West Ham boss David Moyes has set star striker Mikhail Antonio as the target of TWENTY Premier League goals this season, as Hammers look to continue an impressive start at home to Brentford
- West Ham’s Mikhail Antonio is the Premier League’s joint top scorer
- The striker has scored five times in as many league appearances for David Moyes’ team
- Hammers boss has urged Antonio to maintain his form for the rest of the season
- West Ham receive Brentford and face former target Ivan Toney
David Moyes has challenged star striker Mikhail Antonio to become the first West Ham player to score 20 top goals in a season in 35 years.
Antonio has started the new season in form in a red-hot fashion, scoring five times in as many Premier League appearances after last weekend’s dramatic winner in Leeds.
Tony Cottee was the last Hammers player to reach the milestone – scoring 22 times in the old Division One in 1986-87 – while Paolo Di Canio’s 16 strikes in the 1999-00 campaign became the club’s highest individual achievement in the Premier League. era.
West Ham boss David Moyes has set Mikhail Antonio a target of 20 league goals this season
Antonio has scored five goals in as many games after last weekend’s dramatic winner in Leeds
Moyes, whose side hosts Brentford at London Stadium on Sunday, believes the feat is ‘no further than’ 31-year-old Antonio.
“It’s really important that we get a striker who contributes those numbers if we can because your goals will definitely take us closer to the top,” Moyes said. “Mic’s winning goal in the 90th minute of the other day was magical for us and you need a center forward (who is capable of that).
“You see (Cristiano) Ronaldo do it for Manchester United and what it can do for your football club and your team, how it lifts us up, it gave us an incredible boost to get away from Leeds by three points.
“I think it’s a challenge for Mic to score 20 goals, I think he should put it down (as a target), it’s something he should try to achieve.
“It’s certainly not outside of him. I think the challenge for Mic would be to sit down and say, “Can you get to that?”.
Antonio has started the new campaign on a red hot streak and Moyes has urged him to continue
Last year he got 10 and I think the first challenge would be to say “come on you have to get more than 10 right away” that would be the first, don’t look too far ahead let’s try and so fast possibly get 10 and then see what you can do next.’
Newly promoted Brentford’s weekend visit promises to be a tantalizing encounter, with Antonio on one side of the pitch and Ivan Toney on the other.
Prolific Bees striker Toney broke the Sky Bet Championship scoring record last season by registering 31 times as Thomas Frank’s men made it through the play-offs – and he already has two goals in the upper division.
Moyes previously considered a switch for the 25-year-old but rejected suggestions he was interested in over the summer.
Brentford’s Ivan Toney broke the Championship scoring record with 31 goals last season
“We’ve scouted him a lot in Peterborough, I must say,” said Moyes, who has spent the past few months trying unsuccessfully to recruit an understudy for Antonio.
‘Sometimes you find something, sometimes you don’t. He was definitely one in the ‘we do, don’t we’ category when he was in Peterborough. Every time there was talk about doing something in the summer, it was wrong.
“He’s someone who seems very hungry to prove himself in the Premier League, if you have that hunger and determination, that’s a key ingredient.
“It will be a tough game for our central defenders, but also for Brentford.”