‘Lay off Michail Antonio’ pleads a frustrated Declan Rice as West Ham striker draws another blank in turgid 0-0 draw against Burnley.
West Ham were held to a disappointing result at Turf Moor leaving their place in the Premier League’s top four exposed.
The Hammers can now be overtaken by Wednesday’s opponents Arsenal and Manchester United depending on results this week.
In truth West Ham have been stuttering since the November international break. The win over Chelsea was fantastic. But a draw with Brighton and defeats to Man City and Wolves before that have slowed West Ham’s progress.
Of course West Ham just being in the top four conversation approaching the halfway stage of the season is an achievement in itself.
But much of David Moyes’s problems boil down to the loss of form of his only striker Michail Antonio.
The powerful forward has not scored since netting the winner against Spurs back in October.
And Antonio’s drought continued against Burnley as he put in a woeful performance.
Some West Ham fans have been calling for Antonio to be dropped.
But the question is who would replace him?
Speaking after the game Declan Rice admitted the goals have dried up for Antonio.
‘Lay off Michail Antonio’ pleads frustrated Declan Rice as West Ham striker draws another blank
But he has urged people to lay off his teammate, saying other players – including himself – must chip in with more goals.
“I don’t think we can just rely on Mick to score our goals,” Rice told whufc.com.
“He scored so many at the start of the season.
“It’s dried up a bit now, but I think every striker goes through that patch and he’s still a massive key for us and the way we play. It’s up to other players to score goals, including myself.”
Next up for West Ham is a trip to London rivals Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta has the Gunners in much better shape than last season. A win for Arsenal would see them leapfrog West Ham.
Moyes will have little choice but to start Antonio again given his lack of options.
Hammers fans will just be hoping Antonio can rediscover something like his best form again at the Emirates.