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‘Working from home’ Moyes needs Haller


By CandH’s top blogger Allen Cummings


David Moyes is excluded from the usual training ground contact and involvement with the team right now because of his own covid isolation, but it’s certain he will be ‘working from home’ like thousands of others, still addressing his day-to-day responsibilities.

While assistant Alan Irvine might be holding the fort, Moyes will undoubtedly be the one calling the shots. Making the decisions on tactics and team selection for the game with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

Surely one of the easier decisions for Moyes will be the inclusion of Sebastien Haller in the starting line-up for the first time in the league this season.

His brace of goals in the 5-1 demolition of Hull City in the Carabao Cup in midweek, plus a similar two goal haul in the previous round against Charlton Athletic, means the big Frenchman has scored almost half the total goals recorded by the club in competitive football this season.

A goal scorer can do no more than hit the back of the net, no matter who the opposition – that’s what he’s in the team to do. Seb has fulfilled his job description when he’s been asked – now it’s time to unleash him on the league. He’s earned his opportunity and deserves a fair crack of the whip!

Haller is still our record signing – and it’s looking increasingly likely the £45m we agreed with Eintracht Frankfurt won’t be eclipsed any time soon. But he continues to divide opinion amongst West Ham fans.

There are those who insist he’s another expensive and unproductive legacy of the Pellegrini era, others who believe he’s been unfortunate in having to play a lone striker cum target man role which doesn’t really suit him, and that he would be far more effective if the team was selected to play to his strengths.

The pre-season defeat of Ipswich Town, in which Haller netted three times, aided by a supply line from Grady Diangana, hinted at a possible productive partnership in the making.

Without going over old ground, that pairing is now dead in the water. But a similar partnership with Jarrod Bowen on the right and Michail Antonio on the left, both getting up alongside Haller when possible, could be just as rewarding. But it needs a chance to build and Sebastien needs to be handed the opportunity to be part of it.

Haller’s signature looked good business when he first arrived. 65 goals in 142 season appearances in German football told its own story. But after a bright start in the Premier League, as the team struggled so did Sebastien.

Post lockdown he didn’t start a single game of Project Restart – maybe not surprising as Moyes found the perfect set-up with Antonio up front on his own – and was reluctant to change a formula that eventually saw us to safety.

But now with Haller hitting the goal trail surely the manager will find it increasingly difficult to justify leaving him out of the equation.

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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

8 comments on “‘Working from home’ Moyes needs Haller

  1. Totally agree , but wheather Moyes will go that route is of course out of our hands . It would seem the obvious way forward but given the tough games ahead the decision may not be that easy . I would love to see the formation changed to to give Haller a better chance and maybe get some confidence & consistency .

  2. Totally agree with you a Hugh, but also do not expect to see it happen. Would also like to see Yarmolenko playing too, as we need more quality, Bowen is a trier but for me does not have the composure of a good player. A 3421 formation with Antonio, Yarmo and Haller as the forward 3 who could rotate would make a more lethal attack than what Moyes normally puts out. Johnson Rice, Soucek and Arthur across the middle would reduce need for Yarmo to track back

  3. A 3-4-3 turning to a 5-2-2-1 in defence would allow Bowen and Antonio to support Haller with the full backs/wing backs providing extra support and when defending providing additional support at the back. Masuaku is the only player who might just get near Traore in terms of pace. An attacking Soucek would add extra pressure to that Wolves defence.

    Of course, it’ll be another containing line-up by Moyes but the only way to beat Wolves is to keep them on the back foot in my opinion.

    Good article, Allen, I hope the gaffer is reading!

    • Agree with the343 formation Saul, Wolves love playing against 1 up top with 5 at the back it is easy for them to defend, matching their formation will nullify the defensive strength they have, imho we need at least two very physical strikers and one behind to occupy them, It may be that either Anderson, Lanzini or Yarmolenko could be the third, Fornals has been athletic and defensively good but not that effective in the final third against the PL teams we have faced so far, I would swap him out and have one of the above mentioned 3 in his slot, the 4 across the middle would be Masuaku Rice Soucek and Johnson or Fredericks with Cresswell, Oggy and Balbuena at the back.

  4. Is Stuart Pearce still at West Ham ?

  5. Did you forget that Haller was playing against totally rubbish lower league opposition in the carabao cup and not against premier league defenders? Remember also that he came from french football, a lower standard than the premier league, where he bagged a less than prolific 13 goals (including penalties)
    Strikers have scored 25+ goals in a season in the championship then come to the premier league and scored less than ten.
    Not saying he might not still score a lot of goals for us this season since he has had a year to acclimatise to premier league football but let’s put things into perspective and not just keep going by his overinflated buying cost.

  6. Haller hasn’t played in France since 2015. His last season in Germany. before he signed for us, he scored 15 in 29 games and provided 9 assists. Only 1 player bettered that. Robert Lewandowski.

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