West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has warned winger Michail Antonio that he must improve his form in front of goal.
The 28-year-old, on a reported £70,000-a-wk at the London Stadium [Source: Spotrac], has struggled to score this season and missed a golden opportunity in the 4-0 defeat to Manchester City last week.
Pellegrini wants more from him: “If you have two or three clear chances, you must score,” he told the Mirror. “It’s not just to demonstrate you can do it, you must score.
“Maybe the two chances he had, if he had scored, would have changed the game. So on one side you are happy because of the way he is playing and on the other he is not scoring – and he must score.”
Pellegrini certainly said it how it is, didn’t he? Antonio’s form hasn’t been good enough this season and that’s not just in front of goal. He’s missed a lot of chances but his overall play in general hasn’t been good enough for the Hammers this term. Having said that, even when he was bang in form and scoring goals a couple of years ago he wasn’t a natural finisher, that’s never been his game. The former Nottingham Forest man relies on pace and power, he has never been the most technical of players. His shooting isn’t the most accurate and a lot of the goals he has scored for West Ham over the years have been headers. The winger has really experienced a downturn in form over the last season or so and he needs to figure out what’s going wrong for him. Sticking a few chances in the back of the net would certainly be a good start for Antonio, because it’s clear that Pellegrini is beginning to lose patience with him.