West Ham duo Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio have been given a big wake-up call by Hammers boss David Moyes.

West Ham face one of their big rivals for a European place when they entertain Wolves at the London Stadium on Sunday.

The Hammers lost the reverse fixture 1-0 after that momentum-killing November international break. And in truth West Ham have struggled for any kind of consistent form since.

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Conversely Wolves have been a picture of consistency since then and boast one of the best defensive records in the Premier League.

West Ham know a win could reinvigorate them for the run in while victory for Wolves would put them above Moyes’s side.

The Irons have been running on fumes of late and looked flat on their feet at the end of a disappointing 1-1 draw against Newcastle last time out.

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Wolves lost 2-1 to Arsenal on Thursday night and will have had less than three days rest by the time they take on West Ham.

Two Hammers players who have seriously struggled over the last few months are Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio.

The problem with Soucek is not quite as simple as a player out of form. Yes the big Czech has been well off his usual standards.

But anyone who thinks Declan Rice’s new rampaging free role isn’t impacting Soucek needs only to re-watch the Watford away game. Rice was suspended and Soucek was able to revert to his more natural game and he was one of the best players on the pitch and scored a lovely goal from open play.

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But it’s not Rice’s fault. It is down to Moyes to find a way and a system to ensure West Ham get the best of both players. 

One of West Ham’s biggest problems – besides not signing a striker to provide Michail Antonio with some much-needed competition – is the form of the man himself. Or should we say lack of form.

It’s not just that Antonio is not getting anywhere close to a goalscoring position that’s a worry. It is his dreadful all round performances giving greater cause for concern. With Antonio it is a combination of factors. Fatigue, lack of confidence, lack of competition and – most crucially – a change in tactics from the opposition. He has become too easy to defend against.

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West Ham duo Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio given big wake-up call by David Moyes

Both players were such key cogs in what has been a seriously competitive West Ham side under Moyes over the last two years. So their lack of form is having a big impact.

Now West Ham duo Soucek and Antonio have been given big wake-up call by Moyes ahead of the game with Wolves.

And the Scot named the pair as players he wants to see an improvement from.

“Goals scored is not a big problem (for West Ham as a team),” Moyes said in his pre-match press conference (Football.London and whufc.com).

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“But if you are talking about individuals then yes we would like to see Mich (Antonio) and Tomas Soucek get more goals. But as a team we are doing okay in that department.”

Moyes very rarely publicly criticises individuals.

So he will not have taken the decision lightly to fire off this warning shot to two of his key stars.

Let’s hope it gets the reaction it is clearly designed for, starting against Wolves on Sunday.

More West Ham news:

Major European blow for West Ham co-owner Kretinsky.

Now Brown sticks his oar in over Man United move for Rice.

Newman has transfer plan in two key areas to help Moyes summer rebuild.

West Ham refused to hand over cash claims angry club owner.

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