West Ham Fan View: How Slaven Bilic can cope with Hammers injury crisis

Zakir Hasan

At many points this season, many West Ham fans have thought that it could not get any worse. We have gone on a long run without winning games and we’re even on one right now with no win in our last five. But our season has now gotten worse. West Ham have confirmed that Pedro Obiang, Winston Reid, and Michail Antonio, three of our key players, are all injured. So how does this affect our team?

Pedro Obiang

Obiang has been one of the best players at West Ham this season following his slightly underwhelming start to the club. His presence in midfield has been crucial to the team with his ability to protect the back four and break up play. Obiang has not started eight games for us this season and we have gone on to lose six of those. He has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a ‘high ankle sprain injury’ and will undoubtedly be a big miss.

One option in replacing Obiang is bringing Edimilson Fernandes back into the team and although he is only twenty years old, he has impressed since joining the club. He now has the chance to display the talent that made the club sign him and his inclusion will signal something new which has been much needed for a while now. Let’s not forget that Slaven Bilic may also play Cheikhou Kouyate in midfield to replace Obiang though with our other injuries, Fernandes seems the best option.

Winston Reid

Although we signed Jose Fonte in January, our centre-back situation is worrying. Angelo Ogbonna was ruled out for the rest of the season in January and Reece Oxford has gone out on loan to Reading, leaving us with only James Collins and Jose Fonte as our senior centre-backs. Like Obiang, Reid is a key player to the team due to his experience and ability to lead though he has been ruled out for five weeks.

Reid’s most likely replacement is James Collins who has only started ten games this season. Bilic may also opt to play Kouyate at centre-back in a back-three alongside Collins and Fonte or we may see Havard Nordtveit playing at centre-back. We have already conceded 52 goals this season and given these injuries, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we continue to leak goals.

Michail Antonio

Although defence has been more of a worry than our attack this season, Antonio is still a huge loss. When he missed the game against Chelsea following his red card against Watford, the loss of his qualities was evident and his goal on his return against Bournemouth only served to show his importance to the team.

Antonio has been ruled out for three to four weeks and it is likely a choice between Robert Snodgrass and Sofiane Feghouli for Antonio’s spot in the team. Neither have performed to the expectations that were set when they signed for West Ham though with Carroll back in the team, Snodgrass may be the better option given his style of play and qualities.

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