For God’s sake Slav play Chicharito as a striker!


HernandezBW726Slaven Bilic has today explained his thinking in playing Chicharito out of position.

Let’s be quite clear the Mexican scored all his goals for various clubs in the central striking role  – end of .

Bilic however has an explanation claiming that he is not playing “wide wide” but off the striker which may explain things in his mind but not, I imagine, in many others.

Just for the record Chicharito scored 37 goals in 103 games for Manchester United and 28 in 54 for Bayer Leverkusen. Maybe his managers at those clubs got it all wrong !!!!

Let’s make this simple. For two summers we have been looking for a 20 a season man and in landing the Mexican we heard many say it was the signing of the summer.

Yet the minute Andy Carroll is fit he is seen as the number one striker and we revert to a Sam Allardyce type set up which simply isn’t good enough.

Slav – for whatever reason – refuses to play the two as a pair which looks the most obvious thing to do in the world. Hernandez is made for Carroll’s flick ons and knock downs.

It’s the worst piece of thinking since we were told that Michail Antonio was a right back and this pattern of thinking is becoming quite alarming.



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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


  • Gary says:

    I saw Big Sam say it was a good set up after the Huddersfield match with the three attackers as they were with Little pea cutting in from the left..what does he know compared to the armchair managers though.
    Perhaps i prefer a headline that reads..

    For God Sake Let The Manager Manage Thanks Armchairs!!!

  • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

    Spot on basil armchair manager 👏 here’s another that says the same !! 😉

  • sleepswithdafishes says:

    Perhaps Ferguson got it right playing him mostly off the bench. When did he ever play him as one of a pair.
    It was always going to be difficult to build a team round him, because a target man is still such an important part of the game ( possibly now more important ). The problem comes with playing 2 up front ( 4-4-2 ), where the extra stiker takes one away from a balanced team; usually from central midfield.
    The modern game finds it necessary to have 2 holding players, to offset the number and quality of creative attacking players in all teams these days. To take one of them away is weakening the resilience of the team. Some say play Lanzini as a holding player for instance but again that weakens the team resilience.
    At the moment we are getting points and clean sheets with 3-4-3. We need to keep that going to build confidence, and remind our players what it means to be resilient and mean minded to the opposition.
    There’s room for an adjustment to the roles of Antonio and Hernandes behind Carroll, but anything more could derail any more progress.

    • Radai Lama says:

      It hurts but i agree with you Fishy Face 😁😁

    • The Demon says:

      It’s always 11 v 11, so whatever formation you play, if you pack one area it leaves free space elsewhere. The clever tacticians can spot where to press an advantage and exploit the other side’s gaps.

      It helps to have players of equal quality, of course, but playing two strikers should occupy more defenders than a lone striker and a lot of room.

    • raal007 says:

      Ferguson played him plenty as a starter with Rooney as a 10. CH was dropped to the bench when RVP was purchased. Before Van Persie came in, Chicharito was favored even over Berbatov. When handed a starting chance at Madrid he shined. The win over Atletico to get them into Champions League quarterfinals finals comes to mind, but the only time he really played was when Benzema was injured – and he shined. After pushing them to CL quarterfinals, he was benched. They lost the next match and were eliminated. After the elimination Ancelotti publicly admitted he should have played Chicharito more. That simple.

      • Whippet says:

        Thats strange i was reading an interview with Chicharito and he said he was never given a chance at Man.Utd unless Berbatov RVP or others were missing.Same at Madrid.He said the only place he was actually “wanted” was BL.That simple.

        • raal007 says:

          He started with Rooney in the Champions League final vs. Barcelona. He was played with Rooney countless times.

  • Radai Lama says:

    If it continues then fair point but atm maybe it’s just a case of needs must.Lets see.I aint going to try to tell a Prem manager how to do his job.I did enough of that with Hippo Head & he never listened 😂😂

  • Noble Warrior says:

    Shipping goals for fun away from home.Carroll has come back and we have picked up four of six points.We have reverted to three at the back which MOST fans wanted.
    There have been decisions made by Bilic which have strengthened us.Thats what we wanted wasnt it.
    But no lets now get hot under the collar about the forward line.I despair.
    Did Ferguson play him in a two,no he played him as an impact sub ninety percent of the time.

