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Michail Antonio

edited February 2017 in West Ham - Current players
Do you trust Slav on this one?

Or is it one hell of a mistake.

Been touched on over a variety of threads.

This is the zone to commit.


  • Mistake

    Physical attributes are all well and good but he's 26 and hasn't the positional awareness of a RB

    He may learn yes but it won't happen overnight and we could drop points because of the adjustment period

    And it's not like he's been poor at RM hence why they are trying him at RB now, he was and is still the 2nd best attacking outlet at the club and he was a breath of fresh air

    Attacking football is all well and good but 2-1 is better than 3-3 and we need a better and specialised RB
  • Does anybody have the stats on how he performed goals and assists wise after dropping to RB?

    Got a sneaky feeling he may have performed relatively similarly attacking-wise from RB as he did at RW.
  • I did a piece on another thread.

    There was a goal and an assist in it. We also only lost one league game with him at RB.
  • ;ok

    He has a bit to learn about defensive positioning and decision-making but if Slav and Dicks are on at him all pre-season about it I think he could be one of the best RBs in the league pretty quickly.
  • edited July 2016
    I agree


  • Not convinced about this tbh. Square peg round hole imo, and I thought we'd moved on from that. He was a very good RM, a decent RB when going forward but imo he wasn't great defensively as a RB (defensively as a RM he was great). He is so willing and tries so hard and he can't be faulted for that at all, but I think it will take more than a pre-season and what he did last year to make him a solid RB defensively, and even more difficult to do it without losing what made him so successful at RM.

    Generally I'm very much In Slaven We Trust, but on this one I'm rather ;hmm
  • edited July 2016
    I agree with buffybegood.

    In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I think we would have finished in the top 4 and got to the FA Cup final (at least) last season if either the refs had got the major decisions right in our run of draws around March or Slaven had played Antonio as a midfielder instead of RB when he had a fit, more defensively skilled alternative (mainly Tomkins, when he was available).

    Naturally there's part of me that says, well I trust Slaven knows what he's doing as he's got most things right so far. But most of me thinks he's wrong on this one. (I still think he's great and I'd still like him to stay at West Ham for the next 15 years or more, as part of a move to our being a modern version of the kind of "family club" that doesn't sack managers in a knee-jerk reaction that I was so proud of supporting 20+ years a go or so...) [sorry - that last bit probably should have gone on the Tore thread, since it was his describing Bilic as like a father that provoked this thought...]
  • He is a naturally attacking player who likes to drive forward and beat players. IMO he should be playing as an attacking midfielder and not at right back as mistakes in this position cost games.
  • All I want for Christmas, to borrow from Spike Jones, is my two front teeth.

    Actually, what I really want for Christmas - preferably way sooner - is a new right back. Or two.

    Reading the official WHUFC news page again regarding Antonio's new contract - "Excelling in his favoured wing position", "Highly rated winger", "Filling in at right back for a while" - might suggest that he isn't being considered for a permanent role in the position.

    Not that anybody should set too much store by my opinion. I was always convinced that Maiga was going to come good.
  • I think he was exposed as a right back.

    When he played there he had either a lazy Moses, or sakho/emineke who are out n out strikers not wingers... So either way he was very much left exposed.

    If we have a midfielder like feghouli in front of him, a player more aware of his defensive duties and not as lazy as Moses.. Antonio may actually get some support.

    I have faith he'll come good. I remember an interview when he first joined, he said he was still a very raw player despite his age... Makes me think he shouldn't be too difficult to convert...
  • Happy does make a valid point in saying that he usually didn't have the best support defensively from the players in front of him; if only we could clone him and play him in front of himself, then he'd get a lot more cover.

    For me though, at this point in time, it's a case of hoping to be proven wrong.
  • At fault for both goals today. Going into the season without a recognised right back with top-flight experience is a huge mistake, for me. Antonio should be right side of Carroll up top in my opinion and to continue to play him at RB I find baffling. Lessens his impact going forward and gives away goals.
  • Agree he's a winger unless Slav thinks he can turn him into a clyne or walker!!
    RB has been a problem for us for a long time Byram is the future but if we have a decent budget and look to bring 25 mil in fo Sakho and Valencia a 15 mil RB would be perfect
  • Defensively he's no Gary Neville that's for sure, but attacking wise he's better than Cafu so it might work out.

