Unfortunately the question posed in the title of this article is one that I am unable to answer. In fact, it seems to be something that nobody can shed any light on at this moment in time. Sadly, the one thing that is for certain is that Big Sam’s total lack of any sort of a ‘plan B’ looks sure to prolong the mystery for the foreseeable future.
Many frustrated Hammers have already taken the understandably easy option of abandoning all faith in the struggling centre-forward, calling out in desperation for our new signing Mladen Petric or even young and unproven Elliot Lee to take his place in West Ham’s starting eleven. And can anyone truly blame them? Having had to sit through the most part of, if not a full 90 minutes of poor Modibo wandering aimlessly about the opposition’s final third like a lost child, recoiling in anxious horror each time a lofted clearance from the back four comes soaring his way has been enough to drive even the most optimistic of the West Ham faithful to total despair.
In such situations as this, it is only natural to try and laugh off any frustration. The one moment that managed to bring a smile to my face during last month’s devastating home defeat against Everton came during the London Amps half-time amputee football exhibition, when our new announcer’s appeal to encourage those in the crowd who might know an aspiring amputee footballer to get in touch with the Amps was immediately answered with cries of “MAIGA” from the top of the East Stand Upper, providing a brief moment of comic relief on an otherwise heartbreaking Saturday afternoon. However, whilst we can all appreciate that it is important to maintain a positive attitude (especially when supporting a club like West Ham), the team’s recent form and subsequent results are quickly becoming beyond a joke and it is evident that there are real questions to be asked.
The one thing running endlessly through my mind is what kind of difference we might see if Maiga were to be given a strike partner to form an alliance with. Could we be missing a trick by not allowing him to benefit from the admittedly occasional flair and creativity of Ricardo Vaz Te? Might we never be given the chance to see how he and an aging Petric fare from playing off of each other upfront. And at the end of the day, with our form in front of goal being as it is; what do we really have to lose? SURELY it’s worth giving another approach a go? Who knows, it may even result in a couple of shots on target!
Nevertheless, we are all sadly well-aware by now that Sam Allardyce only plays one way, with just one striker on the pitch at any given moment, leaving us all to wonder what could be whilst we watch a forlorn Modibo Maiga struggle to cope with the ever-growing pressure heaped upon him as the team continue their search for a goalscorer.
So, my question to you is this: What would you do with Maiga? Keep him up front on his own until he finds his feet (no pun intended)? Play him alongside another striker? Or simply forget about him all together and make Mladen Petric our new target man? Most likely though, you’re burying your head in the sand like the rest of us and anxiously waiting for Andy Carroll, or perhaps even Carlton Cole to swoop in and save our season.