West Ham United emerged as 3-0 winners from their clash with Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon as Manuel Pellegrini’s exploits in the transfer market begin to bear fruit.
Pellegrini has struggled to get his side playing with the zest and style which the new arrivals were supposed to usher in, but sporadic moments of brilliance are rising in frequency and giving the impression that the future is bright for the Hammers.
Javier Hernandez’s brace was immensely confidence boosting for the Mexico international after almost 18 underwhelming months in east London, and the supporters will be hoping it represents the beginning of a re-birth in the coming months.
But it was the imperious swagger and penetrative dynamism of Felipe Anderson which really caught the eye of The Observer journalist, Louise Taylor, who cited his destruction of DeAndre Yedlin with nightmarish terminology.
‘Felipe Anderson will surely haunt DeAndre Yedlin’s memory for some considerable time.
‘The Brazilian’s devastatingly intelligent change of pace periodically unhinged Newcastle’s entire back four but, as his specific marker, the USA right-back endured a particularly chastening match.
‘His sense of self-esteem may take a while to recover.’
That’s quite the damning verdict on Yedlin but it’s one which serves to illuminate the extent of Anderson’s brilliance on Tyneside.
Youtube highlight reels, outstanding statistics and a £35 million price-tag indicated that Anderson was a player to watch this season and, following a relatively tepid opening to life in the Premier League, he is starting to strut his stuff with the level of class you would expect from a club-record signing.
As Taylor has acknowledged, Anderson’s ability to burst into a pulsating sprint and then slam the brakes on to unsettle his opponent is one of his most defining attributes, but his vision for a piercing through ball is equally as commendable, even if his lack of assists fails to reveal that.
Adding goals to supplement the more traditional attributes of a winger is often perceived as the final piece of the jigsaw for any aspiring wide man – something which Anderson is doing with eye catching regularity.
With four goals in his last four games Anderson is in the midst of a purple patch which points towards his growing comfort within his new surroundings, and that can only be good news for West Ham as they bid to banish the mediocrity characterising their club in recent years.
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