West Ham legend takes aim at “disrespectful” Michail Antonio

Michail Antonio West Ham

Former West Ham star Frank McAvennie has had some harsh words for current Irons attacker Michail Antonio after the latter’s “disrespectful” comments in a recent podcast interview.

Antonio was less than complimentary about West Ham’s style of play when quizzed for a show before the Hammers’ crucial Premier League meeting with Everton, though the Jamaican did manage to register an assist against the Toffees in what was a rare top flight start for the 32-year-old.

McAvennie criticises “disrespectful” Antonio

Speaking to fansite, West Ham Zone, McAvennie suggests that Antonio was out of line when he made negative comments about his team’s style of football, saying:

“I’ve seen Antonio coming out now and having a go at the way they play.

“That’s disrespectful now. He was on a podcast and he said we used to pump the ball long and try to get on the end of it, and now we’re trying to be a football team. And I’m saying there’s nothing wrong with trying to play football here.

“If you believe that they’re not doing it right keep it to yourself, don’t go on a podcast and talk about it, as if nobody is listening to you. It’s all over the place now.

“It’s a strange one. I think he could move, unfortunately for David. It can’t go on like this. When players come out talking about the manager it’s not a good sign.”

Antonio falling down the pecking order?

The barbs aimed in David Moyes’ direction by Antonio could be borne out of the striker’s frustration at his increasingly peripheral role at the London Stadium.

Antonio had been a mainstay in the Irons’ side for several seasons, though he started for just the ninth time in the Premier League this term when he made the cut for the XI against Everton.

With Italian summer signing, Gianluca Scamacca, becoming a more prominent figure at the spearhead of the Hammers’ attack, Antonio has had to be patient, though his haul of two goals and two assists in 2022/23 would suggest that he isn’t making the most of the opportunities that come his way.

The January acquisition of Danny Ings from Aston Villa has further clouded the issue for Antonio, who will fear that he is slipped further down the pecking order for West Ham.

Antonio hit double-figure Premier League goals in each of his last three campaigns for West Ham, though he will need a sizzling end to the season to match that tally this time around.

Everton circling for Antonio’s signature?

Relegation-threatened Everton, who were on the end of an Antonio assist at the weekend, are rumoured to be chasing the 32-year-old’s signature with a view to completing a deal before the transfer window slams shut.

The Toffees could have a new manager in place soon if the gossip surrounding Frank Lampard’s immediate future holds weight, however, and any switcharoo in the dugout is likely to put the dampener on any potential move for Antonio to Merseyside.

West Ham might also be reluctant to directly strengthen a rival in the battle for survival with the 16th-placed Irons just two spots and three points better off than Everton at present.

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