    I imagine it's easier to teach the defensive side of the game, which is all about positioning, discipline, shape, marking etc, than it is to teach the attacking side which is more about flair, pace, crossing, finishing ;hmm

    Maybe Slav is on to something, or maybe not ;fence
  • Also, it was a 'scratch' team, with mainly kids at the back, so it may be that others weren't in their right positions.

    In Slav We Trust
  • When Sam came in, the first thing he said is he will make us hard to beat.

    The reason being is all it takes is hard work and repetition and you can learn in a month of training how to position yourself and how to defend. It doesn't take long.

    Pulis does it, Sam does it, Bilic can do it.
  • I like Antonio as RWB but not convinced at RB either. He's got the attributes, I'd just rather see him further forward. Even as a striker, he knows where the goal is.

    Squawka have done a top 20 for goals to shots within the box in the prem last season. 3 hammers were in the top 10! Antonio was 8th I think, Payet 6th, Lanzini might have been 4th. I can't remember exactly.
  • edited July 2016
    For me.

    It's a good attacking option to have him at RB but we lose so much defensively, I also think we take away a vital part of his game.
  • I would like to see him play as an attacking right mid fielder with an orthodox
    right back behind him.
  • edited July 2016
    Saw a few rumours about this situation.

    Apparently Bilic is not overly comfortable with Antonio as a winger, because he is not technical enough. He wants much more gifted and skilled players playing behind the striker (Payet, Lanzini, Feghouli, Tore). This is why he was reluctant to play him until injuries forced him into it and it's also why we've signed two new wingers. Antonio was not a Bilic signing, but a Sully punt.

    However, as he did so well, Bilic is trying to get him into the side somehow, but still not as a winger, hence this new RWB role. Antonio's recent new deal is almost a sweetener for being converted into a more defensive position that he would rather not play in.

    As said, just some speculation, but saw it on a couple of other forums.
  • That sounds about right Luke - he came in right on deadline day, which smacked of a sully hunch. I was always mystified by just what little chance he was give in the first half of the season.

    Then of course he made himself undroppable which then gave Slav a problem (albeit a good sort of problem)
  • Sounds plausible
  • Injuries to Tore and Lanzini may force Bilic's hand to play him further forward. Assuming both are out for a while, Antonio may have to play RW and Feghouli through the middle and Payet LW.

    Don't think we can risk MA at RB for next week.
  • He's a liability I'm sorry I love the guy but he isn't a defender and lacks the inteligence to adapt his game

    Perhaps I'm being overly harsh but honestly think he has ZERO positional awareness. He always presses the ball, is halfway up the pitch always and just flat out doesn't understand how to track runners ball watches 99% of the time and they get the run on us

    2 weeks till the season starts and we have a right back who doesn't know how to defend and is costing us goals

    Teams last year, particularly united, targeted that flank as they saw Antonio as a weakness and it won't take long for other teams to cop on
  • Champo

    I don't think that is down to Antonio, I think it was the game plan. It's exactly how we played in our last friendly.

    For me, the bigger issue is deciding how we want to play and sticking to it.

    If it is 3 at the back, they need to do it better.

    If it is 4 at the back, Antonio needs to be told to stay at home.

    If it is a bit of both, we are likely to get caught out in every game.
  • or just stop playing him there play him where he was effective on the wing creating goals and scoring them and bring a quality right back ?
  • when he plays on the right the oppositions left back is so busy trying to control him it takes pressure off that side of the pitch just hope Slav changes his mind .
  • I actually think his best performances came as a RWB.

    Reid Nordtveit Ogbonna
    Antonio Noble Kouyate Cresswell
    Feghouli Carroll Payet


    Doesn't sound like he's happy at Right back, says himself he hopes to play in his own position further up the pitch
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