If Pablo Fornals doesn’t start for West Ham United against Leeds tonight, there is something seriously wrong at the club, writes the Hammer News.
Tonight’s game is an absolute must-win for the Hammers. Nothing less than three points will do if David Moyes is to have any chance of turning things around and achieving a successful 2022/23 season on all fronts.
Things are looking bleak at the London Stadium at the moment. West Ham are currently sitting in 17th spot in the Premier League table, just two points clear of bottom placed Southampton.
Moyes has to mix things up, if he is to drag his team away from relegation trouble. He has been told that results must improve, if he is to keep his job at the London Stadium.
Moyes did mix things up against Brentford last time out, but the fact that he played five at the back kind of negated the positive that he was prepared change.
This time, he must set up his team to really go for Leeds. They are incredibly vulnerable in defence, and have conceded 29 goals in just 16 Premier League games so far this season.
In order to be able to hurt the Whites, the Hammers desperately need more creatively, guile and craft in the middle of the park.
First off, Moyes should play a flat back four, with Declan Rice operating as the defensive midfielder in front of them.
Lucas Paqueta can then be deployed in the number 8 role with Fornals given more of a free role in the 10 position.
With Said Benrahma on the left, Jarrod Bowen on the right and Gianluca Scamacca through the middle, West Ham should have more than enough to go to Elland Rad and beat Leeds United.
Fornals, with his intelligent passing and creativity should be able to cause Leeds all sorts of problems in the hole just behind Scamacca.
Whether or not Moyes has the courage to go and take the game to the hosts remains to be seen though.