Former England international Darren Bent has admitted that he feels bad for West Ham United striker Sebastien Haller.
The club record signing has scored just once since August, with his form in front of goal plummeting as the Hammers’ results have done the same. Sky Sports pundit Bent, though, feels the Frenchman isn’t to blame for his plight.
“I think a lack of confidence, a lack of creativity [is the problem] – at the start of the season when they were feeding him, they were scoring goals left, right and centre,” he told Football Insider.
“It’s been indifferent performances, people haven’t been creating much for him, he’s been feeding off scraps and he’s not scoring which is no surprise. When you’re not creating chances for somebody, as a centre-forward who’s there to score goals, he’s going to become disillusioned, become frustrated, become angry. There’s no point pointing the finger at him saying he can’t score – you’ve got to give him the opportunities.”
Bent is a former striker so he’s always going to sympathise with the attacker in this situation and, to be honest, he has a point. When West Ham were playing well and people like Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko were creating chances for him, Haller was sticking the ball in the back of the net. However, as the team has descended into a woeful run of form he has naturally found it harder to score. That’s normal. Yes, he hasn’t been playing as well either, but he has been feeding off scraps, as Bent says. He’s still averaging 2.1 shots per game, while his average WhoScored rating is 7.10, so he’s giving it a go [Source: WhoScored.com]. Perhaps if his manager showed any inclination whatsoever to change tactics that have been failing for two months then maybe the club record singing would be playing a bit better. Manuel Pellegrini is certainly more to blame in this situation than Haller himself.