David Moyes made a telling admission on the “weaknesses” of Saturday’s opponent Chelsea, and addressed the poor form of West Ham talisman, Michail Antonio.
West Ham currently sit fourth in the Premier League table, though the gap to those below them is far closer than to those above. Fourth would appear to be the highest position the Hammers can aim for. Achieving that goal would constitute an incredible success for Moyes and his men.
In his Friday press conference ahead of their 12:30pm clash with Chelsea on Saturday, Moyes was asked about their season aims.
Firstly, he referenced their stellar campaign last season, saying (via Football London): “To finish two points behind Chelsea in the league, the challenge is to get the extra two points this season.
“We want to challenge the teams in the top four. This time last year we were a bit down the league and we picked up in the second half. we have made a good start and are trying to hang in there and have a good go at it at the end of the season.”
Securing a positive result against the Blues will aid that cause, and Moyes gladly revealed only Angelo Ogbonna is likely to be absent from selection.
“Aaron Cresswell is back in training,” added the Scot. “He’s done a bit of light training so we’ll take a look at that.
“Otherwise we’re okay, other than Angelo Ogbonna being out with his cruciate. In the main, we’ve got everybody fit though.”
Moyes addresses Antonio’s loss of form
Key to their chances of success on Saturday will be prising the unplayable best back out from Michail Antonio.
The centre-forward was in outstanding form to begin the season, notching four goals and three assists in his first three matches.
Since then, however, Antonio registered just two goals and zero assists in his next 10 league outings.
On Antonio’s dip in form, Moyes said: “Centre-forwards can go through barren spells. Michail has been a little unlucky, the keeper made a great save from him.
“He is really important for us, he is our focal point and has been important and I am hoping we can get him back in form. Strikers just need to keep getting in there and get chance, let’s hope Michail continues to get chances.”
Moyes makes telling Chelsea “weaknesses” admission
On the subject of how to sink Tuchel’s Chelsea, Moyes reluctantly admitted it’s “hard to see any weaknesses” in their game.
“Everyone is finding it difficult against Chelsea, we saw their quality in Europe as well,” added the Hammers boss.
“They have a very strong squad and hard to see any weaknesses. The manager has done a good job, won trophies and been successful and that is the requirement at Chelsea.
“I am looking forward to it. It is a game we have played well in recent seasons. Yarmolenko scored a late winner when the three points was vital and we did and last year we played well and were unlucky not to get something out of the game.
“Chelsea are a top team and it will be a tough game.”
West Ham now accustomed to fixture pile-up
Moyes has had to juggle a European campaign through the Europa League this season. But rather than complain, Moyes is content to take the additional challenge in his stride.
“We don’t have any time but that is the same for all the manager’s with three games this week and we have seen injuries this week which is disappointing,” admitted Moyes.
“We try to manage the players and have done in Europe. We’ve played really well for long parts of the season but you always have dips and injuries.
“[We] lost Ogbonna and we have not been totally sorted and Cresswell too. We will get back to it, I am sure we will. We need to try and use the ball better and I am hoping that is against Chelsea.”