Here’s how Kouyate is replaced at Old Trafford

LEROY (1)Only one question matter at West Ham United this week – how does Sam Allardyce replace Cheikhou Kouyate at Old Trafford and beyond?

There has no better player in the  team this season and he justifiably collected the Player of the Month award from a London newspaper.

It’s a hard one but the manager has options and I’ve tried very hard to put myself in his position and come up with an answer to perhaps the worst dilemma he could have faced at this stage of the season.

He can’t change the system – what started at Hull so wel,l and became a massive success against Liverpool, must be continued.

So the diamond formation has to stay and although Stewart Downing did a brilliant job at its tip on Saturday where the main intention was to keep Steven Gerrard quiet, that will need to be reshuffled.

So Stewart would be best moving to the left side where he was outstanding against Hull with Mark Noble on the right and Alex Song at its bottom.

That leads me to believe that Mauro Zarate is the man to go in at the top of the diamond where he can be very effective given a chance.

Of course it’s not ideal and we know the best team will always include Cheik but I think this can work with Morgan Amalfitano on the bench ready to come on should something need tweaking.

What we can’t do is to sink into a defensive or even different formation given the way things have gone so far.

Zarate tired against Hull but was outstanding against Palace so he’ll be hoping, and so will I, that his moment to show himself at his very best will come at Old Trafford.


About Hugh5outhon1895

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

3 comments on “Here’s how Kouyate is replaced at Old Trafford

  1. Kouyate will be a huge loss but I don’t agree that bringing in zarate for old Trafford would be the answer.
    Imo it would be better to go with poyet for that little bit of defensive cover while not disrupting our attacking system.
    No disrespect to Liverpool but even with their troubles, Man U away will be a far sterner test than Liverpool at home and that extra bit of bite and protection in midfield would be welcomed.
    That is not to say we can’t bring zarate on later in the game when we are winning 2-0! COYI!

  2. I agree Phil. I would like to see Poyet start, but would move him next to Noble, place Song at the back and keep Downing at the top of the diamond. I’m not sure Poyet in front of the back four is sensible, given his big-game inexperience, and on the left or right of the diamond, he can be protected by Downing, Song and Noble. Poyet also likes to get forward – there were glimpses of this against Sheffield United.

    Another alternative would be to play Collins and Reid at the back with Tomkins at the bottom of the diamond. We’ve played with him there before and he did well… It might be what we need against a decent Man Utd attack, whilst leaving our own attacking shape in place to exploit their defensive weakness.

  3. With all due respect, I’d give Poyet a run from the start too. This is going tough game but the way we are playing we are not beyond getting something from it.

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