Date: 14th December 2019 at 6:10pm
Written by:

OPINION

This is what West Ham fans have been crying out for for weeks. Manuel Pellegrini made the decision to start Michail Antonio up front alongside Sebastien Haller, and instantly, after 10 games that have yielded just one win, the Hammers looked immediately much better against Southampton. A large part of that was down to the superb shift put in by Antonio. The forward looked hungry and aggressive from the outset, and his presence made the Saints look uncomfortable from the first whistle, and it was his hard work that led to the opener. Perhaps that shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise though. His season has been hampered by injury, but when he has featured, Antonio has averaged 1.8 successful dribbles per game, but has only been dribbled past 0.5 times per game, as per Whoscored. He is a battler plain and simple, and with his added guile, plus the bonus of having somebody a lot closer to Haller, made the Hammers look much more of a threat in the first half against the Saints. On another day, he might have had a penalty, and had it been awarded, it would have been fitting reward for the havoc he caused. 

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