Alvarez ready for Man City & Haaland test


In the pages below, Hugh mentioned the test presented by prolific striker Erling Haaland. In truth, the term ‘prolific striker’ doesn’t really do the player justice.

My mate Tony seems to think the Norwegian striker was genetically created in a test-tube. I’ve also heard him labelled as a cyborg, as well as a few other things which are prompted by a mix of admiration and fear.

Haaland really does seem to have it all, speed, technique, strength, size and intelligence. As somebody who possesses none of these qualities, it’s easy to understand why so many defences are petrified of him.

However, hope remains.

West Ham have a goalkeeper in fine form, and a new captain in Kurt Zouma who will be up for the battle. But it’s the emergence of defensive midfielder Edson Alvarez which has really given me hope ahead on the Manchester City game.

Edson Alvarez-West Ham

Alvarez can help West Ham pass the Haaland test

The Mexican just seems to love defending. During the Brighton game I’m sure I saw him celebrate a tackle as if it were a goal. He’s robust, strong, determined and reads the game incredibly well.

Alvarez has an uncanny intuition on when to drop deep into central defence. On numerous occasion’s during the last two games, he became our third central defender.

That sort of defensive discipline will be crucial against Pep Guardiola’s men. Added to the undoubted qualities of Ward Prowse and Paqueta . . . West Ham may well be able to contest this Premier League encounter.

West Ham will have to stop Haaland though. He looks like he could become the next Hammers bogeyman. And we’ve seen a few of those in our time.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose