There is a new dynamic to the debate over Sebastien Haller at West Ham United and it involves David Moyes.
West Ham fans have been divided over Haller for some time now.
One faction says the club has completely mismanaged the striker ever since his record £45million arrival.
Another section believe his performances prove he simply isn’t up to it in the Premier League regardless of the rights and wrongs over whether West Ham play to suit his strengths.
With just two strikers to choose from and one of them – Michail Antonio – unavailable for half the season so far, anyone would think Moyes would be doing everything he can to get a tune out of Haller.
New dynamic to the great Seb Haller debate at West Ham
So West Ham fans have been somewhat perplexed by the Scot’s hardline stance with a player who always seems to look one missed chance away from a crisis of confidence.
Moyes wants more from Haller. He has told the Ivorian to smile more, do more and score more.
When Haller missed a glut of chances in the win at Leeds he looked devastated.
Moyes was asked after the game about the forward’s performance.
He blanked the question and instead went on to praise the Leeds goalkeeper.
Even when Haller did get himself a goal – and a stunning one at that – in the draw against Crystal Palace, Moyes said he wanted him to start scoring tap-ins (Sky Sports).
Moyes continues very public criticism of only fit striker, but to what end?
Haller worked hard in his own way at Chelsea last time out. But his lack of pace and mobility was brutally exposed as he pointlessly lugged his big frame around Stamford Bridge trying to emulate the job Antonio does so effectively for West Ham.
Afterwards Moyes delivered his most telling blow yet to the striker.
He publicly shamed Haller by saying he will need to look elsewhere in his squad to find the new Marko Arnautovic or Antonio.
What Moyes really meant is that he has all but given up on trying to make it work with Haller.
And he will instead turn to his wingers in a bid to convert them into a forward as he did so successfully with the two names he mentioned.
As a result it would be no surprise to see Haller benched with Andriy Yarmolenko, Jarrod Bowen or Said Benrahma up front against Brighton.
But has Moyes taken it too far?
Shouldn’t he be trying to build Haller’s confidence not stamp on what is left of it?
Many West Ham fans – including those who don’t rate Haller – spoke out after Moyes’s most recent comments.
After all even if Moyes does want rid of Haller in January, he is hardly doing his value any good by talking him down.
What we don’t know is what goes on behind the scenes.
Perhaps the pair have a strained relationship? That would certainly explain Moyes’s attitude towards his only fit and available striker.
A step too far from Moyes? Or some tough love to try and coax a reaction from West Ham’s £45m man?
Or perhaps the no-nonsense Scot has simply had enough of Haller’s failure to adjust to his demands and system.
Haller is 18 months into his West Ham career. He can no longer claim to be settling in and adapting.
Is there an argument to say Moyes may have tried cajoling and encouraging Haller without much to show for it?
Maybe Moyes is trying to get Haller to toughen up on and off the pitch?
Whether you feel Haller is being mistreated or not by Moyes, it seems his unhappy stay at the London Stadium will soon come to an end.
That’s if West Ham insiders Claret & Hugh are to be believed. The site claimed yesterday Haller will be sold to one of four interested German clubs in the next six months.
The biggest indication as to whether that is true will be Moyes’s teamsheet for Brighton this Sunday.