Following a highly impressive run of four straight wins in the Premier League, as well as six games unbeaten, West Ham’s fine form was brought to an abrupt halt against Liverpool last weekend, with David Moyes’ side having just 32% of possession, managing just two shots on target and creating just one big chance in a convincing 3-1 victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
West Ham’s overall lack of attacking momentum in the fixture was personified by the individual performances of the club’s front four, with Jarrod Bowen earning a SofaScore match rating of 6.6/10, Said Benrahma receiving a 5.9 rating, Pablo Fornals posting a 6.7 rating and Michail Antonio rating at 6.7.
As a result, speaking on a recent episode of the U Irons podcast, Thomas suggested that Moyes could look to change up his attacking line up in Wednesday’s fixture against Aston Villa, with Fornals being, in the journalist’s opinion, the most likely to drop out of the starting XI.
He said: “I don’t think [Jesse Lingard] will start, but he’ll definitely more likely come off the bench. We always talk about who’s in danger of losing their place in the team, and from what I saw against Liverpool, I feel like it will be Fornals, I thought Fornals was really poor. Most players were poor against Liverpool, but I thought Fornals [was] in particular and I feel like he’s in danger of losing his place moving forward.”
Should Fornals lose his starting spot?
TIF Thoughts on Roshane Thomas’ comments regarding the West Ham team…
Out of Bowen, Benrahma, Antonio and Fornals, Benrahma is the player who is currently averaging the worst WhoScored match rating of the four players so far in the Premier League this season.
However, with the Algerian making six of his 13 appearances from the bench – making it more difficult to have any meaningful impact on the game – and with Fornals starting 19 of his 20 Premier League appearances so far this season, it could be argued that the Spaniard has actually been the weakest player in the West Ham attack this term.
As such, as Thomas suggests, in our opinion, it would not be surprising if Fornals was indeed the player to drop out of the starting XI, should Moyes wish to include Lingard from the get-go against Villa.