TalkSport reporter Alex Crook has expressed his concern about the state of the West Ham United squad.
Having qualified for the main stages of a European competition for the first time since the 1999/00 UEFA Cup and the challenges that presents when it comes to balancing the extra games and the disjointed Thursday-Sunday schedule, the Hammers have taken it in their stride thus far, as they currently sit fourth in the Premier League and qualified as group winners in the Europa League.
However, speaking on the TalkSport GameDay podcast, Crook raised his concerns when it came to the Hammers squad, stating that if they go further into the cup competitions and the senior players are used more often – as opposed to the weakened side that was put out in their last Europa League game – then the strain might start to be felt on the squad, and that is where they might start to struggle.
He said: “I just don’t think the West Ham squad is deep enough. If you look at the options coming off the bench, there’s plenty of them. They’ve got a lot of number 10s; how many match-winners?
“I think he’s going to have to use more of his Premier League regulars in the Europa League. I think that will be another factor. I look at the bench: Lanzini, Yarmolenko, Vlasic – they’re tidy players. Are they going to pick you up crucial points at the business end of the season? I’m not convinced.”
TIF Thoughts on Alex Crook’s comments on West Ham United and their squad…
Will West Ham finish in the top four?
Crook is right when it comes to West Ham United and their squad depth, because there are a lot of areas within the squad that they are lacking when it comes to numbers – centre-forward and centre-back to name just two of them.
As the fixtures pile up and the legs get tired as the season goes on, the need to rest and rotate players is going to be even greater, but right now, West Ham don’t have any games to spare where they can put out a weakened side as they did this week.
If West Ham are to be serious contenders both domestically and abroad, then additions to the squad are a must, especially when it comes to the centre-forward role and their reliance on Michail Antonio for their goals. Whether or not they end up doing so, we’ll just have to wait and see.