WEST HAM OPINION
If West Ham are to avoid relegation from the Premier League this season it is almost certainly going to be by the skin of their teeth.
The Hammers have vastly underperformed this season, there can be little argument over that point, and now found themselves in a precarious position with a testing run of matches ahead of them.
Arsenal, Wolves, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, and Manchester United are all left to face between now and the end of the season, but at the very least David Moyes’ men gave themselves a fighting chance by putting in a superb performance against Southampton at the weekend.
A 3-1 win was a much needed tonic to help ease a mounting sense of doom in east London, and it hauled the Irons clear of the bottom three on goal difference at least.
But on an afternoon of big displays, there was one man who stood out above the rest – Michail Antonio.
In fact, the 29-year-old was so good on Saturday that he drew huge acclaim from Match of the Day pundit Ian Wright.
“If they can keep him fit and keep him going, with people supporting [Sebastien] Haller, who looked a lot better using his physical presence to make things happen, there are good signs for West Ham.
“If he does that, then West Ham will get results.”
It’s hard to argue with Wright either.
As well as scoring against the Saints, Antonio also managed an assist, 100% shot accuracy, 100% long pass accuracy, and completed 12 of his 16 attempted passes, as per Wyscout.
His liveliness and work rate make a noticeable difference to the Hammers’ quality of attacking output, and having him in a supporting role to Sebastien Haller, drifting in from the left hand side, really benefits both him and the Frenchman.
If the Hammers are to stay up it won’t solely be because of Antonio, but at the very least he will play a big, big part in the escape.
In other West Ham news, Report – Hammers keen to offload rarely seen £70,000-a-week ace in summer.