By Joe Ellis

25th Apr, 2022 | 7:10pm

West Ham striker blockade down to David Moyes stubbornness

David Moyes decided to rotate his West Ham United side for yesterday’s 1-0 loss away at Chelsea but he still could have done more.

Michail Antonio finally got the afternoon off having played in almost every game this season for the Irons but rather than give a youngster a chance, Andriy Yarmolenko was selected to lead the line.

The Ukrainian, who is most comfortable as a right-winger, struggled all game to get his foot on the ball and trouble the Blues’ defence as did fellow attackers on the day Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals.

Why Moyes doesn’t trust the youngsters around the club only he knows because they are among the top-scoring academy players in the entire country.

Armstrong Okoflex is making the biggest case for a chance with 12 goals in 21 Premier League 2 games while Sonny Perkins has eight of his own in 19 appearances for the Under-23s side [BeSoccer].

Even down in the Under-18s, Divin Mubama, George Earthy and Gideon Kadua all have double-figures this season [BeSoccer] so it’s not like there is no alternative to Antonio at all.

Moyes showed his hand yesterday by resting his key players in an otherwise important London derby against Chelsea with their European chase far from over too.

So if they are going to surrender Premier League form in an attempt to win the Europa League, then why not give some of these supremely talented individuals a chance with no pressure on their shoulders?

Supporters would love to see another handful of players graduate from the “Academy of Football” to play for the first team this season and there is absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t be selected.

In other West Ham news, this BBC pundit was starry-eyed watching one of Moyes’ reliable men despite the defeat at Stamford Bridge.

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