One man’s injury is another man’s opportunity and, while no one at West Ham United will be happy with the setback to popular character Michail Antonio, it does provide others with a chance to step up.
Chief amongst those players looking to make an impact in the period when Antonio is out – two months after surgery was confirmed on Friday, as per Football Insider – is midfielder Robert Snodgrass.
The Scotland international is a versatile operator capable of playing all across the midfield, but he may well take up Antonio’s role of impact substitute, certainly if the team’s line up against Norwich City on Saturday is anything to go by.
Andriy Yarmolenko, Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson were given the task of supporting frontman Sebastien Haller from the start, with Snodgrass and Fornals the alternatives in that area off the bench.
Antonio has been a positive presence from the dugout for the Hammers thus far this campaign, but it’s Snodgrass who will likely inherit that role in his absence.
That’s despite what was a poor performance from the 31-year-old against Newport County in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night. As per WhoScored.com, Snodgrass made four key passes and had one shot on target, but nothing he produced really came of anything at Rodney Parade.
Former England international Darren Bent even took to Football Insider recently to criticise the veteran midfielder for his underperformance on Tuesday.
However, Antonio’s injury on the same night effectively means that West Ham fans can expect to get a double dose of the Scotsman moving forward, something they may not want after his display in Wales.