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The big Hammers challenge

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The big Hammers challenge, based on what we saw yesterday is in finding the right balance writes Michael Talbot . While The idea of moving Jarrod Bowen to the central forward role seems straightforward given his impressive goal tally of eight but, the team’s creativity and penetration were notably better when Bowen shifted out wide and Antonio arrived as a second half sub. Antonio, despite his commendable sacrifice in playing the solo forward role, has of course been seriously lacking¬† the clinical edge required in front of goal, as he isn’t a natural striker.

Jarrod Bowen-Michail Antonio-West Ham-Bowen can take over from Antonio as the main striker for the Hammers

The big Hammers challenge

Bowen’s effectiveness also seems compromised when playing centrally, limiting his ability to exploit space and take on defenders. David Moyes aims to incorporate Soucek,¬† Ward-Prowse, and Alvarez in the midfield, which, in turn, restricts Paqueta‘s freedom to roam, pushing him to a more left-sided position. This is where we miss the dynamic Rice, who could seamlessly perform the roles of Alvarez and Soucek while linking defence and attack with pace.

Let’s be honest about it our performance on Sunday wasn’t particularly convincing, and against a more ambitious and clinical opponent, we would almost certainly have dropped points. It may well be an up and down season in the league , so it would be lovely to have another cup run.

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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