West Ham United may have kept a clean sheet and extended their unbeaten run to four straight matches this weekend but David Moyes still has a big decision to make in defence going forward.
He sanctioned the £29.8m signing of Kurt Zouma from Chelsea before the international break, yet the Premier League and Champions League winner did not make his debut at Southampton on Saturday.
Instead, the Scotsman stuck with his tried-and-tested first-choice duo of Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson, though the latter is lucky to remain, perhaps Moyes is being a little too loyal to the former West Brom star.
Despite being unbeaten, Dawson’s form has been a major cause for concern. He’s been a big liability so far this campaign.
Against Crystal Palace, the 31-year-old veteran was unable to block Conor Gallagher’s first goal and could’ve done so much better for his second, whilst the win at Newcastle saw the centre-back completely switch off inside the box for Callum Wilson to head home.
And it certainly seems like many supporters were worried about what he could do next after he was named in the starting XI at St Mary’s over the weekend.
“Craig Dawson is genuinely awful,” claimed one fan account on Twitter.
The 6 foot 2 colossus, who earns around £42.5k-per-week, was afforded a place in the starting XI due to Issa Diop’s inconsistencies but positivity around his impact has been subdued for quite some time now.
And with Zouma becoming part of the squad, it’s surely an easy change to make in the near future. He featured for France during the break, picking up his seventh and eighth cap, so it’s not as if he’s short of fitness.
Dawson’s drop-off in form should leave Moyes with no choice but to unleash Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna together at the very next opportunity.
The writing had been on the wall, perhaps a little beneath the surface given the results, having leaked five goals from their opening three games. It’s time to unleash their big-money investment with crucial games in the Europa League and Premier League this week.
Moyes cannot risk Dawson’s form slipping any more.
AND in other news, Moyes must unleash “world-beater” in NEW role after fresh West Ham blow…