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Clock ticking for Iron without a position



Gonzo talking


Picking a West Ham team for each upcoming game is a pastime familiar to all Hammers fans.

Some of the selections such as Rice, Antonio, Bowen and Cresswell require little or no pondering but other positions often need more consideration. I seem to swing between Coufal and Johnson at right back but they’re both fine players and there’s not much between them.

However the left of midfield doesn’t enjoy the same strength in depth and it’s often the case that I find myself looking at who’s the ‘least worst’ option rather than the best.

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Fornals will often get shoe-horned into a left wing role but it’s clear to everyone than he lacks the qualities to play that particular position. Nikola Vlašić was purchased at huge expense but has struggled to make a real impact at West Ham during the first half of the season.

So it would seem that there is a clear route and a guaranteed first team place available to Said Benrahma if he grasps the opportunity.  In many respects it’s a perfect storm for the Algerian magician. He’s fit and unaffected following a spectator role at the ACON and manager Moyes was unable to force through a deadline day deal for Jesse Lingard.

The planets have aligned for Benni but watching him huff, puff and toil against the Kidderminster and Watford defences it’s apparent that he’s not a left winger. I don’t doubt that he is the most skillful player in training each day but the requisite repertoire for a winger is pace and crossing . . . . he falls short on both counts.

Benrahama is a player without a position at West Ham. In many respects I think he’s the wrong player at the wrong time, under the wrong manager. His skills are not in doubt as can be seen when he is in the box but those occasions are too infrequent. Stuck on the left of midfield he just doesn’t have the necessary attributes to impact the game.

We purchased him for a few million more than Jarrod Bowen because they were both outstanding players in the division below. Whereas one player has continued to improve and who’s value has increased the other seems to be merely existing. He needs to be played in a free role very close to the striker but that just ain’t happening under Moysie.

I think he needs to try and have a strong finish to the season and find a way to function in a wide position. The platform is there for him and there’s very little competition but next season he may well find his route to the first team is blocked.

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About Gonzo

ST holder, West Ham video blogger, www.hammerschat.com @Gonzobignose

3 comments on “Clock ticking for Iron without a position

  1. I hate to suggest to you that there is no comparison between Coufal and Johnson the gulf is immense. I believe Ashby is our no 2 to Coufal. I think fornals and Bowen are certain starters and I wud stick with Benrahma ahead of Lanzini and Vlasic. I believe Vlasic is more of a 10 than a eude player but Moyes sees him as a wide player.

  2. Couple has been poor this season,half the player he was last year but that happens often in a players 2nd season in the PL.
    We played our best football when Johnson was right back hardly conceding.
    He’s stepped up.
    Ashby could be better than both,great at set pieces.
    Benrahama had a great spell before Christmas,mainly playing on the left. Need to find that form again.

  3. I see Benrahma as improved but needing to get his head up for a final pass from 25 yards not a selfish blast over the bar. He is too desperate for personal glory when team glory is great. Vlasic is not a wide player IMO. Inside forward in old terms. Reserve full backs should be Ashby r/b and Johnson l/b and Alese should be reserve c/b. That’s my options for now.

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