WHO Poll
Q: 2021/22 What competition should we prioritise this season?
a. The league is our bread & butter, so this year let's have a club sandwich
24%
  
b. We're owed an FA Cup after Gerrard nicked our last one in 06, our name's on it in 22
9%
  
c. A bye to the League Cup 3rd round gives us a good start, let's make it count
5%
  
d. The Europa is our best ticket to the Champions League, this is the one
36%
  
e. What's wrong with you, let's do the lot, has the quadruple ever been done
25%
  



Irish Hammer 10:59 Mon Sep 27
Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Monday morning read, have a great week everyone. 😊⚒️


It has reached a point where Premier League defenders have probably formed an alliance to share information on ways to prevent Michail Antonio from subjecting them to misery for 90 minutes.

The latest victim was Leeds United’s makeshift defender Jamie Shackleton. The right-back, usually a midfielder, was given a thankless task in trying to deny Antonio late on — he was unable to do so and the West Ham United forward fired the winning goal past Illan Meslier.

Six games into the 2020-21 season, Antonio had scored a respectable three goals in six games. Twelve months later, he has doubled that tally in six games across all competitions.

West Ham had to be patient in their 2-1 win at Elland Road, but what would have pleased the away fans is how inevitable it all felt. Jarrod Bowen, Said Benrahma and Antonio were at the heart of their attacks. The latter had three shots on target, the most he has managed in a league game since the 4-1 win over Leicester City last season.

Although manager David Moyes felt Antonio could have performed better, he had eight touches in the opposition’s box (see touch map below) and delivered when it mattered most. The forward also had the most shots (seven), created the most chances (four) and won the most fouls (four).



It was about time he broke his scoring duck — the 31-year-old had failed to score in all of his previous nine fixtures against Leeds in games for West Ham, Reading, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and Cheltenham Town.

“He’s been terrific for us since he’s become a centre-forward,” said Moyes. “I didn’t think it was his best game, but his finish was magic and he missed one or two in the first half. He will play much better and the team will play much better too.”

Although it is the embryonic stage of the season, Antonio has scored more league goals (five) than golden boot favourites Harry Kane (zero), Cristiano Ronaldo (three), Romelu Lukaku (three) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (three). West Ham’s leading marksman is the Premier League’s joint top scorer, alongside Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah and Leicester forward Jamie Vardy — and only Paul Pogba has more assists than Antonio (three).

“Everybody gives Micky the respect he deserves,” said Moyes. “Press, Sky, BBC everybody talks about Antonio but the biggest respect he gets is from me and the club. We really value him, and he’s developing into a good player.”

It was after lockdown when Moyes started using Antonio regularly as a striker. Sebastien Haller, who has since moved to Ajax, was sidelined with a groin injury and Moyes needed Antonio to lead the line.

Antonio made his name on the wing and even played at full-back. He had occasionally played up top before, but the 2-0 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers in June 2020 seemed to be the point of no return. Since then, he has scored 24 goals and provided 10 assists in 40 league appearances.

“I hated it at first,” Antonio said but he has transitioned into arguably the most in-form striker in the league. He is the club’s all-time Premier League goalscorer and won the player of the month award for August. He has also registered an expected goals (xG) total of 4.11, which is the second-highest in the Premier League this season. It suggests that not only is Antonio finishing well, but he is also consistently fashioning high-quality opportunities to score, boding well for the rest of the season.

There was a time when Antonio was known for being profligate in front of goal. He had the talent, work ethic and motivation — but appeared to lack that predatory instinct. He has hit 51 goals in 163 league games at West Ham, a respectable record for any forward, but has never scored more than 10 in a Premier League season. Given his form, it is likely Antonio will have the best goalscoring campaign of his career so far.

The way he evades defenders is similar to how he shrugs off criticism from opposition fans. The Elland Road faithful felt Antonio should have been sent off after his right elbow caught Meslier in the face in the build-up to Tomas Soucek’s disallowed goal. After VAR checks, the forward was shown a yellow card by referee Kevin Friend.

During Antonio’s post-match interview, a smattering of home supporters shouted “cheat, cheat, cheat”. One fan went stronger with “you cheating bastard”.

