It seems that there is never a dull moment in Spain when it comes to football. The other day, the Real Madrid faithful were treated to a feat of magic during their stirring 6-0 win over FC Espanyol.
Cristiano Ronaldo put on a show leading to a golden hat-trick (his 35th with Real Madrid); a goal with each foot and a spectacular diving header to complete a memorable day for player and club.
History demonstrates that finding players with equal dominance with either foot (bipedality) is indeed, a rarity. In English football, Booby Charlton, George Best, and Glen Hoddle were some of the few players of the past who possessed this special, albeit rare ability.
Today, Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla is one of the few players in the Premier League who seems to be equally comfortable with left or right foot. Will West Ham ever see such rare entities at the Olympic Stadium? The good news is that there are no waiting requirements.
Our most recent signing, Emmanuel Emenike, possesses very strong shot power with either foot. He is a competent header of the ball, and is blessed with blistering speed.
Furthermore, he is incredibly strong on the ball, and has a chance to make a huge impact at West Ham. Slaven Bilic has been a long-time admirer of Emenike’s skills during his time at Besiktas. He could hardly contain his delight when the loan was finally confirmed on Sunday. I am sure that Bilic will provide Emenike with all the resources he requires to succeed at Premier League level – his future is there for the taking. Let us all hope that he settles in quickly, and makes the best of his options, unlike the recently departed and talented Mauro Zarate.
The next player of mention, Michail Antonio, may come as a surprise to many. While he has been used predominantly as a winger on either side, his bipedality makes him a likely centre-forward. This was often shown during his time at Nottingham Forest, and he is now taking his opportunity to show similar quality at the Premier League level.
He has been very patient, waiting for his chance to prove his skills in the first team. Slaven Bilic has a minor dilemma on his hands; it is imperative that he provides equal opportunities for Antonio and Victor Moses. Antonio is at least as fast as Moses, and potentially a stronger striker of the ball. Bearing in mind that Moses will return to Chelsea at season’s end, it is important that nothing is done to diminish the confidence and self-esteem of a player with so much talent.
In recent matches, Antonio has shown an ability to work really well with Valencia, Payet, Kouyate, Song, and Mark Noble. It would be sad to see this formation disrupted.
Our third bipedal merchant is the great Dimitri Payet. Insufficient words can do justice to describe his talents. He appears so comfortable with either foot, and is a brilliant exponent of free-kicks; he has the ability to make the ball swerve on spectacular trajectories, and has a canny knack of using the side-footed option for steering the ball through narrow corridors.
A number of players, who are not strictly bipedal, deserve special mention for possessing a fairly strong non-dominant foot. These players include Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho, and Manuel Lanzini. Among this group, Enner Valencia has the distinction of possessing the hardest shot in the entire squad, although he may be soon challenged by Emmanuel Emenike.
Of course, I have left the case of Andy Carroll for final consideration. There is too much historical commentary/examination, to leave him out of the mix. In the best of his playing years, he was considered to possess strong shot quality with either foot is well known for his aerial prowess.
Only time will tell if he is able to overcome the effects of numerous serious injuries, and regain the peak form that won him so much praise and fan admiration.
West Ham World is a platform that allows fans to express their opinions on a grander scale. The views in this article are not necessarily those of West Ham World, but we ask you to respect the opinions of the author regardless of whether you agree with them or not. Thanks.