West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini needs to consider switching his formation to get the best out of the players he has.
Pellegrini usually operates with a 4-3-3 system but a small tweak could work to West Ham’s advantage. Playing with a 4-2-3-1 formation would allow West Ham to have a player in the number 10 role.
This could turn things around for the stuttering Irons. Having a central attacking midfielder allows for a link-up between the midfield and Sebastien Haller up top. It could be the move that gets the best out of the French striker.
Sebastien Haller is too isolated
Since joining from Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer, Haller has been impressive. The towering centre-forward has already scored four goals but there is one major problem.
West Ham are not playing to Haller’s strengths. Too often, he finds himself isolated in the attack. Haller can hold the ball up well but there are limited options joining him when West Ham get the ball up the pitch.
In order to unlock Haller’s full potential, he needs another player alongside him who can thrive off his knockdowns and lay-offs. This is why a number 10 could help Haller become an even better number 9.
Who could play in the number 10 role?
There are several options in West Ham’s current squad if Pellegrini switches to the 4-2-3-1 system. The ideal candidate has strong ball-carrying skills, the ability to read the game and someone who can create chances and score goals.
Felipe Anderson might improve if he moves into a central position. The skilful Brazilian is not at his best at the minute, operating on the left flank. If he was given a new role in the middle, he could link up with Haller and the other Hammers midfielders.
Alternatively, Pablo Fornals could play in the number 10 role. The Spaniard’s game is more suited to a central attacking position, rather than out wide, where he has looked lost so far. Manuel Lanzini, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko are other options.