West Ham United fears that Michail Antonio’s switch of allegiance to Jamaica could prove to be an energy sapping waste of time looked justified overnight.
David Moyes had raised concerns over injury-prone Antonio adding more games to his schedule at 31-years-old given his record of hamstring problems at West Ham.
The Hammers failed to sign a striker in the summer window meaning they have no recognised forward to replace Antonio if and when he doesn’t play.
West Ham and Antonio’s big risk
And with a busy campaign including Europa League football, Moyes is running a big risk.
Throw in the extra travel involved and Antonio is putting his body through a lot of extra strain which West Ham fans fear could result in injury.
Some West Ham supporters watched on nervously late last night as Jamaica took on Panama in a World Cup qualifier. Antonio had stated he wanted to help the Reggae Boys make it to Qatar 2022.
But that already looks mission impossible just two games into the qualifying campaign after a woeful Jamaica side were well beaten 3-0 by Panama. They sit bottom of the group, the only side not to have a single point.
West Ham star Antonio looked completely isolated for the most part as he chased aimless long balls on a terrible, hard and dry pitch that won’t have done his hamstrings any favours.
Hammers striker completely isolated in woeful Jamaica side who have no hope of achieving World Cup dream
With no fans present, bickering among the Jamaica team was audible throughout.
Jamaica had no plan and a serious lack of quality as they were second all over the pitch.
And West Ham fans were grateful to see Antonio taken off with 20 minutes still remaining. The striker did not appear to be injured.
But the Hammers star now faces the second leg of his 10,500 mile round trip home to England before Saturday’s game away at Southampton.
Was 10,500 mile round trip and all the extra exertion really worth it? Just blame Southgate
While Moyes has questioned Antonio’s decision to play for Jamaica, he has also stated he would never stop any player representing their country (Sky Sports).
Hammers News opinion: But based on the evidence last night it could turn out to be a huge waste of time and energy for the West Ham star in the peak of his career when managing his body week to week should be the priority.
Hopefully the extra exertion and travelling does not catch-up with Antonio. Because it will be West Ham that pay the price.
One can’t help but feel frustrated watching Antonio wasting his time playing for Jamaica while England waste their time giving caps to the likes of Patrick Bamford.
If only England boss Gareth Southgate had called the Hammers powerhouse up sooner.