David Moyes worst fears realised at West Ham United after Michail Antonio development
West Ham manager David Moyes saw his worst fears realised on Saturday (18 November) as Michail Antonio sustained an injury on international duty.
Antonio limped off the field inside the opening 20 minutes of the CONCACAF Nations League clash between Jamaica and Canada at National Stadium Independence Park in Kingston.
Moyes will no doubt be anxiously awaiting any sort of update from 5,000 miles away, as Antonio – to the frustration of many supporters – has been a regular for the Irons this season.
Indeed, he is one of only three outfield United players, along with Jarrod Bowen and Vladimir Coufal, to have played in all 12 Premier League matches this season [WhoScored].
All but one of those have been starts, albeit with the exception being West Ham’s most recent game before the international break – a 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest – when he was a second-half substitute.
It appeared that Moyes had finally bowed to supporters’ wishes by dropping Antonio for that game, but the 33-year-old would no doubt have been in contention to return to the XI versus Burnley next week.
Depending on the severity of the injury, however, Moyes may now have to make do without his go-to man for a number of games, starting with that trip to Turf Moor.
If there is one area of the field West Ham could have done without losing a player, it is up front. The reason Antonio has been used so often is because Moyes simply lacks many – or any – other options.
Unfancied Danny Ings is the only other recognised striker, while 19-year-old Divin Mubama will argue he is now worthy of a starting spot.
Beyond that, Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen could fill in as a number nine for the time being, but either way this development is far from ideal.
For now, Moyes will just have everything crossed that the problem is not anything serious.