West Ham’s usual Mr. Dependable Winston Reid has looked a shadow of his former self this season and with games against Liverpool and Manchester United approaching he may need to be dropped.
The 26-year-old centre-back has been a predominant figure in the West Ham defence over the past few seasons and his committed, inspiring displays won the hearts of the fans.
However, ever since Reid returned from an injury at the back end of the last campaign he has struggled to regain the form that saw his reputation at the club saw.
The Hammers have strengthened near enough all over the pitch this summer and it was thought that when talks over a new contract began with Reid, they would not need to bring in a centre-back.
However a contract extension has still not been signed and, after speculated interest from Arsenal in the summer, the defender could be hoping for a move away either in January for a cut price or for free at the end of the season.
This would be a fitting explanation to his lacklustre form and apparent disinterest in the opening four matches, where he has been conspicuously below his best. He may have been hoping of a glamorous deadline day switch to the Emirates, but his performances so far will not warrant them returning to sign him in the future.
This begs the question that perhaps Reid is simply really struggling for form at the moment, as all footballers do from time to time. Or maybe he has a niggling injury that is hindering his ability to apply his full concentration during matches.
Whichever the reason, Sam Allardyce needs to seriously consider dropping him. He has looked rusty and hesitant, which is reaping havoc and confusion amongst the defence.
With tough games approaching where they will come up against the likes of Raheem Sterling, Mario Balotelli, Phillip Coutinho, and then Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao, West Ham need to be solid.
Allardyce has received a lot of stick in the past for his defensive displays and in a bid to 'entertain' this season they are yet to register a clean sheet, and have made careless mistakes at the back in the process.
There has been a massive shift from the usual defensive nature of the side to a more attacking one and they could be exposed against Liverpool and Manchester United if they are not careful.
While it may seem harsh to axe arguably your best defender, especially while trying to convince him to sign a new deal, it could stop the team from receiving a hiding in the next couple of weeks.
James Collins is fit again and could partner James Tompkins at the heart of the defence, while neither have been in spectacular form they have still looked sharper than Reid.
However it may be favourable for Allardyce to place the powerful Cheikhou Kouyate at centre-back and field Alex Song in midfield.
Kouyate has plenty of experience playing there for Anderlecht and his pace, power and overall presence in the position could help the Hammers sure up their defence and even help cause a shock against one of the big guns.
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