By Harvey Byrne
West Ham supporters were left unhappy with Slavan Bilic’s decision to keep Michail Antonio at right-back in the lineup against Chelsea on Monday evening.
The Hammers star is more natural to an attacking role and has been heavily criticised for a number of mistakes made from his full-back position.
It was believed that the former Nottingham Forest player had merely been covering in pre-season for Sam Byram, who had moved to the left-back role to cover for Aaron Cresswell’s injury.
However, Bilic has kept the 26-year-old in a more defensive role in Monday night’s game with Byram left on the bench, while new signing Arthur Masuaku makes his competitive debut at left-back.
Antonio is set to face Eden Hazard down his side of the pitch and supporters were quick to state their fears for the winger turned full-back.
Here are a selection of their messages:
— Michael Joyner (@MCAJoyner) August 15, 2016
Michail Antonio vs. Eden Hazard.
— Benny Berger (@benny_berger) August 15, 2016
— Dale St John (@DaleSaintJ) August 15, 2016
Oh Slav, please no more Antonio at RB… #whufc
— James Howard (@themooks) August 15, 2016
Antonio wasted at RB, surely?! 🤔 #WHUFC
— Josh Coles (@jcoles1990) August 15, 2016
— Adam Smith (@ASmithSJ) August 15, 2016
— mark frost (@frozzsta) August 15, 2016
Antonio moved to east London last summer in a £7million move from Championship side Nottingham Forest.
The highly-rated wideman starred in 34 appearances for the Hammers last season and many fans were left disgruntled after Roy Hodgson chose to take just the one winger to Euro 2016 with Raheem Sterling.
Bilic will be keen to kick start West Ham’s season with a victory, but he will be aware that a fixture at Stamford Bridge is never easy.
In other West Ham team news, Dimitri Payet has been omitted from the Hammers team for their season opener.