West Ham United goalkeeper David Martin has admitted that Michail Antonio was a massive miss against Wolves in the 2-0 defeat at Molineux.
The Hammers’ stopper claimed that the 29-year-old forward can do everything and that after his impressive performance in the 1-0 win over Chelsea, they missed his influence on the starting lineup.
Martin admitted that he isn’t exactly pretty on the eye, but he is perfect for the Irons due to his work rate and his desire to fight for every single ball in every game he plays.
“He can do everything,” he told Claret and Hugh.
“Sometimes he is not pretty on the eye, but he is a game player and he fights for everything. We are a better team when he is in it. He is so strong and is a real handful.”
Antonio has been hit with injuries twice already this season and has only managed to start a couple of games in the Premier League under Manuel Pellegrini.
After the impact he made against Chelsea on Saturday, Antonio will have been guaranteed to start against Wolves had he not pulled up with a problem in the build-up to the game. Pellegrini did the right thing by resting the 29-year-old, who has only just come back from a serious setback, and any little knock could easily trigger another injury. There was no doubting how much they missed the 29-year-old at Molineux, with his replacement Sebastien Haller nowhere near as effective as a lone striker for the Hammers. The Frenchman isn’t as mobile and needs a partner alongside him to get the best out of him – something that has yet to happen. It gets clearer each time he plays, so it does produce the question, what is he seeing that everyone else isn’t? There are no doubts that Antonio will be thrown back into the action should he be fit for the clash against Arsenal on Monday – much to the delight of Martin.