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Irish Hammer 11:13 Tue Nov 30
Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Is it time for Manuel Lanzini to be given a chance from the start?

Whenever David Moyes has turned to his bench in hope of much-needed inspiration, more recently it is Manuel Lanzini who has been able to answer the call.

Despite suffering a 2-1 loss away to Premier League champions Manchester City, second-half substitute Lanzini scored a brilliant goal from distance. It was a strike that highlighted his technical ability, and one that many believe justifies a start in the upcoming fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion.

It was the first goal West Ham have scored from the bench in the league this season. Lanzini created a piece of history as his goal, timed at 93 minutes and 58 seconds, is the latest goal Manchester City have conceded in a league match at the Etihad Stadium since Opta started recording exact goal times in 2006-07.

But, more importantly, of all the attacking options on the bench it is Lanzini who has been able to noticeably make a difference. Andriy Yarmolenko has struggled to impress, while summer signing Nikola Vlasic is still adjusting to the pace of the league.

Substitute appearances this season

During the 4-1 win at Villa Park, Aston Villa were down to 10 men following Ezri Konsa’s dismissal. But it wasn’t until the introduction of Lanzini after the hour-mark for Said Benrahma where the momentum swung in West Ham’s favour. Within 20 minutes of being on the field, Moyes’ side scored twice via Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen.

Lanzini also scored the solitary goal in the Carabao Cup win at Manchester United. Besides his penchant for scoring memorable goals, the playmaker’s main strength is how calm and measured he is on the ball.

The 28-year-old has not been the same player since suffering a devastating anterior ligament injury while on international duty with Argentina in June 2018. But of late he has been playing some of his best football for the club, whether it is as a deep-lying playmaker, or further up the pitch.

“Manu is technically so good,” Declan Rice told The Athletic. “I hate playing against him in training because he wiggles out of everything. He has that Argentinian play to him; he plays one and two touch and he’s a great player to play with. His form has been excellent every time he’s come on the pitch, so hopefully, he can start some games for us.”

As a result of Lanzini’s resurgence, it is likely Benrahma will make way. In five of the seven league fixtures Lanzini has been brought on, it is Benrahma he has replaced. The Algeria playmaker started the season in promising form, amassing three goals and two assists in his first five fixtures. But his recent performances in the league have tailed off.

Lanzini scores against City (Photo: Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)
Benrahma’s last goal in the top flight was in the 2-1 loss to Manchester United back in September. He is yet to complete 90 minutes in the league since the 2-1 loss to Brentford in October. But it is not just Benrahma who is struggling offensively. Michail Antonio had bright spells against Manchester City but is not displaying the type of form that will dissuade Moyes from signing a striker in January.

In back-to-back league defeats by Wolves and Pep Guardiola’s side, the attacking quartet of Antonio, Bowen, Fornals and Benrahma have not been able to make a difference.

When asked if he is worried, Moyes said: “I am and I’ve told them we need to be better in that area. If you want to be up at the top end you need to have forward players who can individually beat people, who can create goals and convert chances.

“I don’t think we have been in recent games. We won in Europe in midweek but our attacking play could have been much cleaner with our chances. It’s something we need to work on.

“Manu is starting to find some pretty good form. He played well against Aston Villa when he came on. He’s getting regular games and he looks in better condition so I’m pleased for him. I thought he did OK when he came on and getting a goal for us is a bonus. He’s a really important part of the team and we’ll keep using him where we see the right time and the right place.”

Supporters will hope that will be in the starting XI against Brighton. Moyes rarely changes his team, leading up to the defeat at the Etihad Stadium, he had only changed the line-up five times, the lowest in the league.

But the defeat by City gives Moyes a great opportunity to freshen things up, which could well benefit Lanzini.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Manuel 8:39 Mon Dec 6
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
We've seen it before with talented players who after a bad injury have to adapt their game and become more combative. I don't particularly hold out that much hope that he is going to be anything special for us moving forward, but if he can continue with this form he will be a worthwhile player to have around, which is a better position than it has been for quite a while.

OneAll 5:16 Mon Dec 6
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
He seems to have added a mean streak to his game and is much more aggressive in tackles which can only be a good thing , always loved lanzini

Mex Martillo 9:16 Fri Dec 3
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Mad Dog 12:46 Thu Dec 2

Moncurs Putting Iron 2:45 Thu Dec 2
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Definitely came changed things when he came on so yes, start him.

