CandH blogger Allen Cummins pays tribute to a ‘reborn’ Iron
“Aaron Cresswell’s magic,
He wears a magic hat,
He used to play for Ipswich,
He didn’t fancy that…”
That’s a song I haven’t heard in a long while but it rang around the Vitality Stadium loud and clear on Saturday afternoon, following Cress’ second half strike which helped us gain a very valuable point!
However, it wasn’t just the goal that earned our re-invigorated left back the adulation of the travelling fans. Aaron put in another solid and composed performance in coping with what was a lively and threatening Bournemouth team.
Coming on the heels of his equally impressive showing, and goal, against Manchester United – it’s another clear indication that Cresswell is getting back to the kind of form that made him such a firm favourite with the West Ham faithful.
Class is permanent, so they say, and Cresswell is once again proving he is a class act. Arthur Masuaku may have his fans because of his attacking instincts, but Cresswell is, in my opinion, by far he more superior defender.
He’s also a highly respected professional within the club, popular with all his team mates, and an experienced voice, along with Mark Noble, within the framework of the team. With a young an emerging team around him – Aaron’s presence is likely to become a key factor in their development.
Cresswell is one positive legacy of the Allardyce years. Bought from Ipswich for £3.75m in July 2014, he was voted Hammer of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year in his first season.
A virtual ever-present in his first two years, an injury in a pre-season friendly in 2016 signalled the start of what became a difficult period for the player. In recent seasons Aaron has faced stiff competition for the left back spot from Masuaku.
David Moyes chose to use them in tandem for a while, but that’s not Manuel Pellegrini’s style. During his tenure he has opted for a ‘man in form’ policy, and it’s fair to say Arthur has more often than not been in the driving seat – until now!
Cresswell has seized the chance to show once again what he has to offer Pellegrini and the team. Just short of his 30th birthday, Aaron still has several good years ahead of him. Pellegrini chose not to enter the transfer market for a left-back during the summer, to some people’s displeasure.
Cresswell’s recaptured form is an indication that perhaps the manager was right to concentrate his spending elsewhere.