  • jimbo says:

    Spot on. We need three at the back to stop leaking so many goals, and what’s more it plays to the strengths of Fonte, Reid and Ogbanna. If this means square pegs in round holes further up the pitch whilst we move up the table then so be it. I’d rather one-nil wins than four-three defeats for now, the flair can develop when we are sitting comfortably in mid-table. So, for now, let Bilic get on with his job and us ours, which is to keep off his back and to support the team who have just delivered two clean sheets and four points from six.

  • master says:

    So bilic knows more than the coaches of Man United, Bayer Leverkusen & Real Madrid regarding how to deploy hernandez? Do me a favour, he’s continuing to be defensive having lost his balls, rely on the inevitably injured Carroll and playing players out of position to achieve it. We’ve seen it all before countless times.

    • jimbo says:

      Master – What a sort memory you have. We played Chic up top in our first three games and how did they go? Unfortunately we ain’t MU or RM and needs must. He has lost confidence in a flat back four because it let in eleven goals in three games. A back five has conceded none in two. Yes we are set up defensively at the mo because we need to fight our way up the table. So let’s all get off his back and see where we are ten games in.

      • CondorHammer says:

        ‘Yes we are set up defensively at the mo because we need to fight our way up the table’

        100% agree fella.
        Slowly slowly catchy monkey.

  • Noble Warrior says:

    If you say so oh wise one Master.When you are a Premier League manager who has lost his balls let me know.In the meantime you are a fan who thinks he is an expert.Nothing more than that.

    I noticed Koeman who has lost his balls as well soon dispensed of his youngsters and the experience was back now he is under pressure.Premier managers will do what they can when in a sticky situation to grind out results.As if none of us wouldnt do the same in a similiar situation.
    Managers dont have a snowflake in hells chance with some fans who think they could do better or only want to moan.
    By the way the coaches of Manchester and Madrid deployed him as a sub most the time.Do we advocate that??

  • BJNamibia says:

    So much confusion about Chicarito and Hugh is as confused as most.If we play him as a central striker then we have to play on the floor through the middle which we can’t do without Lanzini and Payet or a replacement for Payet who is a ball player. Chicarito is not a target man for crosses and long balls. So in the absence of Lanzini or another ball payer we have to go for Carroll with Chicarito playing off him, which is what Hugh is calling for. I re-watched the first half and tracked Chicarito rather than the ball. He did not “play on the wing” – he played inside and was hanging off Carroll often, but Carroll gave him no service. He also moved around the edge of the box and still got no service from other players. do yourself a favour Hugh and track Chicarito’s movements in the game and where he actually plays.

    • sleepswithdafishes says:

      Yes I agree, he was no out and out winger. They will need time to get the partnership right, and some adjustment could be necessary, but not a wholesale change ( at least not at this time )

    • The Demon says:

      He’s “not a target man for crosses and long balls” – except he did pretty well when Foster cleaned him out and should have been sent off. That would have changed the game in our favour, but sadly it wasn’t to be.

      The bloke can run and knows where the goal is – it’s just about getting the ball into areas from Arnie, Antonio and Lanzini where he uses his sniffing ability to put them away.

  • DutchBubbles says:

    We know AC is gonna get injured in a game or two. Only his history makes it sensible to allways build the team around Hernandez. At this moment we have a squad that can play a 4-4-2 with AC and Hernandez upfront as a couple. It is nice we get some points now, but games are not very enjoyable to watch. We need more football, you cannot play football with both Kouyate and Obiang in the team. Or with three football wise very limited central defenders.

  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    Agree that we should be able to play 442 or at least a variation of that but we don’t defend properly and don’t win the ball back often enough in key areas in the top half of the pitch to exploit opponents, the bottom line is for Chicharito to succceed we must play the ball into spaces that he can run onto / into he has the space and skill to take those chances but we do not provide him the platform to do that at present. I agree also that needs dictate we had to find a way to pick up points so will have to put up with it, I feel though many managers could do more with our squad than Bilic is.

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