There is little left to play for in the Premier League this season for Slaven Bilic and his West Ham side, meaning when it comes to performances on the pitch, those players who are in need of a good run must use the remaining games to show their manager exactly what they can offer ahead of next season.
Losing Dimitri Payet in January was a bitter blow to the Hammers, however, the way in which the players left behind by the Frenchman rallied in his absence meant that the blow was softened significantly.
The man brought in to fill the boost of the France international was Hull City’s Robert Snodgrass, who had impressed all season at the heart of the Tigers’ attacking line.
However, it’s been a mixed spell since the Scot made the move to east London, with initial impressive performances fading to the point where he has been left on the bench for the last two Premier League ties.
Coincidentally, whilst most will have agreed that it was time the former Norwich man fell out of the starting eleven, Bilic’s side have lost both those clashes, against Bournemouth and Leicester, 3-2.
With the future of Bilic in doubt, after reports this week suggested a move for either Reading boss Jaap Stam or Huddersfield’s David Wagner, the Croatian is faced by a dilemma to which his response could shape the board’s decision.
The Hammers’ top scorer this season, Michail Antonio, is unavailable for this weekend’s trip to face Snodgrass’ former side, Hull, and remains a doubt for Wednesday’s clash with Arsenal at The Emirates.
With that in mind, Bilic has a big call to make, and will more than likely reinstate the Scotland international for his homecoming.
Whilst it is always a strange afternoon when facing a club where you were held on such a pedestal, especially having played for them earlier in the same season, Snodgrass must put all that aside this weekend.
His talent on the ball is clear and undoubted, it just has come to the fore in claret and blue as of yet. However, with potentially just the one game to prove himself to the Hammers faithful, as well as his manager, the playmaker – famed for his talent from a dead ball – must step up to the plate.
Given that there is little but pride on the line for the east Londoners left this season, Snodgrass is now playing for his place in the side come next season, when all in Stratford are expecting much better things than their maiden year at the London Stadium.
It will be an emotional day for the midfielder, but he must use it to it’s full and begin his journey to becoming a West Ham regular and fan favourite.