David Moyes has laid down the gauntlet to Michail Antonio about his recent lack of goals for West Ham United.
The 32-year-old has been in really poor form in front of goal with his last Premier League strike coming on New Year’s Day away at Crystal Palace.
Antonio has only scored once since then in all competitions – in the FA Cup against Southampton in March.
Micky has been putting in his usual hard-working shifts but we really do need him to start scoring more goals. He is our only centre-forward after all.
The ex-Nottingham Forest forward looked back to somewhere near his best last week away against Lyon. He was a real menace and played a key role for West Ham, despite not scoring. And that is something that Moyes wants him to sort out asap…
David Moyes has strong message for Michail Antonio
The Hammers take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tomorrow before we play host to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League at the London Stadium on Thursday night.
The time has come for Antonio start doing his talking in front of goal.
And Moyes told the Daily Mail exactly what he expects from the 32-year-old between now and the end of the season:
“If he’d got a couple of goals last Sunday you would say he was back in form, but the goals are missing. His all-round performance has got better in the last month or two, at Lyon he was very good. We can get him to assist and make goals because he is a focal point, but ultimately we’re at the business end and whatever your role is in the team, if you are a centre-half or a goalkeeper you have to keep the ball out of the net, and centre-forwards have to get the ball in the net. That’s their job, so we need him to do that for us as well. You might not get five or six shots, you might only get one and your conversion rate has got to be good. You’re not getting five one-on-ones with the goalkeeper, you might only get one of them a game and you have to be ready to take that one.”
You can’t get a clearer message than that from Moyes.
The Scot wants goals from Antonio, as well as a tireless work-rate.
It’s a big ask at this stage of the season, but if West Ham are to achieve any kind of success, we will need Antonio to rediscover the form that he showed on a consistent basis at the start of the campaign.
A goal at Stamford Bridge would be a huge confidence boost for Antonio. One against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday would be even better. Hopefully the comments from David Moyes today fire Michail Antonio right up for what is a hugely important season run-in.