West Ham United How could West Ham line-up to accommodate both Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll? Published 4 months ago on September 19, 2017 By William Pearson Share Tweet It is little coincidence that the return of Andy Carroll has come at the same time as a small revival from West Ham, picking up four points in the space of six days to move off the bottom of the table. Picking up a first victory of the season over Huddersfield and following it with a creditable away draw with West Brom has seen pressure ease slightly on boss Slaven Bilic after a poor start to the season, where the Hammers lost their opening three matches and conceded ten whilst doing so. But whilst Carroll’s return has been a catalyst for results on the pitch his return to a stereotypical number nine role has thrown up a new issue for Bilic, with Javier Hernandez struggling in his new position. The Mexican international was arguably the silver lining of West Ham’s opening three games, re-adjusting to Premier League life nicely by scoring twice in 270 minutes as an out-and-out striker. Yet since Carroll’s re-emergence into the first-team Hernandez has been played out of his natural position in more of a left-wing role, and as such he has had little impact in the last two league games. The West Ham manager himself admitted after the 0-0 draw with West Brom that his current striking conundrum is a tough one to find a straight answer to, telling the Evening Standard: “I am thinking about them the most but it is hard to have them both in their natural positions. “It is hard to do that and then have three at the back, then with [Michail] Antonio and [Marko] Arnautovic – it is almost impossible.” So the question that’s now on every West Ham fans’ lips is, how do you accommodate both options? The difficulty is that both players, despite their vastly different styles of play, both rely on being on the shoulder of the last defender to get success, with Carroll accustomed to taking the ball down with his back to goal and looking for options whilst Hernandez makes smart runs across the defence. Everybody knows that Hernandez operates at his best in the penalty area, and as shown in the previous two matches at left-wing he gets very little time in the box, so that system is a firm no-go. But at the same time Carroll is a focal point of the West Ham side, giving them something to aim for when there’s a tricky situation at the back or a physically weak defence, and his contribution in a striking role can’t be underestimated – in just two matches he’s already won 20 of his aerial battles. As Bilic alluded to in his post-match comments, the return of Marko Arnautovic from suspension on Saturday will also provide another selection dilemma – just like Manuel Lanzini when he comes back. It seems that the only way to accommodate his attacking options is to revert to a four-man defensive unit, rather than three, allowing the likes of Arnautovic and Antonio to work in tandem on either flank as wide outlets and enabling Lanzini – or Andre Ayew for now – space down the middle. As for the Carroll-Hernandez conundrum, it could well be worth experimenting with the Mexican operating just behind the target-man in a 4-4-1-1 system, utilising his pace to anticipate flick-ons. This would keep Carroll as West Ham’s most forward player, as he is when at his influential best, but further allow Hernandez to utilise his pace to stretch defenders and still be in and around the area. It is likely that Bilic will set his side out a little more defensively considering they face Tottenham on Saturday, but going forward – and once players return from injury – a system change would be wise. It is certainly not a bad place for West Ham to be in considering the position the club was in just a fortnight ago, but Bilic needs to try and find a working system soon to push towards that top-half. Take a look at how The Boot Room thinks West Ham could look at full strength: 25Hart3Cresswell19Collins2Reid5Zabaleta8Kouyate7Arnautovic17Hernandez9Carroll10Lanzini30Antonio Related Topics:Andy CarrollJavier Hernandez Up Next Analysing Diafra Sakho’s goalscoring return for West Ham against Bolton Don't Miss Three things learnt as West Brom drew 0-0 with West Ham William Pearson Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @willypearson. Continue Reading You may like Analysing Andy Carroll’s impact for West Ham United against Huddersfield Town Could Newcastle make a sensational move for West Ham United striker Andy Carroll? “Gabbiadini is vital to their ambitions” – Three things learnt from Southampton 1-0 West Ham West Ham fans on Twitter: Discussing the 3-2 loss, Hernandez’s performance, Arnautovic’s red card Can West Ham Break into the Premier League top seven? Why Javier Hernandez could have a terrific impact at West Ham after returning to the Premier League FA Cup Shrewsbury Town 0-0 West Ham: Three talking points from Montgomery Waters Meadow Published 2 weeks ago on January 7, 2018 By Jake Jackman West Ham United were fortunate to escape from a tricky away match against Shrewsbury Town with the tie still alive and heading for a replay. David Moyes made several changes, but the team that he put out was a strong one with a number of regular starters being selected to play. It was surprising that the visitors created so few chances and looked lacklustre