West Ham United boss has a cunning plan to bamboozle the opposition and make them pay the penalty.
That’s according to an interesting new claim from West Ham insider ExWHUemployee.
West Ham earned their first penalty of the season in the 3-0 win over Sheffield United on Monday night, 24 games in.
Hammers fans were unsure as to who would take the spot-kick with Mark Noble sitting on the bench and Michail Antonio injured.
Penalty baton passes from Noble to Rice – after a bit of back and forth with Lingard
Noble’s replacement skipper Declan Rice confidently tucked the penalty away and ExWHUemployee highlighted how he called it a month ago.
But only after some back and forth between Rice and new signing Jesse Lingard who had won the spot kick.
Rice won that particular argument and Lingard was the first to celebrate with the central midfield ace.
That does not necessarily mean Rice will take the next penalty, though.
Because according to ExWHUemployee, West Ham boss David Moyes has a cunning plan to mix up his penalty takers game to game.
Insider claims Moyes has cunning plan to mix up West Ham spot kick takers
“With the penalty takers, it may not be Declan Rice next time,” ExWHUemployee said on The West Ham Way podcast (recorded February 17th).
“Well what they’re sort of working on is a formula – it may be him (Rice) – but they’re working on a formula where the opposition doesn’t always know who is going to take the penalty.
“So they’ve got other good penalty takers. (Tomas) Soucek is one, he used to take them for Slavia Prague, so it could be the next penalty is taken by Soucek possibly, even though Declan has a 100% conversion rate now.
“So it will be interesting to see what happens with that.”
Noble the obvious choice when he plays but Hammers plan may give them a little edge in race for Europe
If Noble is on the pitch he would obviously take it given he has the second best penalty conversion rate in Europe’s top five leagues over the last 20 years – behind only Robert Lewandowski – read full story here.
Beyond that it sounds like a clever plan from Moyes and his management team – who have turned West Ham into the Premier League’s set piece specialists this season.
Of course it would not be overly difficult for opposing managers to figure out who the likely candidates are and research where they have historically put their spot kicks given the huge analysis departments at Prem clubs.
But anything that might give West Ham a slight edge in the race for Europe has to be welcomed.
West Ham fans will just be hoping they don’t have to wait another 24 games for their next penalty.