Areola aims to streak into the Final


Areola: We must keep up our streak

West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola is hoping to add a UEFA Europa Conference League medal to his  trophy cabinet come 7 June.

The Hammers keeper won five League titles, two national cups and five other trophies across spells at Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. And a World Cup winner’s medal also arrived with France in 2018.

But the Frenchman is aware there is plenty of work still to be done if he is to pick up a  medal with the Irons.

A draw from Thursday’s semi-final second-leg tie in the Netherlands would be enough to reach the Final and Areola is ready and focused to get over the line and help the club to a first major European final in 47 years.

“I have always loved competing in Europe,” Areola confirmed. “Of course, it’s a different degree of visibility to the Premier League, which is very widely followed.

“But Europe is also very important. At the European level, there is nothing better than playing in these competitions. Last season, we made it to the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League.

“We had a good campaign, and it went very well. We hoped for a little more but, all in all, we managed to play well and show our worth in Europe.

“This year, we have shown that same dynamic. We’ve had a good winning streak, so it’s up to us to continue that streak [and reach the final].”

A continuation of the Irons’ current 13-game unbeaten run in the competition would achieve just that following a 2-1 win over AZ at London Stadium last week.

By Hughie Southon

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon