West Ham star is playing with a smile on his face again
PUBLISHED: 12:30 01 May 2019
2019 West Ham United FC
Hammer Antonio shows he is back close to his best
For the second week running, West Ham striker Michail Antonio was able to try out one of his trademark goal celebrations.
Last week, he stroked the new claret carpet at the London Stadium; this time he seemed to be riding an invisible horse in tribute to some bloke on Instagram.
Perhaps it was a good job that he didn't score anymore, he might have exhausted his repertoire.
“It could have been better,” said Antonio after the 1-0 win.
“If I had scored all four of the chances that I had, it would have been better, but I will take it. To be the first away player to score a goal at Tottenham's new stadium is excellent.”
West Ham had been threatening a goal, but nobody scores at Spurs, do they?
“Somehow, me and Marko switched positions. I have gone to make a run wide, but 'Nobes' has played it out wide.
“I have peeled back in hoping that Marko would see me, he did and it was an unbelievable ball in and a good finish.”
It certainly was, but understandably, despite two goals in two games, the former Nottingham Forest man wanted more.
“There were four other chances to score,” he said.
“I am not going to lie, I thought I should have scored more. I should have taken more of those chances, but for one of them I have knocked it around my marker, gone to shoot and my hamstring has cramped, so I didn't take the shot.
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“I have tried to take a touch and he has nudged me and I just thought 'I am too tired'!”
Antonio laughs as he says it and you can see that he is really enjoying his football now.
Is he playing at his best at the moment?
He thinks for a moment, adding: “I don't know if I would say that I am playing at my best. I played quite well in my first season.
“But after my two injuries I think I would say it is the best football I have played since.
“I am not too sure what the difference is. Back in December when we had a lot of injuries, I came back in and played quite well.
“But now I am also hitting the back of the net and goals are all that matters and what people remember.”
Absolutely right. The West Ham fans will certainly remember the goal that beat Tottenham in their shiny new stadium.
Goals from Ravel Morrison and Anton Ferdinand at Spurs are still fondly remembered, as will this one be. Victories over Tottenham are always so important.
“Every game is a fight and they know it is a massive game against West Ham because of the rivalry between the two,” said Antonio.
“I knew they would be up for it, but so did we and I think we executed it well.”
They did and in a season which has had few highlights, it is great to see a player enjoying his football and playing with a big smile on his face.
This is the Michail Antonio that West Ham really need.