Despite there only being one game with Marko Arnautovic and Chicharito playing as strikers together, West Ham can boast the greatest striker duo in the league. Now for the caveats on that brash statement:
- Both players are center forwards
- Both play at the same time, as a unit
- Outside of wingbacks and attacking midfielders, they are the only out and out attackers on the pitch
With exceptions likes these you can rule out Liverpool’s Firmino and Salah, Manchester City’s Aguero and Sterling, Tottenham’s Kane and Son, and whoever Jose Mourinho decides to put along side Lukaku to make up for his first touch. West Ham play two out and out strikers, no other team can boast the goals and points that the diamond formation with a double tip get for the Hammers.
Both Arnautovic and Chicharito have seven goals this season, with both players missing considerable time from injuries. Arnautovic’s goals per minute, and on-pitch effectiveness surpasses everyone’s favorite contender for “best player outside the top-6” Wilfred Zaha, as well. Not to mention the big Austrian also has three assists on the year.
For Chicharito, he is the archetypal fox in the box. Originally threatened by the presence of Arnautovic in a new center forward role, Chicharito was losing game time to him due to fitness. Now with Lanzini injured and Chicharito subbed back in, the duo was able to capture lightning in a bottle and work as a team, rather than rivals for the striker position.
Lazini’s return wont hurt the duo now either, it seems. He is the sparkplug for offence, and stopgap Joao Mario has done well in his absence to feed to newfound double headed monster. With a fully fit Lanzini there is no team selection predicament either, everyone in midfield will step back, with Kouyate likely on the bench, and Lanzini will act as the point man for Arnie and Little Pea.
West Ham are top ten in goals and crosses in the Prem, simple stats to see how the team functions with two up top. Possession down the wing and plentiful crosses into the box by either Cresswell, who has five assists, Masuaku, who has two, or apparently Michail Antonio who danced Watford’s Jaanmat last week for a remarkable assist as a left wingback. Not to mention Lanzini who can thread or cross balls in the midfield for goals too! It is a simple system but it works, and its working better now because of the talent on the end of the ball.
With Andy Carroll done for the season, Andre Ayew sold to Swansea, and Toni Martinez out on loan, the only striker option that remains is recruit Jordan Hugill. With him cutting his teeth in the Premier League in a bench substitute role, it will be the Mexican and the Austrian, an unlikely love story, continuously paired together to maintain and retain the best striker duo in the Premier League.
Come On You Irons