West Ham are pinning their hopes on Michail Antonio remaining fit for the entire season.

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David Moyes played a risky game by not bringing another centre-forward to the London Stadium during the summer transfer window.

Here’s a glimpse of just how important Micky is to us:

We trust the Scot to the hilt, however.

And perhaps Moyes has an ace up his sleeve for when Antonio is not able to play. Whether that be through injury or suspension.

Newcastle United v West Ham United - Premier League
West Ham are reliant on Michail Antonio at the moment (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Whilst the 31-year-old is the only striker at the London Stadium, there are plenty of other options available to Moyes.

And a simple change of system may well hold the key to the Hammers succeeding without Antonio.

West Ham may have clever plan to cope without Michail Antonio

If Micky is ruled out for any sustained period of time, then Moyes simply must revert back to the 5-2-3 system that served the Hammers so well last season.

Without Antonio, we won’t have a player who can hold the ball up when we are under the cosh. So playing five at the back will provide us with more defensive cover and solidarity.

Newcastle United v West Ham United - Premier League
David Moyes may well have a cunning plan to help cope without Michail Antonio (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

If Antonio is out, then Arthur Masuaku should be drafted in as a left wing-back with Aaron Cresswell moving to centre-back. If the 27-year-old is still struggling with his knee problem, however, then Cresswell can play as a wing-back.

Craig Dawson or Issa Diop would then have to be drafted in alongside Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma at centre-back with Vladimir Coufal operating in the right wing-back role.

 

Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice would obviously be the central midfield pivot.

Moyes then has a plethora of options to choose from as a front three.

Said Benrahma, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen? Or perhaps Nikola Vlasic can be deployed through the middle as a false nine.

West Ham United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma could easily fill the void left behind by Antonio if the striker suffers and injury (Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Benrahma could do the job through the middle as well with Fornals on the left and Bowen on the right.

Moyes could even use Andriy Yarmolenko, Manuel Lanzini or Armstrong Okoflex as one of his attacking options if he so chooses.

Losing Antonio for a prolonged period of time would obviously be a big blow for West Ham.

We shouldn’t be overly concerned by the prospect of that happening, however. Moyes has the tools at his disposal to cope without him.

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And it will be interesting to see whether or not the Scot chooses to revert to the 5-2-3 system without Micky.

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