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Antonio experiment may end tonight


BurkeSlaven Bilic may be on the brink of ditching the Michail Antonio right back experiement by calling up Reece Burke to fill the role.

That’s the shout from the training ground and it could happen this evening with Sam Byram switching to the left side of the back four.

But although Michael disappered down the Stamford Bridge tunnel in what appeared to be a strop on Monday night the view is that he was deeply diappointed with his own error which led to a Chelsea penalty rather than anything else.

And although he and the manager had no contact in that moment ClaretandHugh has been told that there is no problem between the two and that it was all about the passion and emotion of the moment.

Antonio has travelled to Romania for tonight’s Europa Cup game and with Feghouli injured with a hamstring injury the Hammers terrace hero is being tipped to take up  up his natural role wide on the right with Reece in behind.

LIkely team: Randolph, Burke, Reid, Collins Byram; Obiang, Kouyate, Antonio, Noble, Valencia, Carroll.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • johnham1 says:

    Great to hear this and I hope it is true. As regards team above I would hope this is not the team. Firstly Byran needs to play RB, bring Ogbanna in at LB. Secondly Oxford needs to be rewarded for his last Europa league performance by starting alongside Reid or Collins. Thirdly I would not play 3 defensive midfielders again, it should be Nordsvelt or Obiang with Kouyate imo. Then assuming Feghouli is injured it would be Antonio, Calleri, Tore and Enner up top. Can we please put Carroll away for a while unless we are going two up top.

  • johnham1 says:

    Or Enner out right with Calleri up top but ffs please put some pace into our attack when we play this system. Leave Carroll out and lets see do we play better and if we play better do we get better results. If we are struggling go two up top for the last 20 mins to find an equaliser and that is where Carroll adds value (in a system with two up top).

  • maxten64 says:

    I really hope this is true and finally SB is listening. Love Billic but on MA as a RB he has been wrong.

    • Fish N Chips says:

      Is that a quote then “on MA as a RB he has been wrong.”?…. = “Slav has been wrong” – There it is said…and it wasn’t me this time! It is what countless others are implying by their support of Antonio in this. Why doesn’t Slav explain?

  • noaksey1 says:

    Finally the message gets through,now maybe we can look forward to some exciting forward play.Strange though how some reporters put 2 and 2 together and get 5.I don’t believe there was ever a problem with MA and SB.It’s very obvious how MA feels about playing for WH and he was devastated to give away the penalty and then to get subbed just after,you could tell by his face how upset he was.

    • Fish N Chips says:

      No problem between Slav and Antonio? Antonio, being the gent gently implied he did not like playing out of position, but has always done what was asked of him. So why didn’t Slav look for a RB in the summer window? Social media has erupted over this issue and I haven’t seen 1 comment in favour of Slav’s daft Antonio at RBv idea; they all support Antonio. One comment said “Justice for Antonio”. Why hasn’t Slav explained his thinking at the very least? It took WHU losing for his idiotic (these are all words used by others on Social media) idea to make fans erupt. Why didn’t Slav see this coming? So, I reckon you have highly rose-tinted glasses on N1.
      I think Slav has abused Antonio’s better nature. He’s not bought a right back, effectively saying Antonio’s ONLY future is at RB, and to make sure,Slav has filled the squad with wingers to crowd Antonio out. Just how is that going to work for Antonio in the long term? It can’t have done Byram’s condidence much good either, when personally, I think Byram has done superbly. There is clearly much more going on than meets the eye, and none of it makes Slav come out in a good light. But I am the only one who dares to say such. This article is a superb effort at massaging the facts, giving Slav a get-out etc etc. It doesn’t fool me. We have already dropped unnecessary points at Chelsea, now Slav will play a strong team in Rumania, so the 1st teamers are jaded for Bournemouth on Sun…I’d like to be proved wrong, but…
      And even playing Antonio on the wing now, won’t mask the dreadful decision making of Slav…He needs to explain himself. If not, then there will be another destructive ‘idea’ along the line….I was a massive Bilic fan, but not now….

      • Fish N Chips says:

        I don’t want Bilic to go; I want him to explain. If then he doesn’t give a goood explanation and apologise for getting it wrong, then sadly, yes, I want him out. There I’ve said what probably will happen if Slav doesn’t buck his ideas up and learn to apologise.
        You can all have a go at me now, but if things don’t change (to Antonio playing regularly on R wing), Antonio WILL leave one way or another. Bet you all would love to see him doing what he does for some other team, and if that sort of suspect thinking persists, it won’t work well for the team’s prospects either.
        I hope I am wrong, but it is not rocket science. Slav, not Antonio, cost us 3 points at Chelsea, yes? Answers to THAT!

        • JagerChugger says:

          Bit over the top though isn’t it Fish? Why do you need an explanation from him? Managers try things, they either work or they fail. He’s tried to make it work as he thought he could see the benefit in it as when Antonio covered the RB slot last season, in SOME games it meant he had an extra attacking threat.

