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The case for Haller

 by Sean Whetstone

Sebastian Haller has been accused of being lazy, disinterested, unmotivated or even a sulky Frenchman by some.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but are the accusations fair to the £45m record club signing?

There is no doubt he thrived at Frankfurt so where has it gone wrong at West Ham?

Haller is not Michail Antonio – a player of pace and power. Instead  he is an intelligent striker who times his runs and takes up instinctive goal scoring positions. It is not correct to say he has no movement.

The Frenchman needs a run of games to build his confidence and score some goals. He remains West Ham’s top scorer this season with five goals albeit four of them coming from the League Cup games.

One of the major problems is the lack of service given Haller whilst the current formation doesn’t suit his either.  Haller was most successful with his strike partner Luka Kovic who moved to Real Madrid for £55m.  It could be argued his move to Spain has been just as bad since his separation from his strike partner.

Now there is talk could loan Kovic to get the old gang back together in January.

I don’t think a good striker becomes bad overnight and I think Haller needs our backing not criticism to allow him time to come good.

It won’t help his confidence if fans are are on his back on social media, at least supporters are not in stadiums booing him.

It is no-one’s interest to throw £45m of investment down the drain so we must find a way to make this work.


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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

17 comments on “The case for Haller

  1. And how precisely do you propose the manager should balance out giving him lots of game time, against all the damage it would cause if he really does turn out to be disinterested, lazy and useless?

  2. ManU crushed Leipzig and then appeared pedestrian against Arsenal. Bundesliga is not EPL. Different (not lesser) style of play. Similarly, Haller is not a more intelligent striker than Antonio, just thinks differently.
    Regardless, he will get a chance he hasn’t earned and the onus is on him do impress, not on the fans to turn a blind eye to a lack of effort.

  3. Most positive article on Haller. Thank you sir.
    However after all this has been done, then it’s all in Haller’s caught to show us 45mil ability, or prove his doubter, right.

  4. Can we afford a run of 4-5 games in order for the team to adjust to his playing style? By then we may be back down in relegations zone

  5. He’s not a total waste of space to be fair.
    We could always use him to hold the doors open at the club store.

  6. What a load of nonsense . He isnt motivated , doesn’t deserve a run and if it’s a waste of money then that’s exactly what it is . You don’t sacrifice the team for him even Moyes is doing just that

  7. The question you should be asking is not whether Haller can play or even whether he can play within our current system, but who shelled out £45 million pounds on a player we are still not sure about. At the same time ask who payed £34 million for Anderson, a player we are unable to sell and who we were glad to get rid of on loan. That’s the best part of £80 million pounds completely wasted by Pellegrini, Husillios and the Board.
    Think what players we could have bought for that money and weep.

  8. The problem is He needs to want to make it work and that were the problem lies. Reason some us are running out of patience with him is that he looks disinterested and doesn’t even look like hes trying. Watch his 1st 5 games for us last season that is the Haller we need to restore our faith in him. The last thing we need is someone sho acts like he doesnt even care anymore…

  9. I’m getting pretty tired of the Haller bashing from other posters. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I think he’s getting an unfair wrap.

    Haller gets accused of being lazy frequently but I’m not buying it – by comparison to Antonio, yes, he doesn’t close or track as much but he’s never been that type of player?! Van Nistelrooy, Berbatov, Ibrahamovic weren’t/aren’t lazy, but they never did the running that we suddenly expect Haller to do – he’s a box player, waits for service, looks for the opportunities in and around the 6 yard box where he’s scored goals his entire career. And because he doesn’t sprint around like Antonio we get the ‘oh he’s lazy’ – he’s not – he’s just not the type of player that some fans want him to be.

    I take you back to Southampton last season where we finally played 2 up front – Haller and Antonio. The guy caused havoc, scored, and looked impressive playing in a 2. He freed up space for others around him and let Antonio (and I believe Anderson at the time, who scored his only goal of last season) play off him.

    If Moyes doesn’t want to play a 2 then that’s fine, but can we please stop blaming Haller when he’s played in a 2 his entire career – both at Utrecht then at Frankfurt. It’s like we can’t expect Fornals to play like Payet, they’re entirely different players. This is a failure of our management and whoever signed him – basic football knowledge – don’t sign a guy who’s been successful his whole career playing in a 2 to suddenly expect the same isolated upfront on his own.

