'I've had my concerns about it': Moyes admits his worry over key West Ham player
David Moyes has voiced his concern over the form of Michail Antonio, he told The Independent.
The comments have come in response to Antonio’s international commitments with Jamaica, with the striker frequently travelling abroad for games.
Antonio originally had ambitions of representing England at international level and was included in squads under both Sam Allardyce and Gareth Southgate. However, he failed to pick up a single cap.
In August 2021 he obtained a Jamaican passport. Soon after he was included in a 35-man squad for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. He has made six appearances since, scoring three goals.
Speaking to The Independent Moyes said: “He has been away a couple of times and I’ve had concerns about it because it’s new to him. It’s not something he’s been doing since he was 21 or 22.’
‘Obviously, if you go to Jamaica and Costa Rica it’s long journeys. But I’ll never stop anybody who wants to play for their chosen country.’
‘As an international player, he has always got a chance of going away. The only game we have missed without him was this one [Kidderminster].
‘When we left [Training] on Friday ‘Mic’ hadn’t turned up yet, he got back late. He trained on Saturday and we need to get him back in there.”
Moyes has reason to be concerned, as do the West Ham fans. His performances and goal contributions have taken a hit since his Jamaica debut.
Prior to his first goal for the Reggae Boyz in November 2021 Antonio was in fine form for the Hammers. He scored six goals in his first ten league games of the season as he became West Ham’s all-time Premier League top goalscorer.
The stats for the games since don’t read quite as well, with Antonio only scoring twice in the following 12 games.
With the transfer window now closed until the summer, Antonio will remain the club’s only recognised striker for the remainder of the season.
Moyes will be desperate to see an improvement in form. Games are coming thick and fast for the Hammers, who have 10 games in the next 41 days, including the round of sixteen in the Europa League.