          Now, don’t get me wrong I don’t agree that Antonio should be turned in to a RB. Fill in every now and then is fine but not a day in day out RB as he just doesn’t know how to defend well enough for the Premier League. His positioning is bad, even his distribution is poor and tried far too often to play out from back when he should’ve put his laces through the ball.

      • johnboy says:

        You don’t agree then fishes ??
        Maybe we should stone him to death !!!
        Its like reading a social report on Dr bernardos in Stepney ?? Lol.
        I rant , but most of mine are tongue in cheek but your’s are like the Spanish inquisition!
        Lol. Haha

        • Fish N Chips says:

          Classic JB non-answer. Having a laugh is great, and my comments certainly lack humour, but somewhere in the humour there needs a sensible arguement too…

  • essexclarets says:

    Antonio keeps forgetting he is meant to be playing rb, he goes on an charge down the wing & when he loses the ball he/we are buggered with a FOff big gap where he should be. I’m no PL manager (leave that to another site) but even i can see he is wasted playing there & it’s playing russian roulette every game. On the field we are not a lucky team, too many goals have come from the right side as even crap teams can skin Antonio. Let him play where he is good and score some goals COYI

  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    Hope so also hope Callieri starts and Tore plays on the left, Oxford should also be playing.

    • Boleyn Boy says:

      I’ve got to say I hope Tore is better than he looked the other night, he was way off PL pace against Chelsea

      • Fish N Chips says:

        ….BUT Tore must be better prospect than Antonio, or Slav would have kept Antonio as a winger and bought a RB instead of Tore, yes? No! So why has Slav persisted with 2 also-rans (Tore + Valencia) over Mr Dynamite, Antonio? Why indeed! Slav is keeping stum…why’s that?

  • johnboy says:

    Experiments ? Burke ? All we need now is to sign a player called hare ? Lol.
    Oxford needs a runout tonight as does ogbonna with byrum on the right , can’t understand playing players out of position when you don’t need to ? Nuts .
    The team above will probably be completely different ! So let’s wait and see ,
    Can’t see tonight being a problem ! If we don’t win comfortably then not to optimistic v the cherries ? We need a settled side so the injury’s in a not nice way has probably done us a small favour in the bard situation ! Let’s hope so !!
    Antonio to score a couple ! He will be inspired having his spot back with something to prove.

    Don’t agree with the sub bit though Hugh ?

    • Fish N Chips says:

      Are you describing Slav’s idsseas as “Nuts”?….Looks like that to me.

      • johnboy says:

        Ffs fishes go buy some batteries ??
        Chomping this morning aren’t we ??? ( devil emoji ) gnash gnash !!!!

        • Fish N Chips says:

          Answering a question with insults means you can’t answer. Indicates you can’t answer. Not impressive, JB…

          • johnboy says:

            Haha I’m not insulting you fishes , I’m just treating you to some of my humour , and taking the piece !,
            No offence , but I can change if you want !!! Lol.

          • Fish N Chips says:

            You wouldn’t be you if you changed…and if changed, I wouldn’t be the humourless tw@t my girlfirend rightly calls me – yes, I know…I have a girlfriend…weird but true…I think by definition there must be something wrong with her!….Perhaps she and Slav should team up go on a deluded thinking conference….

    • Fish N Chips says:

      Why would Slav play Antonio at RB, when Antonio has ONLY played RB since the before the end of last season? If he DOES play Antonio at R wing, would that have been his idea or the idea of others? Or would it is just be temporary? After all the high hopes of last season, the horrible self-destruct cracks are appearing. I thought we had really got rid of that. Brilliant manager, board and team…but not thinking that now….

      • NESTACRES says:

        I presume Slav saw Anthony Valencia /Ashly Young add an extra dimension (apparently) to United by playing wingers as full backs but unfortunately Antonio is not as good a defender. It worked v Spurs but I can understand why Bilic thinks it should work, but it had been proved time and again it doesn’t.

      • johnboy says:

        You thought about ousting Corby at the labour elections , the smith Muppet would love you going for his jugular , right wing , and all that. Lol.

        • johnboy says:

          That’s for fishes nesty ! Reply button does that sometimes , probably down to fishes overloading it ! Lol.

    • Fish N Chips says:

      PS – “Antonio to score a couple”…Glad you have great faith in him. Shame the manager doesn’t, by emasculating him at RB.

  • RickHammer says:

    Christ is it possible for someone to write a comment without you questioning it FNC.You really do like the sound of your own voice don’t you.This place ain’t A Question & Answer session with FishnChips.

