Tony Gale urges Slaven Bilic to start Diafra Sakho ahead of Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll

West Ham boss Bilic has been urged to make a key tactical change.

Slaven Bilic opted to start Andy Carroll upfront against Tottenham, with Diafra Sakho out on the wing, but Tony Gale has told Sky Sports that the Hammers boss should play Sakho as the lone striker due to his movement.

Gale said: “If he is going to play Andy Carroll they have to get crosses into him but I think they should go with Diafra Sakho up front again because he provides more movement.”

Bilic opted to let Carroll lead the line against Spurs, but rather than altering the style of play to build on his strengths, West Ham continued to play the ball on the ground.

Carroll is great in the air, but he is very static when it comes to running into space and splitting the opposition defence, and it is no surprise that he was so ineffective against a good Spurs back-line.

With the Hammers keen on keeping the style of play that has worked so well this term, Gale believes that Sakho should be selected as the out-and-out forward, as his skill set is far better suited to a game based upon the ground.

Sakho proved his goalscoring threat last season, and he is a player whose game is based around running into space, pressing and keeping the ball on the ground. He is the solo embodiment of how West Ham want to play, and his inclusion in the starting XI makes total sense.

Gale believes Sakho should be upfront because of the movement that the Senegalese forward brings, but he also admitted that if Carroll remains as Bilic’s first-choice striker, the head coach has to alter how his team play to build their game around long-balls and direct passes to the towering striker.

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