At the start of the season West Ham were set a target of finishing in the top half of the Premier League table, David Sullivan and David Gold demanding a more attacking style of.
Sam Allardyce has clearly taken this onboard and has used this year’s transfer budget wisely; adding pace, firepower and creativity to the team. One eye-catching player he brought to the club before the closure of the summer transfer window was Alex Song.
Song has signed on a season-long loan from Barcelona and in reality represents quite a coup for the Hammers. He built his career with Arsenal, alongside the likes of Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas. When Fabregas was lured away to Barcelona, Song took over the mantle of Arsenal’s midfield enforcer, so clearly this man arrives with an impressive CV.
Although Scott Parker had his critics when he left, the club have found it hard to replace his influence at the heart of their team. This season however, West Ham’s midfield has been transformed from that of last season, when the Hammers struggled for pace in the middle of the pitch.
The regular line-up of Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble and Mohamed Diame were not likely to strike fear into the majority of Premier League sides.
Whilst Nolan and Noble are very good players, pace is not one of their outstanding attributes and, although Diame had the speed, he was selfish and would frequently run beyond the other attackers or go for glory himself rather than playing in a teammate.
The 2014/15 campaign to date has seen the Hammers score in all but one of their games and they are finding goals from all areas of the team.
Adding quality such as Song and Cheikou Kouyate to name but a few has facilitated an attacking style that has seen the team score ten goals from six matches. This is in stark contrast to the same stage last season, where we only managed three.
Song has made an impressive start to his West Ham career, as he was a dominant force during his 28 minutes on the pitch at Hull. This prompted Allardyce to drop Mauro Zarate and give the Cameroon international his first start against Liverpool last weekend and then hand him the captain’s armband in the absence of Mark Noble in the trip to Old Trafford yesterday.
Although he was taken off on 69 minutes in that victory against Liverpool, he had impressed the match sponsors so much he was given the man of the match award.
I believe the presence of Song in midfield will enhance West Ham’s chances of achieving their targets this season because he is clearly a creator and together with Nolan and Noble plus with the pacey strikers we now possess, he seems to be a good fit for the system that Big Sam is trying to develop.