  • bubs says:

    Byram needs to play RB and make the place his own,
    If you want a right footed left back put Burke there,
    But we have a natural LB Page and Reid played there a lot when he first joined the club and at least out on the wing he will not be giving away a pen or a free kick right in front of goal
    Please can someone explain to me why there are still fans posting on this site that want Valencia on the pitch,
    All I do is keep swearing at the TV every time he gets the ball and looses it or passes it to there players ?
    Tore is surposed to be a great left winger and Antonio we know is and we have waited for Calleri to arrive plus Carroll and Fletcher would be better as a CF,
    I would even play Samulsun before him because he deserves a chance and can at least go pass players and create chances,
    Valencia needs to run up and down the touch line with a for sale board on his back

  • DGHammer34 says:

    Fish is spot on why the hell did we buy 2 right wingers when we have Antonio.
    Valencia has been crap so far this season

  • jj61 says:

    Well,well…one defeat and some already want to get rid off Slav…i’ll just want to say: be careful what you wish..

    • Fish N Chips says:

      It’s not what I want, jj – no way – but it is what will happen…cause + effect, unless Bilic bucks his ideas up. To say it won’t is to ignore the massive reaction to Bilic’s folly….

  • bubs says:

    No one in there right mind wants to get rid of Slav we just want him to see our point over Antonio,
    It’s not just the RB situation it’s the lack of fire power up top and having a player that will run at defenders but beat them and create goal chances,
    Something Valencia is not capable of at the moment,
    Tore,Feggolui,Ayew and Samulsun can all do this as well as Antonio,
    Payet and Lanzini plus Sak also run down these avenues but sorry not Valencia we are flogging a dead horse with this one and every game he looses more confidence and his value goes down,

    • jj61 says:

      The lack of firepower is problem,i admit…but Slav is wrong adress to’s Sullivan playing field..and he played bad this window..

  • Sams P45 says:

    Haha,this place is turning into a loonie bin 😀

  • darkhorse99 says:

    Carroll hasn’t got the speed to play a lone striker like Vardy so unless he gets plenty of crosses it’s pointless playing him. I do hope the experiment of playing Antonio in the right back position ends and he can push forward to feed Carroll. We do miss Cresswell on the left . He links well with Payet. Once again we need crosses into the box to serve Carroll. I agree with earlier posts that Valencia is a spent force and needs to be dropped.

  • GW says:

    So after all the barrings of the Rabid Dogs for not staying on thread, taking the **** out of our dear friends on WHTID and stepping over the line occasionally C+H is now the Fish and Chip forum where you drop in some fun comments about ISYS? Not exactly the progress you wanted Hugh eh?

    • RickHammer says:

      Yeah it all worked out terrifically well GW lol

      • GW says:

        Yeah it’s improved ten fold Rick ain’t it? Cake recipe **** takes, posts about Matte’s annual figa hunts and a general laugh and a joke and mutual hating of the Slug replaced by a one man forum who loves the sound of his own voice and some so called humour about a terrorist network who maims innocent people? And we were called the Rabid Dogs FFS

    • Fish N Chips says:

      Bitter aren’t you, GW?

      • GW says:

        No just fed up with opinionated *****s like yourself who crave a bit of attention Fishy.

        • Fish N Chips says:

          Are you saying that this is not a forum for people with opinions, mighty bitter lemon?…Anyone who makes comments would like them responded to, if nothing else by reading them, otherwise they wouldn’t do it = attention.
          I have plenty of people agree with me (albeit often reluctantly so), but even if they didn’t I am entitled like any other to make a comment.
          BUT I agree I am a humourless tw@t; perhaps I get it from you! Did you have a go at Johnboy for introducing the ‘joke’ about ISIS (which I agree, isn’t exactly funny)? Thought not. So who is the hypocrit now?
          And I’m definitely OTT. Here’s a suggestion; just don’t read my comments, yeah?

          • GW says:

            Sorry Fishy I know the school holidays are a difficult time and you can get a bit bored as most of your mates will be probably away you crack on with the comments and the responses you crave and I’ll promise not to read them!

  • slaven a laugh says:

    What we need is a goal scoring wingback. Someone with pace who can get up and down and bomb on ahead of the winger and get crosses in and score goals even. Where we going to find someone like that? I know. What about Antonio?

  • Stan The Man says:

    Nestacres made a good point about Valencia/Young,i can see the reasoning behind trying to get Antonio to do similar unfortunately he has proved he can’t do.Nice idea now back to the drawing board.

  • Prof says:

    Antonio is a very different type of player to the wingers Slav has brought in. He is raw, fast and unpredictable – the new guys are recognised skilful technicians. It’s good to have this variety, but I agree that when Antonio plays it should be as an attacker.
    I was amused to read elsewhere about the new Valencia drinking game: you have to chug one down every time Valencia has a poor first touch. Apparently no one has ever managed to last till the end of the first half!
    Bubs is spot on, Valancia must move on – I do not understand the amount of playing time he has had recently.
    We should play Calleri and Antonio in attack tonight, plus the young lads. Pack the bench with experience if needed.

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