By Ben Brown

1st May, 2022 | 9:10pm

West Ham lack same goal threat without Michail Antonio - Alan Smith

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith says West Ham struggle to cause the same danger going forward when they don’t have Michail Antonio in the side.

The 59-year-old was on commentary duty for the Gunners’ clash against David Moyes’ side on Sunday and noted the lack of killer instinct the Hammers showed in the first half when they were largely on top.

After another attack broke down disappointingly Smith couldn’t help but point out what a difference there was between West Ham with and without Antonio.

“It has unbalanced them there’s no question,” he said live on Sky Sports (1 May).

“Antonio not being there means they look like they’re playing off the cuff when they’re going forward.

“They’re not quite sure where the next pass is going and what the best pass would be.”

Reinforcements Needed

It’s long been known West Ham desperately need a new striker and it’s frustrating it’s a problem which hasn’t already been resolved.

Antonio has done brilliantly in the circumstances but you can’t help but wonder how much higher up the league the Hammers could be if they had a reliable back-up or indeed competitor to the 32-year-old.

Many league games sandwiched in between European ties this season gave seen Moyes have to get experimental with his forward line, with the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko and Said Benraham both playing out of position up-top as the Scot looked to find an ideal solution.

The first half against Arsenal was another example of where West Ham were crying out for someone with that striker’s instinct, playing well but lacking that ultimate final touch.

They were punished late on in the opening 45 when Rob Holding nodded in from a corner and although Jarrod Bowen did manage to drag them level, the overall pattern of the half felt like another missed opportunity due to a lack of squad depth.

In other West Ham news, Dean Saunders has suggested a forward that the club should look to bring in during the summer.

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