We’ve seen a number of improved players since David Moyes was appointed, which is a line I’ve already filed in ‘sentences I thought I’d never write.’
West Ham, as a team, look a lot fitter and lot more up for the relegation fight they played themselves in to during the early stages of the campaign, and Saturday’s shock victory over Chelsea epitomised how much we’ve improved over the last few weeks.
We were unlucky not to take anything from the Etihad the week before but weren’t expected to repeat that performance against the reigning champions at London Stadium – but we went one better instead.
Every single player played their part in the win and it’s difficult to single out one player for particularly high praise, but it’s worth turning your attentions to Arthur Masuaku and the role he played on Saturday lunch time.
The left-back cum left wing-back cum left winger had his best game in a claret and blue shirt to date and truly epitomised his versatility by putting in a solid performance in both attack and defence.
As you can see from the infographic above, via our good friends at FootballFanCast.com. the Frenchman put in one hell of a shift on that left hand side.
The most notable statistics are his dribble completion rate – 11 completed dribbles from an attempted 12 – and his 5 tackles. That just shows that while he had the ball he was willing to go forward with danger and intent but without it, he was just as effective.
The 24-year-old also made five clearances and two blocks and covered an impressive 10k throughout his 90 minutes.
In the past we’ve seen flashes of brilliance from Masuaku but we’ve arguably seen him at his best when he has been given licence to go forward, either in a left wing-back role or as a left-winger. Moyes has handed him that freedom to get forward when in possession while recognising that he has the discipline to track back and defend when the opposition has the ball.
It is that kind of discipline and versatility that we’ve severely lacked this season and Moyes deserves a lot of credit for recognising Masuaku’s ability to play that role with confidence and effectively.
The key now is ensuring Masuaku can continue such levels of performance for the rest of the season. He has been one of the biggest positives since the arrival of Moyes and we should use his ability to our advantage as performances continue to improve.