West Ham United’s shambolic misuse of Sebastien Haller has been highlighted by an influential coaching website.
Haller became West Ham’s record signing when he joined for £45million last summer (BBC Sport).
And the Frenchman got off to a great start with three goals in his first three games.
It says everything about West Ham and Haller’s season since that he has added just four more in the ensuing 26 matches.
West Ham fans have been divided over Haller’s struggles.
Fans divided over Haller’s Hammers struggles
Many blame the club’s incoherent, scattergun recruitment and lack of planning.
Haller’s career statistics show he has always been at his best as the second forward in a two or three-man striker partnership.
But West Ham shipped out all five of last season’s strikers. And that left Haller playing an unfamiliar lone forward role.
Other supporters believe the player too must should much of the blame. It is felt the powerfully built striker does not always give 100%. Some fans say he should offer more for the money West Ham spent for his services.
Frustratingly every now and then West Ham get a glimpse of his quality.
David Moyes quickly realised Haller could not play the lone striker role.
He has tried to partner Haller with Michail Antonio when possible with mixed success.
Influential site’s analysis highlights West Ham’s Haller misuse
Now a new report from The Coaches’ Voice has put the spotlight on West Ham’s shambolic handling of their record buy.
The influential coaching site has been analysing Haller’s debut Premier League campaign.
And it has highlighted the embarrassing misuse of a striker that had been tipped to break into the France squad.
The Coaches’ Voice highlighted the fact that Haller had a direct involvement in 24 goals in the Bundesliga the season before joining West Ham. He scored 15 times and made nine assists, a statistic surpassed only by Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.
“A bulldozer couldn’t knock him over”, former Bayern coach Niko Kovac once said of Haller reports The Coaches’ Voice.
“While Haller’s role within a narrow front three demonstrated his finest qualities, when he is used as a lone striker he requires supporting runners to link with and play in (above), or to use as a decoy to create for himself. If David Moyes wants him to exploit those inside channels for West Ham, he will need to encourage that support so that he doesn’t become isolated.
Bowen signing suggests Moyes gets it
“Should Moyes wish to maximise his attacking players’ potential, both the 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 systems Haller’s former club used could prove most suitable. His movements and versatility in the final third can create spaces, and ultimately encourage his fellow attackers to score.
“If that is to be the manager’s preference, he will need to balance his team with two central midfielders capable of shielding his defence, and of quickly transforming a regain into a counter-attack. Declan Rice is suited to such a role, through possessing the necessary qualities to free up those in front of him, in the final third.”
Haller raises a big question at West Ham.
West Ham fans knew it and could see it. And even the most basic analysis backs it up. So why did West Ham not plan sufficiently to get the best out of their biggest ever investment?
Moyes at least showed some savvy in trying to partner Haller with Antonio and in signing Jarrod Bowen – a player in a similar mould to Rebic.
That enabled the Scot to start implementing a similar formation to Frankfurt, as highlighted in The Coaches’ Voice analysis.
When football eventually returns, West Ham must persist down that route.