David Moyes has a Carabao Cup conundrum to solve to get West Ham up and running
The Hammers were poor in their loss to Newcastle on Saturday and have the perfect opportunity to bounce back in midweekby Sam Inkersole
West Ham got their Premier League campaign off to a bad start on Saturday night but attention will quickly turn to the Carabao Cup as the Hammers face Charlton at London Stadium on Tuesday.
Beaten 2-0 by Newcastle in east London at the weekend, David Moyes now has a decision to make as he prepares his side to face the Addicks in E20. Get his first team players some valuable minutes under their belts, or give fringe players a chance.
Arthur Masuaku, Josh Cullen and Jack Wilshere were nowhere to be seen in the matchday squad for the Newcastle defeat and could well be handed a chance against Charlton on Tuesday. It could be a chance for them to force their way into the Premier League side as well.
Ben Johnson could get the start at right back to compete with Ryan Fredericks again. Fabian Balbuena as well with Issa Diop bringing his struggles from last season into the new campaign.
Another youngster in Conor Coventry might get a shot at London Stadium. Felipe Anderson could get a rare start, as could Manuel Lanzini and Sebastien Haller as well.
Moyes stuck with what he knew was best for him on Saturday as he named a very familiar side to take on Steve Bruce’s team. While they rode their luck at times post-lockdown last season, it wasn’t the case at the start of the new one.
Pablo Fornals looked lost in a wide position, Mark Noble simply isn’t a number ten, Michail Antonio reverted to type and Jarrod Bowen was shunted into an unfavourable position to accommodate Andriy Yarmolenko when the Ukrainian entered the fray.
Moyes knows his squad isn’t strong enough, hence him desperately searching for defensive recruits to shore up that very leaky backline. But considering how the window has gone so far he may well have to make do with what he’s got.
Tuesday’s game gives the chance to some players who have seen their futures up in the air in east London make a case for staying and being a solution to the problems Moyes has.
Anderson’s 89th minute introduction against Newcastle was borderline pointless at 2-0 down and with the club unable to sell the Brazilian so far this summer, he looks like he’ll be staying.
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The 27-year-old can still be a gamechanger when he is playing with confidence but that has been shot down quickly since Moyes took charge of the club. Perform well against Charlton and Anderson could force himself into the frame for Arsenal at the weekend.
Likewise Masuaku, who could usurp Aaron Cresswell with a good performance. Johnson could put himself back ahead of Fredericks as well.
There are plenty of opportunities up for grabs for the fringe players if they make the most of it consdeirng how the majoprity of them struggled against Newcastle. Moyes has his undroppables but there are a few spots that could be up for debate.
West Ham were lethargic, lacking ideas and generally poor against Newcastle. With such a brutal run of fixtures coming up, they need a spark from somewhere or from someone to get their season up and running.
Whether Moyes gives his fringe players a chance to shine, we shall see. He could just as easily stick with the regulars to get them to find some form. It’s a big call for the manager so early in the season.