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Tonka: Brilliant but that could mean bench for Dec

Hammers defensive legend Ray ‘Tonka’ Stewart discusses last night’s game against Burnley and what he believes David Moyes is likely to do against his former club Everton at the weekend.

By Ray Stewart

That was utterly brilliant – the best game of the season by a distance from a team playing top four football.

But what next? Manu Lanzini and Said Benrahma were both sensational and I really don’t see how Moysie can drop either of them for the game against the Toffees.

It would send entirely the wrong message to the team if he were to change anything for the match against the Toffees EVEN IF DECLAN IS FIT FOR THE GAME!

I believe that he will probably stick with the same team and have Declan on the bench because frankly after such a performance it’s the the right thing today.

Benrahma showed why we paid £25m or so for him and Manu was just brilliant. We are talking about a player who most would have expected to be on this way in the summer but on what we saw last night that can’t happen.

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Had I been doing ratings last night I’d have found it difficult to mark anybody below 9 and a special word for Coufal who again was quite amazing.

Up front Mikey was stunning and both Fornals and Lingard were excellent. We could easily have had three, four or five last night at a place which has been a nightmare stadium for us down the years.

What a team this is! What a transformation since David took charge again and now we have Europe almost certainly to look forward to.

To make the Champions League would be utterly extraordinary and no more than these lads deserve.

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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 “Tonka: Brilliant but that could mean bench for Dec

  1. Fully agree with you Ray. Exhilarating performance!

  2. It was an excellent performance and we should of made our goal difference even better.That’s why I don’t think it was our best performance.
    Everton will be different and they can be brilliant on their day.
    Having Rice in the team brings out the best in Soucek and that could be the difference in this game. Rice has been our best player all season thus he should play.
    Maybe we just drop Diop.
    It’s a hard call.
    If we could guarantee both Lanzini and Benrhama having the same kind of game then maybe it’s Fornals who makes way. Afterall Bowen was dropped to the bench to allow Antonio to play.

  3. Dec on the bench when he returns,was my thinking after last nights performance.Its becoming a regular thing now for me to think,who was man of the match?any one of 6 or more…..a sign of a good squad backed by a quality manager et al.

  4. Sounds like a great call Ray: coming back from injury of several weeks out it would be sensible to ease Dec in later on. Having raved about the performance in midfield Monday night, why break it up Sunday? Send the right message and also get Dec fit for the run in. If Diop is a concern give him some individual training against the long ball – he can play all right. Options abound!

  5. Coming off the bench would be an ideal way to re introduce DR to first team duty after his spell out. And it would also be a massive vote of confidence in the squad. We’ve always , understandably, seen DR as an automatic inclusion when fit but speaking as someone who, if I’m honest, feared the worst against Burnley when I saw the lineup it’s difficult to justify leaving anyone out after the performance we turned in on Monday.

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