throughout, especially in the attacking half. Although the Premier League opposition didn’t play well, that shouldn’t discredit the performance from Shrewsbury. The League One side were excellent and looked the more likely winners on the day. It will be tough for them to go to the London Stadium and get through to the next round, but it will be a great spectacle and a good money earner for the club. Here are three talking points from Montgomery Waters Meadow: Javier Hernandez at West Ham hasn’t worked It has been a difficult season for Javier Hernandez after returning to the Premier League and he didn’t take his opportunity in the FA Cup. The Mexican international has not featured as much as he would have liked for the Hammers and it has completely destroyed his confidence. He didn’t look like he wanted to have the ball on Sunday and when he did, his decision making wasn’t great. For a player that is renowned for his intelligent movement and predatory instincts, Hernandez was easily dealt with by a League One defence. He didn’t have any attempts on goal and ended the match with a pass success rate of 50%. Considering he has played for two of the biggest clubs in the world, he should have had a much bigger impact on the game. The next month is going to be interesting to see what business West Ham will do in the transfer market, as they have yet to find a striker to rely on. It was hoped that Hernandez would be that player, but he has yet to live up to his billing. If the club do manage to sign a new striker, it could be that the Mexican pushes for a move away. It hasn’t worked for either party and a transfer away could be what is needed to reinvigorate his career. Shrewsbury are a team full of confidence The Shropshire team are currently in the promotion places in League One and could be set for promotion to the Championship if they continue in their current vein of form. This tie had the potential to destroy the confidence in the squad, but they approached it with no fear and they ended this match with the nation’s respect. They can take the confidence gained from this performance and go back into the league campaign as a better team. West Ham may have been bad, but the performance of Shrewsbury had a major impact on that. Their midfielders dominated the central areas and their defence coped with two international forwards with relative comfort. The player to catch the eye for the home side was Ben Godfrey. The midfielder is currently on loan from Norwich City and he got the better of Pedro Obiang and Cheikhou Kouyate in the middle of the park. Shrewsbury have been willing to give chances to young players and it would be a great story if they were to make one more step up the ladder to reach the Championship. Based on this performance, it would take a brave man to bet against them. Declan Rice impressed again There were few positives for West Ham as they escaped Shropshire still in the FA Cup, but the performance of Declan Rice was one of them. The teenager has had a surprising rise over the course of this season and he is now performing like an established Premier League player. He was the team’s best player against Tottenham during the week and he backed that up with another good display against lower league opposition. It would have been easy for a young player to buy into his own hype and fallen short on Sunday, but he approached the game in the same manner. His attitude is to be commended and he is establishing himself as an important first team player for the Hammers. During the match, he showed a willingness to battle with the Shrewsbury players and dug in deep. Rice won five aerial duels, completed two tackles and made a further six interceptions. It was an excellent performance from a teenager and it was needed as the home side were putting West Ham’s defence under pressure. Continue Reading West Ham United Would this be the ideal January window for West Ham United? Published 2 weeks ago on January 7, 2018 By Jake Jackman Photo: Reuters West Ham United had a big spending summer and they struggled to click under Slaven Bilic, which led to the sacking of the Croatian. David Moyes was then a shock appointment by David Sullivan and David Gold. Supporters were underwhelmed by his arrival, but the team have now won three of their last seven Premier League matches, in addition to gaining credible draws against Arsenal and Tottenham. The former Everton and Manchester United manager has got the side well organised, which was lacking under the previous regime and they start the month of January on an upwards trajectory. There will be expectation from the supporters that the club will make signings as they owners have always been willing to back their managers throughout the years. Moyes will want to bring in some of his own players and build the squad in his image. The main problem for the new manager is that the club spent a lot of money in the summer. Transfermarkt value their summer business at roughly £40 million, but the free signing of Pablo Zabaleta and loan signing of Joe Hart wouldn’t have come cheap. The main aim for West Ham this window has to be to keep hold of Manuel Lanzini. Last January, they suffered the loss of their key man at the time Dimitri Payet and it would be devastating for them to meet a similar fate this year. The growing expectation that Philippe Coutinho is going