Is This West Ham Star Going Under The Radar This Season?
Posted by James Jones | Published on February 17, 2016
Let’s take ourselves back a few months to the transfer window last summer, which in my opinion was our most productive and impressive window that I can recall. Along with the appointment of a new manager in Slaven Bilic our ever faithful board of David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady worked their socks off signing an additional 13 new players.
Following qualification for the Europa League via the fair play league it was clear from the last day of the season we needed improvements in a number of area’s and to bulk the squad with players that could make a difference when rotated to handle the extra games that could have been on the horizon. After a short lived and disappointing stint in the early stages of the Europa League, it was clear Slaven Bilic had his eyes on meeting his targets in the Premier League, making sure we retained Premier League status prior to our move to The Olympic Stadium.
On the 1st September 2015, along came the day most football fans spend their day in front of the T.V or refreshing social media trying to keep up with whats happening across the football world on“Transfer Deadline Day”. Usually not a lot happens at Upton Park on the final day of the transfer window, but on this rare occasion we announced 4 signings!
Alex Song, Nikica Jelavic, Victor Moses and Michail Antiono all see themselves holding up that famous Claret and Blue shirt for the camera ready to be announced to the waiting fans across the country. Following the likes of Dimitri Payet, Angelo Ogbonna, Manuel Lanzini and a handful of others, our quadruple of deadline day signings concluded a very strong window for the West Ham board.
Fast forwarding to present day, we see ourselves sitting comfortably in the top 8, just 1 point off 5th place. Now it wouldn’t be a typical West Ham season if we didn’t suffer our not so fair share of visitors to the treatment room. Despite our misfortune of injuries, one player made a break through into the starting line up and has made the most of our ever changing injury list is none other than Michail Antonio.
Making his debut from the bench in our 2-1 win away at Manchester City, he got mixed reviews from fans after an average performance. Considering playing most of his career at lower league and Championship level, making his Premier League debut against one of the top teams an average performance isn’t to be sneezed at. Following a few more injuries to a handful of crucial first team players Antonio started getting some regular playing time.
Along with a few appearances off the bench, Michail has started 9 games, assisted 5 goals, scored 3 goals and has been rewarded a handful of man of the matches in the process too. His mixture of strength and power is the perfect match for forwards in the Premier League. Before Andy Carroll suffered his latest injury we saw the pair linking up rather well scoring 2 each and assisting each other twice in as many games.
Hopefully Michail Antonio will manage to keep his place in the starting line-up after impressing on a regular basis as of late with his non stop work rate which is reaping rewards for the team.