This is the West Ham team that can Save Our Season but there’s one big problem for Hammers manager David Moyes.
West Ham welcome Brentford to the London Stadium on Friday night for what is being billed a ‘must win’ match.
Defeat to Arsenal on Boxing Day saw speculation intensify over Moyes’ West Ham future.
And it has been claimed defeat to Brentford could spell the end of the Scot’s second spell in charge of West Ham.
We have been over Moyes’s record at West Ham too many times to mention in recent months.
There is no hiding from the awful Premier League form of the last 12 months during which the Hammers have won just 13 of their last 43 top flight matches.
There has, however, been memorable European nights and last 16 knockout European football in consecutive seasons for the first time in West Ham’s history.
That clearly counts for a lot with West Ham’s owners. And many fans are still very much of the opinion that Moyes needs and deserves time to get the best out of his expensively assembled squad following a £170m summer spend.
Much of the focus has been on Moyes’ team selection and tactics.
Everyone is an expert on those subjects of course. Especially after the event. But supporters are well within their rights to expect and demand change given the team and system has not worked efficiently for some time.
This is the West Ham team that can Save Our Season but there’s one big problem for Moyes.
And that is getting them all on the pitch at the same time!
Lukasz Fabianski has been one of the best and most reliable goalkeepers in West Ham’s modern history.
But Alphonse Areola’s reactions and distribution can be a game changer for the Hammers.
There is a high chance Areola would have saved the near post shot which Fabianski conceded against Arsenal.
Perhaps it is time the Frenchman came into the team.
At the back Thilo Kehrer must only be allowed to play right-back or in defensive midfield. He is too error-prone to be a centre-back as PSG fans tried to warn West Ham before signing the German for £10m in the summer.
Harrison Ashby should have been given his chance by now but his decision to signal his intent to leave means that is now futile.
So Kehrer is the obvious one to play right-back with neither Vladimir Coufal or Ben Johnson up to the job.
Bringing in a new right-back must, though, be a top priority for West Ham as soon as possible. In the meantime, Kehrer is the best option.
At centre-back Kurt Zouma and Nayef Aguerd are the medium to long-term future for West Ham. Craig Dawson still wants away according to reports. And it looks like it has been affecting his game. Daws never lets anyone down but his situation is likely to see him leave next month.
At left-back Aaron Cresswell is the only option. Emerson is not the answer and Moyes has clearly not been overly impressed given his lack of opportunities. Again a new left-back is a priority. But Maxwel Cornet would undoubtedly be playing as a left wingback by now were it not for injury, with Cresswell being used as a third centre-back.
That in itself would help change the dimension of this West Ham team. But midfield is the key for the Hammers. Declan Rice is the first name on the teamsheet. But he must be partnered by Pablo Fornals.
West Ham need players in the middle who are comfortable on the ball and can allow Rice to get forward while also being able to do both sides of the game themselves.
Said Benrahma picks himself at the moment while Jarrod Bowen is the only option on the right without Cornet.
Up front Gianluca Scamacca is not the problem – he just needs Lucas Paqueta played closer to him and they will start to build on the understanding they had started to develop.
The West Ham team that can Save Our Season in both a back four and back five with everyone fit:
Areola, Kehrer, Zouma, Aguerd, Cresswell, Rice, Fornals, Benrahma (or Cornet), Bowen, Paqueta, Scamacca.
Areola, Kehrer, Zouma, Aguerd, Cresswell, Cornet, Rice, Fornals, Bowen, Paqueta, Scamacca.