to have been improved under the responsibility he has placed upon him as our main man. You can see him on the pitch encourages and motivating his team mates. When he has been given the armband on occasions it epitomises the importance he now has in our team. If anything we are to over reliant on him as our focal point now but him and Lanzini struck up a very dangerous partnership together it is just a shame they haven’t been able to continue together for longer.

He is certainly one of the most dynamic players we have had upfront for a while, most strikers we sign are at best one dimensional, at worst Mido. When he is at his best I don’t think I have seen a better striker for us, I’ve hardly been fortunate in those that I have seen but there has been some decent ones. But based purely upon ability at the time they have actually been at the club he has a big claim on being the best I have seen up top.

In signing a winger from Stoke and putting David Moyes in charge of him I think we may have inadvertently finally found our 20 goal a season striker.


Written By Jack | @myWHUopinion


By Gonzo

West Ham fan for as long as I can remember. I was flukey enough to watch The Irons beat Bury 10-0 in my first ever game . . . True to form, West Ham then went out and signed their central defender 😬

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