Search

West Ham man right-back in the mix after his display against Cardiff City

PUBLISHED: 16:30 05 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:19 06 December 2018

Cardiff City's Junior Hoilett (left) slides in to challenge West Ham United's Michail Antonio during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.

Cardiff City's Junior Hoilett (left) slides in to challenge West Ham United's Michail Antonio during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.

PA Wire/PA Images

Michail Antonio has played all over the field this season, but it was at right-back where he scored his first league goal of the seaspn

West Ham United's Michail Antonio (2nd right) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.West Ham United's Michail Antonio (2nd right) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.

It was just a week ago that West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini told us that veteran Pablo Zabaleta could not play every game in December.

Almost with the same breath, the boss hinted that winger Michail Antonio could be the man to replace him to the consternation of many fans.

And on Tuesday night against Cardiff City, that prophecy came true and Antonio came through with flying colours.

Not only did he look the part, he made no defensive mistakes and even popped up with a goal, heading home Robert Snodgrass’ corner.

Tottenham Hotspur's Juan Foyth (left) and West Ham United's Michail Antonio battle for the ball during the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at the London Stadium.Tottenham Hotspur's Juan Foyth (left) and West Ham United's Michail Antonio battle for the ball during the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at the London Stadium.

He scored in the 8-0 drubbing of Macclesfield Town earlier in the season, but this goal was a bit special from Antonio, who celebrated in style.

“I’m buzzing to score,” said after the 3-1 win. “It’s my first Premier League goal of the season and hopefully I can add to the tally now.

“It’s strange that I’ve been playing up front, right wing, left wing and now I’ve played at right back and I get the goal!”

It has been a tough year for Antonio with the 28-year-old even rumoured to be shipped out to Saturday’s opponents Crystal Palace at one point.

That didn’t happen, but he has still had issues with fitness and injuries which has seen him as mainly a substitute this season.

He got the nod this time, but it almost went horribly wrong for the Hammers when they conceded a first-half spot-kick.

“The penalty save was very crucial because Cardiff are a solid team who get nine people behind the ball and work together,” he said.

“If you score first they have to come out and you might get a few more, but if they score first, they’re hard to break down.”

Lucas Perez made the difference with two second-half goals before Antonio finished things off with a neat, stooping header.

“We’ve scored six goals in the last two games now,” he said. “We didn’t get any points from the first four games, so now we’re clawing back those points.

“We need to take points from the teams around us in the next few games and see how high we can go in the league.”

That means Crystal Palace on Saturday and even if Zabaleta is back from his rest to start at right-back, the versatile Antonio will be able to fit in anywhere.

The squad is building.

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories

Yesterday, 16:00

Essex club had won four in a row prior to Saturday’s game, compared to Shaymen’s solitary league victory in 14 matches

Yesterday, 19:00

Part of a £1 million donation pot was handed to charities in Barking and Dagenham on Friday at Britain’s largest mosque.

Yesterday, 14:00

May & Baker manager Micky Wetherall says his side showed character to win 3-2 against Benfleet in a game of two halves.

Yesterday, 17:00

Local paper journalists may not get to review West End musicals or critique Michelin star restaurants – but they do get to enjoy the festive spectacle that is the local pantomime.

Yesterday, 12:00

Barking boss Justin Gardner says his side came out firing in the first-half of their 2-1 win over in-form Grays Athletic – despite a late line-up reshuffle.

Super Snodgrass is loving every miuute with the Hammers

Yesterday, 16:00

A community centre in Dagenham has been given a £360,000 funding boost.

Yesterday, 11:00

Gale Street club were unable to trouble the scorers for the first time this term on Saturday

PROMOTED CONTENT

The Exchange in Ilford has added a state-of-the-art, Savannah-themed play area, with hand painted animal sculptures, to its brand new family zone, designed by American creative agency Playtime

Are you aged over 25 and an unpaid carer? If you want to return to employment but need practical help and support to get there, Working for Carers can help.

Everest Estates stress-free service guarantees a fixed income for your East London or Essex property every month, even if no one is currently living there. Here they talk about the scheme and explain how it can help you dodge common letting headaches.

Newsletter Sign Up

Barking and Dagenham Post twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now