Leroy’s verdict on our first game without Payet

LEROY (1)I think Michail Antonio could well get a shout at the action this weekend as we start to look at life without Dimitri Payet.

Even as a former manager I have found it very difficult to work out a suitable formation and tossed up with the idea of two up for a while before having to leave Andy Carroll out.

SakhoThe back four looks after itself with the only question being whether Angelo Ogbonna should be brought back but I think we must stick with Reid and Tomkins in the centre of defence.

Both Mark Noble and Cheik Kouyate could be looking at a  busy afternoon taking care of the threat from Delle Alli with Dembele in behind.

They should both watch out for each other and whoever is available should pick him up whilst making sure they don’t stop their own forward motion as both are important to our attacking impetus.

Much has been made of Manuel Lanzini taking over the Payet role which frankly is hardly rocket science. The bigger question is: “Who takes on his role?”

It’s a tricky one but I think I’d start with Mauro Zarate and should he – as has happened in the past – start to fade, bring on Michail who is a very powerful player. I’ve seen a lot of the lad and  he will bring real strength, pace and a goal threat.

With Victor Moses competing the midfield area we then have our Number One striker Diafra Sakho up front. There’s a temptation to play Carroll with Sak being pushed wider on the right but that’s not for me.

Sakho has done a fabulous job in the central role this season so if it ain’t broke let’s  not try to fix it eh?

Of course there are worries about Payet not being available but I do genuinely believe we have a squad capable of competing and coping with  any team in the league and with this line up I reckon we will come away with a 2-2 draw this weekend.

Adrian, Jenkinson, Reid, Tomkins, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate; Zarate, Lanzini, Moses, Sakho.

With the likes of Antonio, Ogbonna, Carroll and Song on the bench we look great.


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

5 comments on “Leroy’s verdict on our first game without Payet

  1. Yeah, yeah, that is the lineup…COME ON YOU IRONS!!!

  2. Nah. Nearly – but no cigar, Leroy!!! 😀

    … … … … … Adrián
    Jenkinson, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell
    … … … … Song, Noble
    … Kouyaté, Lanzini, Moses
    … … … … … Sakho

    Subs: Randolph, Ogbonna, Joey O’Brien, Antonio, Obiang, Carroll, Zaraté, Jelavic.

  3. I think we can win… Spuds have several players who took part in the international matches over the last weekend, Kane, Alli, Dyer & Lloris all played in that tough Wembley fixture & Erikson had his trousers pulled down by Ibrahimovic TWICE last weekend as Denmark were defeated by Sweden and knocked out of Euro 2016.. the rivalry between those 2 nations is very much the same as England/Scotland so its a bitter pill to swallow . I make that at least 5 of their best players who will be a bit burnt out & there maybe more I cant think of right now. Add to this the fact that they will be flying all the way to Azerbaijan straight after our match & I think we have a lot going in our favour

    We will win 1-3 (Sakho 2, Lanzini 1) and be first on MOTD2 🙂

  4. No Noble for me,replace him with Song and bring in Obiang as its an away game to give us some bite and let the front 3 of Sakho,Moses and Lanzini roam with freedom,
    We need to try a different approach because you cannot replace Payet with any other player,

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