In the few minutes Sam Byram and Andre Ayew were on the pitch together, they overlapped wonderfully and worked together to produce an equalizing goal against Bournemouth.
Bournemouth 2-2 West Ham (Ayew) pic.twitter.com/o0OZGjwYoL— ⚽️ (@GoalHQV) March 11, 2017
Look, Slaven Bilic has been on the receiving end of some fair heat lately. Nobody will argue with that. His tactics have lacked creativity and he’s been stubborn in his lineup selection. Bilic has been sticking with what worked a month ago, and not what is working today. Byram and Ayew showed us all something that we haven’t seen in quite some time.
With Mark Noble taking a back seat this match to rest up, we can expect Cheikhou Kouyate to line up next to Pedro Obiang in the holding midfielder position. You would then expect Sam Byram to easily slot into the right back position but Slaven has been known to surprise us in the final hours leading up the match.
"He is definitely one of the options," said Bilic in his pre-match presser.
"Sam did play this season, and got injured. It was a pretty bad injury, then he came back and played a few games, then Kouyate played in that position.
"Now he's back to fitness, he came on last week and made a goal, so yeah, maybe. Yes, it would be nice to have a right-back at right-back. It would be very nice."
It hasn’t always been easy for Sam Byram to make an impression on his Croatian manager. Sure, the fans and the pundits have questioned his lack of appearances between injuries, but Slaven has always had a unique approach to the youngsters on the squad. Several of them, including Ashley Fletcher and Edimilson Fernandes, have been forced to find match time on the PL2 squad.
Andre Ayew last 3 games:— West Ham Transfers (@westhamtransfer) March 11, 2017
Watford - GOAL
Chelsea - ASSIST
Bournemouth - GOAL
A man that needs to start. pic.twitter.com/k1MFsCFo53
A man that needs to start.
A simple sentiment that has fallen on deaf managerial ears. We’ve been made to suffer through Sofiane Feghouli’s plundering form this past month and look forward to fresh Ghanaian winds. The attacking lines move faster and transitions seem smoother. One of West Ham United’s largest flaws is switching from their defensive efforts to transforming into an attacking force. With Ayew, they’re a few steps faster in that regard and cannot afford to have him sitting on the sideline waiting to make a difference.
So in the off chance we don’t see Sam or Andre in the lineup cards tomorrow, get your pitchforks ready fellow revolutionaries. For when tomorrow arrives we will cling to our social media outlets, faces glued to our phones and computers, intently waiting to see the direction Slav decides to take the starting XI. Should this article, the fans, the media, and the pundits all fail to inspire Bilic to make the right choice, well then friends, we rebel.
Probably not, though.