It did not matter — what would have impressed Moyes again was the character his team showed when they went a goal down, as has been the case all season. Since Moyes returned to the helm in December 2019, only Manchester United (42) and Liverpool (30) have gained more points from losing positions than West Ham (26). In fairness to Leeds, Moyes’ side were fortunate to still be in the game at the interval considering the number of chances the hosts created. But for West Ham, they always maintain the belief they can go on to win.

“We’re all in it together and they are a great bunch of lads to work with,” Moyes said. “The way they have gone about their work from Wednesday night to here to pick up another three points shows an awful lot about how the players are gelling together.”

Benrahma had his best defensive performance in a claret and blue jersey. The Algeria playmaker was good offensively but, more importantly, dismissed the notion that he does not track back by making two brilliant interceptions.

Following the dramatic win, Declan Rice, Vladimir Coufal, Aaron Cresswell and Soucek threw their shirts into the crowd, while a few supporters struggled to contain their excitement by running onto the pitch. Antonio posted a video of himself topless in the dressing room dancing to Shouse’s house track Love Tonight.

It is fitting that the chorus for that song is “All I need is your love tonight” — all West Ham need is for Antonio to keep finding the back of the net.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Darby_ 12:18 Thu Oct 7
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Alex G 10:27 Mon Sep 27

You can tell from that thread who, like Tex, knows their football.

Takashi Miike 12:27 Thu Oct 7
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
great news, hopefully Declan's also rested against Andorra

Sven Roeder 11:11 Wed Oct 6
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Presume its been mentioned elsewhere but Antonio has withdrawn from the Jamaica squad and will be staying home over the international break getting ready for the Everton game.
Good news with Coufal also doing similar with the Czech squad

Reckon Soucek could also do with a rest and hopefully Rice will be used sparingly

WHU(Exeter) 2:49 Tue Sep 28
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
I loved his effort from day one of him joining and can't think of a more improved player season by season, not just here but in the Premiership as a whole.

wd40 11:19 Tue Sep 28
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Well he did and was playing like 'out of control shopping trolley' and now after being coached and some one taking a real interest in his career has become the football to the best of his abilities.

He was playing up front for Nottingham Forest knocking the goals in when we brought him and ended up playing right back at one stage all down to bad management.

Lily Hammer 12:30 Tue Sep 28
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Alex G

That is a thread worth framing and putting up on the wall.

Reading it back, 5 years on, some will feel smug, others a mug.

Irish Hammer 11:55 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Alex G

That threat is quite disturbing in that everything Texas said was right on the money and has been proven correct.

Ouch.

Alex G 10:27 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Here you go then, the "Should we play Antonio as a striker?" thread from around five years ago....

http://www.westhamonline.net/forum_flat.php?8463516%7C%7C1%7C%7C|o

chim chim cha boo 9:59 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Alex G 9:32 Mon Sep 27

I'd love to go back to the 'out of control shopping trolley' threads if I could find them.

Silly cunts need to pick another sport

Alex G 9:32 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Over the years there have been a lot of what can generously be described as awful opinions shared on WHO.

But a good six months before Antonio ever played up front for us there was a thread suggesting that Michail had the attributes to be a centre forward for us. I doubt anyone agreeing with the suggestion dreamt how good he'd end up being though!

chim chim cha boo 9:12 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Thanks Irish

Reading that gave me a little glow about being a West Ham supporter.

Lato 2:29 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Thanks Irish

Antonio.....legend!

The Fonz 1:28 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
ALL WE NEED IS ANTONIOOOOOOOO!

Would be a belter of a song but would need the music on in the background to make it work.

Russ of the BML 12:12 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Ta for posting. Decent read.

Manuel 11:49 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
''have a great week everyone'' 😊⚒️

FFS. Have we even started saying this now? WHO = BENT

Vexed 11:40 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
THANKS ALAN

Vexed 11:40 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
THANKS ALAN

epsom 11:38 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Thanks Irish

gph 11:32 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Thanks, Irish

lab 11:26 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Ta .

the exile 11:11 Mon Sep 27
Re: Michail Antonio: Destructive, dancing and deadly
Nice. Cheers Irish.

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