West Ham United boss David Moyes may find himself punished over the final stretch of the Premier League season should Barry Fry’s Michail Antonio concern come true.
While speaking exclusively with FootballFanCast, Peterborough United’s Director of Football Fry has expressed fears over how the Hammers’ season will end should Antonio sustain another injury.
Antonio has missed 10 games through injury or fitness concerns across all competitions this term, with two separate hamstring strains and the resulting fatigue keeping the 31-year-old on the sidelines.
Antonio is currently West Ham’s only recognised senior striker following the £20m January transfer of Sebastien Haller to AFC Ajax, while promising youngster Oladapo Afolayan joined League Two side Bolton Wanderers on loan.
The decision is yet to backfire, and West Ham will exit the international break fifth in the Premier League table and two points outside of the Champions League positions.
But Fry fears how the season will end should Moyes lose Antonio again, with the forward the second-top scorer at the London Stadium with seven strikes in 20 games to date.
“I’m a little bit worried if anything happened to Antonio,” Fry told FFC. “They’re a bit short in that department.”
Fry is absolutely right to fear how the season will end for West Ham should Antonio be consigned to the treatment room at Rush Green again, as Moyes would be left scratching his head in search of a solution.
Yarmolenko – who returned to training following a knee ligament injury prior to the international break – may have scored a delicate chip against Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup, but the Ukraine forward failed to make the same impact against Manchester United before being withdrawn.
Bowen has also provided each of his six goals across all competitions this season from a wide role, and left Moyes bitterly disappointed at Old Trafford last month when he and Antonio failed to inject life into the attack.
“It was really poor. When we broke in the first half, I thought our play was really, really poor… and that led to not having sustained attacks and we could not keep [the ball], so our play on the break was really poor,” the Hammers boss said after the 1-0 loss, via quotes by football.london.
Antonio kept his place in the centre for the following clash with London rivals Arsenal and provided two of his five assists for the campaign to date, and should have scored in the second half when his outstretched effort hit the base of the post.
Moyes would not have an easy task finding the right man to stand in for Antonio and offer West Ham that same output if Fry’s fears were to come true, which would serve to see that his decision not to sign a striker in January was a huge blunder.