Sajmo1 2:35 Thu Dec 2
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Different class to everyone in this team except Rice talent wise. Not many players return to their best after the injury he's had but he should be given a chance imo

Cony Tottee 12:50 Thu Dec 2
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
I like Benramha but he was poor last night so expect Lanzini to start, and Masuaku to be locked in a room somewhere as far away from the pitch as possible.

Mad Dog 12:46 Thu Dec 2
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Fornals should not be dropped. We are a much worse team without him. Vital player

Mex Martillo 8:26 Thu Dec 2
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Yes, hope Lanzini comes in for Benramha

Sir Alf 12:57 Thu Dec 2
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Will replace Benrahma or Fornals as a starter against Chelsea I suspect. That said, and as mentioned on the match thread, he struggles with 90 mins nowadays. A good 60 min contribution would be useful though as he has definitely upped his strength on the ball which was his biggest issue since he was kniocked off the ball far too easily in the past. Since the 2018 injury he has lost half a yard but is compensating with his ability to protect the ball now. He still has excellent passing and technique and a change of pace. A good shot too.

Vlasic at the moment looking to reinforce why Everton didnt retain him but he has ball control and looks like he will work off the ball. Again its strength on the ball that is his issue. I am hopeful the coaching team is putting him through the same program as Lanzini. He ( Vlasic ) also did not have a preseason apparently so was way behind on fitness for the premiership when he arrived. Lets hope he has caught up and we start to see a real player after Xmas

factory seconds 12:34 Thu Dec 2
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
i'd be fuming if i was him. as i said before, not respecting the meritocracy of performances so you can keep playing your favourites absolutely pisses over squad morale.

can't imagine what vlasic must be doing in training to not get a sniff when our attack is playing like it has, other than wanking into the centre circle and espousing the virtues of edward longshanks.

zico 11:52 Wed Dec 1
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Got stuck in well tonight and deserves a start.

GreenStreetPlayer 11:50 Wed Dec 1
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Has to start.

Mad Dog 11:29 Tue Nov 30
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???

tnb 11:12 Tue Nov 30
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Rice Fornals
Bowen Lanzini Benrahma

Should be more than enough against Brighton, gives Lanzini his chance and gives Soucek a rest. Then if we want to go a bit more defensive against Chelsea, whichever of Lanzini or Benrahma doesn’t deliver the goods drops out and Fornals comes further forwards again with Soucek back.

Bowen has to play and if we are dropping one of the attackers to play a 5 again in the future then it shouldn’t be him. He gives us a directness that no one else does and which is especially important whilst Antonio isn’t on song.

Getting ahead but Kral has to start against Zagreb. Maybe Rice and Soucek can have a half each alongside him but whilst I appreciate Moyes likes to give people a chance to bed in if he isn’t able to step in and give people a rest in a dead rubber then he’s never going to be ready for much. Same with Vlasic and maybe Lanzini and Benrahma can also have a half each. Stick Perkins on the right to get some experience.

gph 3:53 Tue Nov 30
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Thanks, Irish.

Benrahma definitely has games where he's nothing special, and so does Lanzini.

They can't complain if one gets swapped for the other, at least until one develops some consistency.

factory seconds 3:44 Tue Nov 30
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
not starting him against brighton could give squad morale a fair kick in the bollocks. he's brute forced his way into the XI and if Moyes doesn't respect that then all the other non-starters who are giving it all in training with the hope of breaking into the XI will surely notice.

Takashi Miike 1:27 Tue Nov 30
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
I agree, hopefully he starts tomorrow and benny has a rest

GreenStreetPlayer 1:12 Tue Nov 30
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
He has got that desire and hunger shown by many of the team that has brought us to where we are.
We could do with a new injection, and Lanzini’s performances recently suggest he is exactly what the team needs at this time.

Tomshardware 1:10 Tue Nov 30
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Lovely goal on Sunday, I reckon he does deserve a start.

dealcanvey 1:06 Tue Nov 30
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Has he played in the deeper role since that Burnley game last season?

He was class there. Should be used more to give other players a rest and a kick up the arse when needed.

the exile 12:31 Tue Nov 30
Re: Article on Lanzini - Time to be a Starter ???
Yes, start Lanzini. As well as being deserved on merit, it serves another purpose, which is to give Benrahma the kick up the backside that I believe he needs. To me he looks like a player who has become a bit complacent from being a regular starter. He has shown in the past that he can improve his game through hard work and he needs to do it again.

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