West Ham striker Michail Antonio will hope to get back to his goalscoring best on Wednesday night against Arsenal.
The Jamaican international scored six goals in his first eight
Premier League appearances of the campaign, becoming an early contender for the
However, now he has not found the back of the net in his last seven top flight appearances, making this his longest drought in the division since February 2020.
The statistics show that Antonio’s problems come from shooting less. In the first eight matches he averaged 4.1 shots per game, whereas in the last seven that has dropped to 1.6 per game [WhoScored].
David Moyes has backed the 31-year-old to return to form over
the next few weeks.
“He’s been amazing for us since we put him as centre-forward,” the Scot said in his pre-match press conference before the game against Arsenal.
“He’s been unbelievable, and with the run of goals, he was on, when you become a No9 you go through phases when you can’t score and the secret’s to keep going. When his form’s good, I think the team plays much better.
“His all-round form is really important to how we play, but
I’ve seen signs it’s just beginning to click a little with him again, so
hopefully we’re not too far away.”
With Arsenal’s preparation for the fixture being thrown into
chaos by a Covid outbreak in the squad and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being
stripped of the captaincy, Antonio could capitalise and end his goal drought.
History is also on the striker’s side. He has been directly
involved in 11 goals in his last 11 Premier League London derbies (five goals, six
assists). Meanwhile, only Carlton Cole (14) has scored more Premier League
London derby goals for the Hammers than Antonio (11).
He doesn’t strike you as a player who would suffer from a
lack of confidence, but a goal at the Emirates Stadium would be a huge boost
for Antonio and the whole West Ham team.
In other West Ham news, the Hammers want to sign a highly-rated and in-form striker January.
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