to leave Liverpool could have an effect on the future of the Hammers’ midfielder as the Reds have been linked in the past. West Ham haven’t lost any of the last six matches that Lanzini has played in and he has contributed four assists during that period. He has become the creative hub of the side and it would be devastating to lose him during this window. Although a move away may seem unlikely now, things move quickly in the transfer window and as a proven quantity in the Premier League, the Argentine will appeal to clubs looking for a quick fix. It would be unwise for Liverpool to look to replace Coutinho in this window if they do sell him, due to the increased prices. However, as a stop gap replacement, Lanzini would be a good choice and the Hammers need to make sure he doesn’t emerge on any other club’s radar. At the age of 24, he is one of the younger players in the current first team and David Moyes should be looking to build the team around him. In their new stadium, West Ham want to become a regular European side and their Argentine midfielder needs to play a big part in that journey. There have also been rumours linking two other players away from the London Stadium. Andy Carroll has emerged as a surprise target for Chelsea, according to reports. This is another one that seems crazy on the surface, but could make a lot of sense given the previous intentions of Antonio Conte. He wanted to sign Fernando Llorente as back-up to Alvaro Morata and the Hammers’ striker fits a similar profile. Given his injury problems, this is a sale that could appeal to the club, but he should only be sold if there is an interest in signing a replacement. If not, it would be idiotic to sanction his departure. The other player being linked with a permanent move is Reece Oxford, who has recently returned to the club from a loan spell with Borussia Monchengladbach. It is believed that RB Leipzig want to sign the talented teenager on a permanent basis. The move may appeal to the player as the German club are known for developing young talent and giving chances to them. However, he has been one of the brightest talents to come through at West Ham in recent years. They should do all they can to keep him at the club, even if that means first team assurances. In fact, it would be beneficial for the club to offer them to Oxford as their biggest problems lie in defence. Too many of their defenders are too slow and that does leave them vulnerable to quick attackers. Pablo Zabaleta, Aaron Cresswell, James Collins, Winston Reid and Jose Fonte are all weak in this area. There are others in the squad with more mobility, but it is clear that they need better options at the back. Their homegrown defender could be a good solution to that. If they choose to sell him, a defender should jump to the top of their wish list. The other big weakness of the squad is the lack of creative central midfielders. As mentioned earlier, Lanzini is their best player in this department, but he players further forward. They often use a combination of Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang and Mark Noble. All have their uses, but none of them have a lot of creativity. Jonjo Shelvey has been written about as a target, but it would take a big fee to convince Newcastle United to sell. If Moyes could motivate him like he has with Marko Arnautovic, it would be a great signing. However, that is a huge ask. The next month is going to be eye-opening for West Ham supporters as it will show a lot about the club’s intentions. David Moyes was seen as a stop-gap by many. If that is the case, he is unlikely to be given big money to spend on players that he wants. It could be a quiet window for the club with one eye on the summer. Although they are in a relegation fight, they have enough talent in their squad to survive comfortably. There isn’t as big a need for new players as there is for other clubs in the bottom half. A couple of additions would boost morale, but they aren’t desperate for them. Continue Reading Match Reaction Tottenham 1–1 West Ham: Three talking points from Wembley Stadium Published 2 weeks ago on January 5, 2018 By William Pearson Heung-min Son’s thunderous late drive cancelled out Pedro Obiang’s equally sensational effort for West Ham to salvage a point for Tottenham on a frustrating night for the hosts at Wembley Stadium. Heading into the match on the back of three consecutive Premier League wins, Mauricio Pochettino’s side started expectedly strong against a West Ham outfit depleted by injuries. Harry Kane saw an effort ruled out for offside before having a drive pushed away by Adrian whilst Christian Eriksen’s powerful drive was tipped over by the Spaniard to keep things level at half-time. And it was the hosts who came out strongest after the break too, with Kane having a strong penalty appeal waved away by referee Mike Dean after appearing to be hauled down by a clumsy Pablo Zabaleta at the back post, before the England man was denied by last-ditch defending seconds later. It seemed that Tottenham’s wastefulness in front of goal would come back to haunt them when Pedro Obiang struck a blistering 30-yard drive into the roof of the net to give West Ham the lead. But Heung-Min Son replied in equally eye-catching style with seven minutes to go, rocketing a 25-yard strike past a helpless Adrian to salvage a point for