West Ham United have the talent to get through their injury crisis, but it means some players stepping up and others getting a big chance.
West Ham United started the season in such fine style that some observers were tipping them – however tentatively – for a top-four finish.
There was no doubting the quality of Slaven Bilic’s summer signings, with Dimitri Payet the standout star but the likes of Angelo Ogbonna and Manuel Lanzini also impressing. And when you factor in their outstanding away form, the Hammers looked a threat for the great and the good of the Premier League.
A series of injuries threaten to derail West Ham’s campaign, with Payet and Lanzini joined on the side-lines by Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho and Victor Moses, but the games will not stop and it is up to the players Bilic can still call on to ensure their side stays on track.
While Andy Carroll is being touted by joint chairman David Gold as a potential solution to their striking problems, he also mentioned summer signing Nikica Jelavic, and if the Croatian can rediscover his best form he could be one half of an unlikely double-act to keep West Ham flying high.
Jelavic has featured sparingly for West Ham to date but he had a fine goal-scoring record at his former clubs and at 30 he still has plenty left in the tank.
In fact he is good enough and experienced enough to take this chance with both hands, and if West Ham also took a risk by recalling young midfielder Martin Samuelsen the two could become unlikely saviours.
The 18-year-old is currently on loan at Peterborough United and the Hammers are unable to recall him for the first 28 days of his contract, but once that is up Bilic would be wise to bring Samuelsen back and see what he can do in the top flight.
Now is the time for risks, because without them West Ham’s great season could slip away before the likes of Payet and Lanzini return with the business-end in sight.