Two Of The Reasons Anderson Is Playing So Well

Felipe Anderson put in one hell of a performance during Hammers 2-0 victory over newly promoted Norwich City, as did most of his team mates. The Brazilain attacking midfielder shone as he bamboozled the Norwich defenders time after time, it was not uncommon to see three or four of them trying to undo his mazey runs.

One of the main reasons Anderson has been able to up his game from what was already a pretty successful debut season, is that the shackles of being the club's most expensive player have been removed. Since the arrival of Sebastian Haller as Hammers record signing, Anderson has played with the ambition and freedom that fans expected from him when he first arrived at the London Stadium, and while he did have some brilliant games, by his own admission it took him time to adapt to the frenzied pace of the Barclays Premier League.

In addition to his new found freedom, Anderson has been aided and abetted by Authur Masuaku in the last couple of games, and it really shows. Masuaku is not a full back, at least not in the traditional sense, but he is one of the new breed of left backs who's job is to bomb forward at virtually every opportunity. This advanced role requires the players around have to back up the defence during transition, and 'King Authur' ( it's what fans used to call him before he fell out of favour with some) confirmed on the official West Ham United site that he and Felipe Anderson had come to an 'arrangement' with regards to defensive duties.

Manuel Pellegrini obviously has faith in Masuaku otherwise he wouldn't have handed him a new five year contract, going forward he is far better than Aaron Cresswell, and defensively he is not much worse! The understanding between Anderson and Masuaku is plain to see, no longer does Anderson have to wait for the overlap, he knows instinctively that it will happen and is able to thread a pass through the eye of a needle when required.

The average age of the first team has come down considerably since the beginning of last season, with six over 30 year olds departing the club, not to mention a shed load of wages saved, the squad is in a far healthier position than before. Manuel Pellegrini has his two players for every position that he always said he wanted, and obviously likes and has confidence in the players that he has assembled, and those who were at the club on his arrival who have survived the 'cull'.

Of course only having two strikers is not ideal and a source of anxiety for many fans, however when did Hammers last actually have even two 'proper' strikers? At least the two in place have been brought to the club by Pelle and the Huse, if either of them get injured or suspended prior to the January window then the manager will have to get his remaining players to adapt to the situation.

Realistically Manuel Pellegrini will recall Grady Diangana during the window because of Antonio's serious injury, but by then Grady will have not only played and scored for West Brom, but will also have met up with his England under 21 colleagues for the first time following his inclusion in the squad. The board have resisted their usual urge to make up the numbers with expensive has been's looking for a final pay day, hopefully their faith in Pellegrini's judgement will be rewarded, he has taken risks, but who dares wins don't they? - Ed


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