When West Ham United signed striker Sebastien Haller for a club record transfer fee last summer it was supposed to represent them finally solving their long-standing centre forward issue.
Hammers supporters have had to endure a string of sub-standard/talented but inconsistent frontmen over the past several years, to the point where the time when Marlon Harewood was succeeded by Carlton Cole at the head of the attack is now seen as halcyon days in east London.
Haller was thought to be the answer to those troubles, and at first it looked like he would be. The 6ft 2in Frenchman scored four times in his first seven games for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, and was looking like money well spent [Source: Transfermarkt].
However, the 25-year-old hasn’t scored now since that Crystal Palace game in early October. He hasn’t been helped by a generally woeful West Ham team, but the former Eintracht Frankfurt man is now a big problem for Pellegrini.
Indeed, after Wednesday night’s 2-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers, there are serious questions over how much the big frontman wants it.
He was absolutely dismal at Molineux, and the worst thing was the seemingly complete lack of effort, desire and work rate from the lanky Frenchman. There were times even, when despite his colossal frame, he decided not to even jump for a header. That is simply inexcusable.
As per WhoScored.com, he has now gone four games without having a WhoScored rating above 6.94. In addition he is averaging just 0.8 key passes per game with a pass success rate of just 70.9%.
His use of the ball is poor, he’s not getting in the right positions, and now he’s apparently not even trying hard when he’s on the pitch. You can be out of form, you can lack confidence, but what you can’t do is not put a shift in.
Pellegrini needs to find a way to get his record buy firing again. Otherwise it will likely be him who pays the price for the striker’s failures.