How to get best use out of both Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll was one of the major talking points heading into West Ham’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday and by the time the starting XIs were officially announced, it was clear Slaven Bilic had failed to find a solution with the England international having to settle for a spot on the bench.
But Michail Antonio’s injury early in the first half essentially forced Bilic’s hand; he elected to bring Carroll on and move Hernandez, one of the most clinical poachers in the Premier League, back to the wide attacking role he struggled in during the 2-0 win over Huddersfield and scoreless draw with West Brom.
Unlike those performances, however, Hernandez managed to find a way onto the scoresheet, his headed goal bringing the Hammers back into the match after going 3-0 down to create a dramatic finish at the London Stadium.
Also contributing with chances created, dribbles and fouls won, the 97-cap Mexico international showed he can be a force from out wide under the right circumstances in certain matches.
But the ultimate question is whether he can do so from the opening whistle; by the time Hernandez found the net from a set piece, West Ham were throwing bodies forward and positions in attack had become largely secondary – in fact, he was lining up almost alongside Carroll to try and pressure Tottenham’s defence.
So can Hernandez have the same impact out wide when his side aren’t chasing down a 3-0 deficit and a more disciplined positional approach is required, or does Bilic need to find a system that accommodates both of his front-men in central areas? Let us know by commenting below…