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Back to his very best Iron must be a regular starter

Match verdict by Hughie Southon

Wow, how much difference did Manu Lanzini make when he appeared for Said Benrahma against Watford despite apparently having some sort of Achilles issue!

I said in my ratings that I don’t believe the Algerian to be a Premier League player yet and so again it proved last night – whether he is good enough to ever become a regular top six player I have serious doubts and that is the level we are looking at now!

The same is of course true of several others but the former Brentford player was a near £30 million purchase and frankly isn’t proving good enough.

Manu, meanwhile, cost us around £8 million back in 2016  after a season on loan and looks worth a lot more than that over recent games.

Vision, speed and accuracy of defence splitting passes at times, whilst passing opposition players sometimes with ease, the man’s a joy to behold again.

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Should he not be starting against Leicester at the weekend there will be something seriously wrong.

Talking of great buys – and I have offered some mild criticism of the manager recently – what a purchase Craig Dawson has turned out to be.

With all the limelight on Zouma last night he was lost in the shadows a bit but once again he produced a top performance along with Jarrod Bowen of course.

It wasn’t a pretty watch but how important could those three points turn out to be at the end of the season.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

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

8 comments on “Back to his very best Iron must be a regular starter

  1. Yes Hughie let’s hope that Manu’s Achilles problem is short lived because every indication is that he is back on top this season. Sadly there are questions about 3 midfielders, with Benrahma falling short even after special coaching, Kral and Vlasic still not showing effectiveness. Summer window is looking massive now

  2. There had been much wailing and gnashing of teeth regarding our lack of transfer activity during the winter transfer window, but for those with a keen eye and sharp mind, they must ultimately be able to see the difference between players like Lanzini and Benrahma.

    This is why Moyes kept his powder dry during that window. IF you cannot get “Next Level” players who are better than the players that you already have at the club, you are destined to remain running on the spot, instead of progressing as a team and as a club.

    It’s Very Basic but not a lot of people seem to realise this. This point was proven last night.

    • 100% agree. In Moyes I trust. He knows what he wants and needs, and we’ve wasted enough money on dross in the past.

  3. They say that the top teams learn how to win even when they play poorly. We were, as a team, barely better than a 4/10 last night, with trepidation and reluctance (bordering on fear) all over the pitch. The amount of times we elected to bypass our midfield and run down the sides, only to run back again rather than look to the middle was ridiculous.

    So many unnecessary touches and side/backwards passing. No invention or guile. Even Declan looked bereft of ideas.

    Lanzini came on and all of a sudden, simple, direct, forward passes splitting the lines. Why don’t we do that the whole game?

    It’s been a while now since we’ve shown any real fight or spark – not since the international break last year… We can’t keep eeking out 1-0 victories with bang average, mid-table type performances.

  4. Lanzini changed the game yesterday and played excellently, where I disagree is writing off Benrahma, Lanzini like Benrahma is inconsistent he always has been, I feel Benrahma with his attitude will come good because he works so hard on improving.

    • I agree, 32. Players like Bennie rely on the team around them having confidence. When you constantly witness Soucek passing back to the defence when there is a pass into the forwards or middle of the park, it has to be as frustrating for them as it is to watch. We’ve lost our mojo, and it’ll affect our flair players the most.

    • I didn’t mean it to be taken literally as I also wanted Benrahma to come to this club and consistency is what he is striving for, but there IS a difference between the players and what they can bring to the team. Perhaps some people have forgotten just what a player Lanzini has been for this club and that he is only just getting back to the player he was before his horrific injury, both physically and mentally. Just a point worth noting IMHO.

  5. The difference for me was early in the first half Benny had a shot saved, and followed up with another tight angle shot rather than square to Mikey with an open goal – when Manu came on his direct through the middle passing was a joy. It’s about making the team tick for me – awareness. Still Benny has time but Manu is shining now

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