After the Europa Conference League match last week, West Ham United’s standout player, Michail Antonio, openly described his own performance as ’embarrassing’, writes the TBR.
The Hammers managed to secure a crucial 2-1 victory against AZ Alkmaar, and they will carry their slender advantage into the upcoming match in the Netherlands tomorrow.
David Moyes aims to lead his West Ham side to a European final this season, aiming to avoid a repeat of their elimination at the same stage in the previous Europa League campaign. Although the Hammers emerged victorious, they faced significant challenges during the match, spending a considerable period trailing behind their opponents. It’s fair to say that Antonio encountered difficulties on that particular night.
For extended stretches of the game, the 33-year-old found it difficult to make an impact. However, Moyes showed faith in his player and ultimately reaped the benefits. In the 75th minute, Antonio managed to secure the decisive goal, which ultimately secured the victory, following Said Benrahma’s equalizer from the penalty spot.
During an interview with the Footballer’s Football Podcast, Antonio revealed that he wouldn’t have expressed any dissatisfaction if Moyes had chosen to substitute him just moments before he scored. The West Ham striker openly discussed his challenges during the match, acknowledging that he struggled against the resilient defense of AZ Alkmaar and felt as if he was constantly being overpowered.
He said: “It was the truth, I was getting rag-dolled! It was embarrassing. I was getting rag-dolled all over the pitch.
“But 90 percent of them were fouls and the ref was giving me nothing! I can’t do anything, if the ref isn’t going to give me anything.
“Everyone was moaning at me, the gaffer was saying you have to do better, and I was like ‘mate, the man is running into my back with two hands, there’s nothing I can do’.
“He was like ‘no, you have to deal with it, he isn’t giving you nothing so you have to deal with it’. It got to the stage I was getting frustrated, I started sitting on the floor like a child.
“I was like ‘ref you have got to sort me out’. But I got my goal, so I don’t care! But I’m not going to lie, if I did get dragged five minutes earlier I probably would have deserved it.”