Is THIS the best way for West Ham’s front six to line-up?

Image for Is THIS the best way for West Ham’s front six to line-up?

Diafra SakhoThe discussion about West Ham’s strongest ‘front six’ has been one of the most popular amongst supporters in recent years, most notably the last three whilst Sam Allardyce has been in charge. The wealth of midfielders and strikers at club this season has, as you would expect, left the manager with a selection headache – a healthy dilemma, but a dilemma nonetheless.

Assuming Allardyce continues to adopt his familiar ‘4-2-3-1′ formation, Mark Noble I am sure, is the first name of every supporters’ team-sheet. The midfielder’s composure, care in possession, and all round midfield play and consistency has led to him being a first team regular for the past few years and I would be surprised if this were to change anytime soon.

Alongside Noble, the first dilemma is between Cheikhou Kouyate and Alex Song. Kouyate has been outstanding since joining the club – a real powerhouse in midfield who has quickly become a fans’ favourite, whilst Song’s ability and experience simply cannot be ignored. For now, I’d say Kouyate’s performances warrant him a starter’s place, but I would not be surprised if Song replaces him during dips in form and times of inconsistency throughout the season.

In terms of wide men, my preferred pair would be Stewart Downing and despite not yet having appeared for the club yet, Morgan Amalfitano. The Frenchman had an impressive campaign last year with West Bromwich Albion and although we haven’t seen how well he will adapt to our system, my constant frustration with Ricardo Vaz Te and Matt Jarvis leave me with no alternative but to prefer Amalfitano in our starting 11.

Allardyce’s reluctance to drop skipper Kevin Nolan has often stopped others with more flair and craft from shining at the club. Despite contributing heavily since arriving at the Boleyn Ground, I would like to see Argentinian Mauro Zarate given an extended run of games in the starting 11. His performance and goal against Crystal Palace were outstanding, and Zarate clearly possesses talent that cannot be wasted in a side that has become infamous for struggling to score goals. Although I am a fan of Ravel Morrison and his ability, I fear he is still too much of a liability with a short fuse to deserve to be a first team regular in East London.

In the absence of the injured Andy Carroll, I would not be displeased seeing either Diafra Sakho or Enner Valencia lead the line for the hammers. Despite Valencia signing for £12million this season, from what I have seen, Sakho looks better suited to playing the lone striker role, whilst Valencia would benefit from having a partner in attack.

So here it is – Taking all into consideration and assuming we continue to play a ‘4-2-3-1’ system, my front six for now, would be:

CDM – Mark Noble

CDM – Cheikhou Kouyate

RAM – Stewart Downing

CAM – Mauro Zarate

LAM – Morgan Amalfitano

ST – Diafra Sakho

Let me know what you think – who would your front six be at the Boleyn Ground, and why?

Share this article


  • Dave says:

    Nice idea but Song instead of Noble, my opinion noble is not a premiership class player, Song and Kouyate are and both should be first on the team sheet. COYI..

    • firefighterx says:

      Sorry think you are totally wrong about noble. Great and on the whole tje most consistant player weve had for years.. Yes he has bad games dont they all ??
      I think we can acomadate both kouyate and song with song just behind mid field. COYI…

      • Dave says:

        I like noble for heart and passion but it’s no coincidence that he is constantly overlooked for england and Barry silkman has recently stated he is surprised that Mark noble has never been approached by another prem team in his career????? Hmm.. COYI..

  • steve howard says:

    Really exited bout the front 6. Want to see players used differently depending on opposition. Tactical like. Mid 3 of

    Song kouyate ravel – to swap with noble/zarate. Difficult one coz if nobes is on bench who captains. Reid on a contract dispute. I like the look of 2 power houses in mid with a flair player. Have nothing but respect for noble but do worry with such a strong midfield.

    Going to include andy so

    valencia downing wide. Carol up top. But expect that to shift around a bit while andys out.


  • Tony Hammer says:

    Noble is not an automatic choice for me. Slow, no vision for chance-creating passes, dwells on the ball too long and gives the opposition time to regroup and get men behind the ball. I would have Kouyate and Song in front of the back four. Four in front of them would be Morrison (or Zarate) with Valencia left, Downing right and (for now) Sakho up top

  • Stuart says:

    What about if we play 4-3-1-2? Then Song, Kouyate & Noble can all play, with Zarate as CAM and both Sakho & Valencia up front? Means no wingers though!

  • Jimmy hammer says:

    Noble needs the bench song morrisson zarate kayota all this loalty crap ain’t pushing us up the table

  • Frankie boy says:

    Song & Kouyate in front of the back four without a doubt. Noble might be the favourite of most of the fans but he is not good enough for the team if we wish to progress & is nowhere near England class. Downing & Amalfitano on the wings with Zarate & Sakho or Valencia. Song knows the game inside out & should get the armband.

  • scott says:

    The problem we have is that we have brought in about 3 strikers and we only play 1 striker. We’ve brought goalscorers in Allardyce is going to play them on the wing.

    Sakho, Zarate, Valencia all scored goals last season so should be playing up front but Allardyce will play them left or right of Carroll or Cole.

    For me, I would play 2 up front.

    Song, Kouyate
    Downing Jarvis
    Valencia, Carroll

    That is what the front 6 should be, but it’s highly unlikely that Allardyce will play our best strikers actually as strikers.

    More than like we’ll have Cole and Vaz Te in the front 3.

  • notanyoldiron says:

    In my opinion, you pick the team depending on who you play. Hull, for instance, can line up with Daime, Ince, Huddlestone and Livrmore in midfield. If ee go there witha guns blazing line up, we might get undone, as we were v Saints. When Schneiderlin ripped us apart. Yep, including Mr Reliable, Mark Noble.
    And why use wingers in the top 6 when we have Cresswell and Jenkinson who are wingbacks? Wingers in all but name. Against Hull, given Jenkinson and Cresswell start, I’d play Downing, Song, Kayoute, Noble, Zarate and Sakho. Hull’s midfield needs nullifying in my view. Our midfield needs to be solid.

Comments are closed.