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What’s this? Depth at Striker?

Arnautovic injury not a death blow to hammers

West Ham United v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

For the first time in a long time West Ham United have depth at the striker position and it’s a thing of beauty.

In the past an injury to the in-form Marko Arnautovic would have been a death blow to the Hammers, but with the recovery of Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll the Hammers have a bevy of options up top.

It’s a bit funny to have read all of the pieces about how West Ham should have sold off Chicharito this summer when the Mexico forward was sick and on the bench. Chicharito is a goal scorer plain and simple and has been worth every penny we’ve paid. Even before his illness he had bagged more goals than most West Ham players and he’d fallen into a bad situation with two managers that didn’t know how to use him.

Manuel Pellegrini has ushered in the resurgence of the Little Pea and it’s been a great thing to see. Chicharito has had his spells where he disappears but so does every striker. However his new found partnership with Arnautovic, Anderson, and Snodgrass has seen the striker bag a number of goals this season. The team is playing with an understanding that Chicharito isn’t going to be the kind of player that dominates possession and sets up his teammates. He’s going find space and find room to sneak through defenders and put himself in a position to get a shot off. He’s an all or nothing player, he’s either going to be invisible or he’s going to be putting shots on goal and scoring goals.

It’s interesting that the team has been successful with Arnautovic injured and now out. Typically the team would have gone into a tailspin like we’ve seen when Carroll, Sakho, and company got hurt. But with Chicharito available along with Carroll we have two strikers than can come in a give productive minutes and put goals in.

We even have a young striker that could get a first team shot in the near future and looks like the next youth player to break into the first team. Xande Silva looks to be a real talent and I can’t wait for his first team debut.

With so many options the hammers have a lot of different ways they can play and attack teams. This freedom has given Pellegrini the ability to adapt his tactics to fit opponents and situations. No longer are we reliant on a single goal scorer to win us games. This flexibility tactically is great but also keeps the players minds sharp and gives our strikers the ability to get rest.

It was a painful start to the season and we’ve seen both Andy Carroll and Chicharito out at the same time but now with everyone healthy the options are there and it’s really exciting to not be stuck with one player up front that we rely on.