    I’m fully behind Haller against Fulham and I hope he can get a goal to boost his confidence. We saw glimpses of how good he is in the box (Watford away, Bournemouth, Southampton and Wolves this season) so hopefully he gets the service.

    • Agree 100%. We cannot play counterattacking football against every opponent now our run against the divisions possession dominated games are over. We will need a linking front man who takes the chances we create. When the onus is on us to attack I think haller will prove his worth. It is not different systems we need but different ways of playing in that system. I am sure DM will work it out. Let’s be honest we had three decent chances at Liverpool – all fell to Fornals and he took the hardest one. However one of those was set up by a tremendous flick on from Haller, on another day we would be celebrating a goal he set up. I admit his body language is not great but Antonio often looks completely exhausted after 3 minutes and that is not real either. Let’s support him, I am sure the lad wants to be a success and win matches for us.

    • JB15, don’t you think a player as good as you say Haller is, should be able to adapt somewhat? If I’m paying £45 million for a player, I expect him to be a footballer who is able to fit into the team, even if that means he has to change his game at times. We have finally found a system to suit our squad. Everyone looks comfortable and capable in this system. Is it wise to change that system to accomodate a player who is either incapable or unwilling to fit into it? In some games we can change that system, where we are more of the attacking side. But against the top possession based sides, it would be suicide to drop a system we know works for us.The excuse that he’s “not that type of player” doesn’t wash in modern day football. The minimum requirement is effort. I desperately want Haller to be successful with us but it cannot be all one way traffic.

      • No, I don’t think he should be able to adapt? Would you have expected say John Terry to suddenly be a ball playing centre back who can dribble out of defence because it suits a certain system? I’d say it would be unreasonable to expect him to be good at it.

        I”m not saying we need to change our system, I’m just saying I’m tired of the slack Haller is getting when we knew full well how successful he was in a 2, to then play him alone and expect him to be as good? If Haller doesn’t suit Moyes system, Moyes will sell him and again, that’s fine – but all players are good at some things and not good at others – Haller is good at poaching, being in the box and receiving the ball from wide. Antonio is completely different and wouldn’t be able to play in other systems that require more technical approaches.

        • I have said that against some teams we can change the system to suit Haller. In the games where we can’t change the system he has to make the effort to fit in. You’re correct that Antonio is not a particularly technical player and would fall short in a system that required one. But. He would try to make up for that with effort and determination. Haller doesn’t seem at all interested in trying to even make an effort to bridge the gap between what he is good at and what is required in some games.

          • Agree somewhat with both of you, Haller was bought let’s not forget for Pellegrini’s system, where we had as lot of possession but were unable to turn that into goals, Haller makes often small movements to create space in the box for shooting opportunities. He has either never learned how to close the ball down from the front or is for some other reason incapable of it, he is an old fashioned centre forward in that he is pretty much just a box player that is very physical, he needs a running player around him, either an Antonio or a Benrahma maybe, Ollie Watkins or Eze would also have been perfect but we didn’t go for them. When Antonio and Haller have played together they looked a very good partnership.

  10. I am more than happy to give Mr Haller my support – obviously it’s not in any supporters interests for him to be a failure – but let’s face it we can’t afford to give him many more chances to score for us without running the risk of losing those games. So, let him play against Fulham with whoever he needs alongside him, give him plenty of service and support and see what happens. In other words change everything to suit his style of play. If he doesn’t turn on a performance then, well he, and those who think that he is wonderful, can’t complain.

  11. I like a lot of fans don’t believe in Haller cause he’s given nothing to the squad that makes him worth 45mill. U go on bout he needs partnering up to perform, how come Antonio can play striker without specific partner? Haller isn’t suited to our squad or the prem league imo. If ur going to persist bout him needing a partner then pair him up with Benrahma or Bowen, both who can play the striker role. Stop pussy footing around this guy. He is a waste of money, lazy , useless nd disinterested. I personally think he doesnt even want to b here. Take the loss nd use the proceeds on a player that wants to work, score etc. HALLER OUT!!!!!

  12. Don’t change our system for him – a top player should adapt. His attitude looks wrong – too often walking back to half way then hands on hips – even though he is not on for 90 minutes. He needs to show his worth not demand it.

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