Slaven Bilic could be facing the biggest test of his season so far at the weekend and not necessarily from the opposition but from himself.
The Hammers boss look likely to have an entirely fit squad for the trip to Burnley which will give him the opportunity to field his strongest team so far.
This will test him like never before as he bids firstly to name his strongest team and secondly to keep his top names happy by giving them game time – and playing them in the correct position!
He recently told the London Evening Standard: “My job is not to make them happy. I mean it is a bonus if they are all happy, but it is impossible to have all the players happy. I have to make a fine balance between being solid and being dangerous when we have the ball.
With Pedro Obiang expected to be fit, Bilic has to choose whether Mark Noble gets the nod ahead of him or Cheik Kouyate whilst he also has something of a dilemma on the left side where Arthur Masuaku has been outstanding on his recent appearances.
And a question still remains as to when the manager will be prepared to give young Declan Rice a recall to the starting line-up after hauling him off following a mistake against Newcastle in August.
Then comes the perennial Andy Carroll situation and whether he should be made to give way for Chicharito through the middle or Diafra Sakho who is back in goal scoring form.
Here’s the line-up ClaretandHugh would like to see the manager play at Turf Moor: Hart; Zabaleta, Reid, Rice, Masuaku; Obiang, Kouyate; Antonio, Arnautovic, Lanzini; Chicharito.
That would effectively see us playing four at the back with Obiang and Kouyate sitting behind Antonio and Arnie with Lanzini at the top of the three behind Chicharito in a fluid 4-2-3-1.
Subs: Adrian, Cresswell, Fonte, Byram, Noble, Carroll, Sakho
I bet he still picks Nobel and Carroll
I think Bilic now realises that his job is on the line so no one expects either to start. I really like the team above but I would also love to see Sakho in the team. If he does not start then he has to come on from the bench of Carroll who at this stage is behind both Chico and Sakho. Owners offer Sakho a new contract now and a big signing on fee because he is that good.
Sakho up top with the pea in a 3 5 2 ! Pea up top alone ? He’s a poacher and needs a buddy and sakho is ideal . play noble, carol, and ayew as he has been and it will prove IMO he hasn’t got a clue !! Don’t hold you’re breath ? 😉
So who are you dropping,, Kouyate or Lanzini? Do you think we can defend without two holding midfielders?
I don’t think we can defend at all !! Lack of pace and quality have raised its head numerous times so IMO the way To go at the moment is go for it , recent performances against very poor sides shows our lack of quality and balance,you could add game plan to that as well ? so with a full squad to choose from it still leaves question marks as to who is the best 11 , its not the best 11 on paper that makes a good side but more in the balancing of it ?? I would go for it at Burnley with the option to close it down if needed and change things! I would start with. Adrian, zaba , Reid,rice, Antonio, chiek, obiang, Arnie, lanzini, sakho , pea, 😉
I am like you sweetfa sure he will pick them and Cresswell, Sakho scores again and is dropped and Poppadom starts. I hope he shows some balls and plays Masuaku, Sakho And Obiang if Hernandez is dropped I could handle that provided Sakho starts the match. In honesty if you are ever going to make 442 work it’s againat Burnley. We have a good record against them but with Chris Wood in the team they have a bit more goal threat than previously so will wait and see what happens, hopefully we can start performing COYI !!!
Sakho masauaku obiang should start if they don’t then they must think wtf have we got to do get a start.. Apart from obiang that is ….people will say that he has got no excuses with a full squad but in my opinion he has had his chance already.. …but in will support..
Its good to see everyone agreeing on here for a change. We all have roughly the same team in our heads with the odd player difference but its the team in Slav’s head that matters.
You/we have all put forward a good case for our choices, the proof of the right choice will be after the whistle has gone on 90 minutes and if we have won or not?
Thanks for the article Hugh!
However, the 4-2-3-1 formation has been a huge failure at West Ham in recent times!
We need at least 2 strikers up front, and IMO, that should be Chicharito and Sakho in either a 3-5-2, a 4-4-2, or even a 3-4-3.
In addition, I’d start Masuaku on the left-wing rather than Arnie,who could be used later on in the game.
Otherwise, good player selection!