Wednesday night was a pretty miserable one all round for West Ham United. The optimism surrounding the win over Chelsea was gone, replaced by the resignation of a dismal 2-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
However, the result was worsened by the fact that the Hammers emerged from the game with two injury problems. Utility man Michail Antonio was missing from the squad due to a knock suffered in the Chelsea game, while Robert Snodgrass had to be substituted during the game after a nasty collision.
Reliable Hammers news source Claret & Hugh claimed that hopes are high that both Antonio and Snodgrass will be fit to line up against the beleaguered Gunners.
That’s phenomenal news for manager Manuel Pellegrini, because these are two of the only Irons players who have been in good form in recent times. Amid the team’s slump, Snodgrass has been a beacon of hope, while Antonio’s return to fitness against Tottenham Hotspur last month gave everyone a lift.
The statistics show how much the 29-year-old gives this West Ham team. As per WhoScored.com, the Englishman is averaging 2.2 shots and 1.8 successful dribbles per game. His WhoScored ratings since coming back into the side? Only 7.76 and 7.42…
Then there’s Snodgrass, whose mix of high energy work-rate and technical brilliance has been big for the Hammers in recent weeks. He’s scored twice this season, while averaging 1.8 key passes per game. He also gets fouled 1.8 times an outing, as well. In the Spurs and Chelsea games he, like Antonio, also recorded excellent WhoScored ratings: 7.38 and 7.35 [Source: WhoScored.com].
To have been without these two for what looks like an eminently winnable contest with a woeful Arsenal team would have been immensely frustrating for Pellegrini. Now, though, the Chilean will have no excuses.