West Ham supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times after seeing their side finally register their first Premier League victory of the season at the weekend.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men went into their encounter with unbeaten Everton on Sunday having lost each of their opening four league matches, with Liverpool, Bournemouth, Arsenal, and Wolves getting the better of the East London club. Yet the Hammers got off the mark for the campaign at Goodison Park over the weekend as a brace from Andriy Yarmolenko and a Marko Arnautovic strike helped secure a 3-1 win for Pellegrini’s side, as although Gylfi Sigurdsson reduced the hosts’ arrears just before the break, it wasn’t enough to deny West Ham a first league victory.
As such, there have been many thrilled Hammers fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have been heaping praise on messrs Yarmolenko and Arnautovic, who alongside the influential Felipe Anderson continuously caused the Everton backline no end of problems over the course of the 90 minutes.
Yet they were allowed to do the business in the final third of the pitch given how well the Hammers dominated the middle of the park, and while Declan Rice has received much praise for his efforts in that position, £7.2 million-rated Pedro Obiang (as per Transfermarkt) also enjoyed an outstanding game for the East London outfit.
The 26-year-old failed to feature in their first three matches of the campaign before coming on as a substitute against Wolves last time out, yet Pellegrini thrust him into the starting eleven on Sunday in a bid to change the Hammers’ fortunes – and he may be there to stay after an excellent display in the middle of the park.
The Spaniard had 49 touches of the ball over the course of the 90 minutes and ended the match with an 81% pass success rate, thus underlining the impact he had on the ball to help the Hammers turn defence into attack – his beautifully-weighted pass over the top for Arnautovic helped set up the opener, before grabbing an assist for the Austrian’s first and West Ham’s third just after the hour mark.
Yet Obiang also did his bit defensively in helping provide a solid platform in the middle of the park, winning his one and only aerial duel as well as making two clearances to play his part in a resolute defensive effort from Pellegrini’s side – a defensive effort that simply wasn’t seen in their first four games.
Overall, it was a hugely encouraging performance from West Ham with everyone doing their bit to contribute to a comfortable victory, not least goal-scorers Yarmolenko and Arnautovic, who look set to play a key part in the final third of the pitch as the season goes on.
But their efforts came about as a result of how well the Hammers dominated the middle of the park, with 26-year-old Obiang their unsung hero in a commanding West Ham victory at Goodison Park.
West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!