David Moyes is delighted with West Ham’s new strength in depth and believes Michail Antonio will relish the competition offered by Gianluca Scamacca.
Italy international Scamacca was favored over Antonio for Sunday’s 1-0 win at Aston Villa and thus made his first Premier League start since a £30m move from Sassuolo.
Scamacca was taken off after 65 minutes for Antonio, who has carried the burden of being the Hammers’ main goal threat largely single-handedly in each of the last three seasons.
Asked how West Ham’s all-time Premier League goalscorer will react to the competition, Moyes said: “It’s brilliant and what we want.
“I said to Mic a few weeks ago, there’s no way we’re changing. Mic’s been so good. To try to do what Michy Antonio has done for us for the last two years and half, it would be very difficult to find someone who could do it.
“What we had to do was find someone, who we’ve known for a while, who we think can play a week or change as a substitute. We didn’t have that option last year. that we had today to bring Mic in with 30 minutes to go.
Summer signing Scamacca cut an isolated figure in the first half at Villa Park but West Ham improved after the break and the Italian tested Emi Martinez with effort and was starting to cause problems at the back at home when he was knocked out.
Moyes was pleased with the efforts of the 23-year-old, who scored twice for the Hammers in the Europa Conference League this month.
“We probably didn’t give Gianluca anything in the first half, he had scraps. We didn’t give him a lot of serve and we didn’t get any crosses in the box for him to try to finish,” added the West Ham boss.
“It started just before we took him off, we started to show more and he showed some good signs.
“He’s one of the main Italian strikers, he’s young but you wouldn’t expect him to hit the ground exactly. In fact, I think it’s more difficult for centre-forwards than for any post, but we love it.
“What we see, we like. He gives us presence and has already scored a few goals for us, which is a good sign for us.
Villa boss Steven Gerrard was disappointed with their end product despite dominating possession and trying hard against West Ham.
Emiliano Buendia, Jacob Ramsey, Cameron Archer and Leon Bailey were all introduced by the former Rangers manager, but a lack of tip ultimately cost the hosts.
Philippe Coutinho was sent off after 65 minutes but Gerrard expects him to be fit for the midweek clash at Arsenal.
He said: “I think he got a touch and the area where he got the touch is cramped so we decided to bring in the energy of Emi and make it a post. similar. I don’t think it’s an injury and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s available to move forward.
“The application was there, the effort was there but in terms of goals scored, there was definitely one element missing in the final third and that was imagination and quality.”