the hosts in a game they should have won. A frustrating derby draw sees Spurs miss out on the chance to close the gap to fourth-placed Liverpool to just one point, now three adrift, whilst West Ham move two away from relegation. Two wonder goals light up Wembley Stadium For 70 minutes on Thursday night it was something of a turgid affair. The attack vs defence nature of the game was clear for all to see, with West Ham more than happy sitting deep and holding out for a draw, and it was little more than a training exercise for Tottenham. Aside from a few Adrian saves there was little to get excited about as the hosts tried to find a way to unlock the visitors’ defence, but as time ticked on it began to seem more and more likely that the Hammers would frustrate Mauricio Pochettino’s men. That was, until Pedro Obiang turned the game on its head with a moment of utter individual brilliance. With his side’s first shot on goal all match – in the 70th minute – he thumped a piledriver from 30-yards into the roof of the net and past Hugo Lloris, giving West Ham supporters hope of a shock win. Yet Tottenham continued to knock at the door and they replied with an equally stunning effort courtesy of the in-form Heung-min Son, who rifled home a 25-yard strike to restore some parity. There may have been a lot of Premier League football played over the past fortnight but it seemed that the best was saved until last, and Wembley played host to two of the best goals of the season. Moyes’ top-six blueprint works once again Despite winning on just one of their previous 15 Premier League visits to Tottenham, David Moyes’ side would have gone into Thursday’s London derby in good spirits and believing that they could cause another upset after coming from behind to beat Spurs in the Carabao Cup earlier this season. On that occasion they came from 2-0 down at half-time to complete a remarkable 3-2 turnaround in what proved to be Slaven Bilic’s final victory as manager, but any hope of a similar result a few months down the line seemed unlikely prior to kick-off considering the Hammers’ lengthy injury list. Both Aaron Cresswell and Marko Arnautovic were left out of the matchday squad after picking up injuries during the 2-1 win over West Brom whilst two-goal hero Andy Carroll also missed out again. These fresh injuries meant that West Ham’s bench was down to the bare minimum, with their substitutes against Spurs including 18-year-old Domingos Quina, fellow youngsters Moses Makasi and Sead Haksabanovic and the far from fully fit Carroll. But despite having a stretched squad at his disposal it was yet another inspired and magnificent defensive effort from David Moyes’ side, reminiscent of recent games against Chelsea and Arsenal. They were tight and compact and offered the hosts little in the way of glaring opportunities, being more than happy to allow them the ball on the edge of the area and limit them to long-range shots. The Hammers’ application was summed up perfectly in the dying seconds when Victor Wanyama, Dele Alli and Son all had shots blocked by some desperate, last-ditch defending, and although people will complain about their negative tactics away from home they deserve credit for executing them. Since Moyes has come in he’s seen his side beat Chelsea, take a point off of Arsenal, push Manchester City to the very end and now earn a point against Spurs, all with similarly defensive displays, and if they can translate these performances into games against bottom-half sides then there’s enough to suggest they’ll be fine when May comes around. Spurs momentum stalls with derby draw After a limping start to the 2017/18 season earnt talks of a ‘Wembley Hoodoo’, it seemed that Tottenham had been starting to build up some momentum in their pursuit of their top four rivals. Over the hectic festive period Mauricio Pochettino’s side had won three Premier League matches out of three, including an impressively convincing win away at Burnley, and there wouldn’t have been many predicting anything other than a routine win on Thursday against struggling West Ham. Yet, for all of their domination of possession and for all of their shots on goal, Tottenham were brought back down to earth in disappointing fashion as they missed the chance to close the gap on Liverpool to a single point. In all truth it could have been a lot worse for Pochettino’s side had Heung-min Son’s brilliant strike not nestled into the net in the 83rd minute but it will be two points dropped rather than one gained. The hosts were in control from the first whistle, almost exclusively playing their football inside the Hammers’ territory, and the fact that the home side had 31 shots to West Ham’s 3 and made 42 touches in the penalty area compared to just 4 tells its own story of how dominant Tottenham were. Yet statistics count for nothing if you can’t translate territory into goals and Pochettino will be left ruing his side’s wastefulness ahead of a tough run of games at the end of the month, with Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and a European trip to Juventus approaching on the horizon. It’s this run of back-to-back matches that will be a true test of their top-four credentials, and Pochettino will know that his side can’t afford to be as wasteful in front of goal against better sides. 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