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Coincidence? Lanzini springs into life as Benrahma arrives

By John Murphy

Footballers are no different to anyone else in any r walk of life…from time to time, they tend to drag their feet.

This may not be rcocket sceince, especially if you have watched a West Ham team with Patrice Evra in it, but it can come as a shock when you consider the wages they command.

There is a feeling amongst fans of any football team that due to the enormous wages, there can be no room for complacency in terms of performance.

Whilst this should always be the case, we tend to forget that footballers are human and suffer from the same distractions as everyone else but given the millions they earn it’s not easy to forgive.

The death  of a loved one will always earn a player a few free passes from the terraces, but not a late-night scandal at a nightclub. Then there a player coming back from injury and taking longer than expected to hit heights which were once normal.

The reasoning can be the player  is no what he was. The Premier League has always been full of players who were a shadow of themselves after injury. Names like Michael Owen and Kieron  Kieron Dyer spring to mind for example. at.

In other instances, players are able to fulfil their potential once more after injury but get bogged down by their prolonged absence from the game. For whatever reason, their performances remain dormant until they explode back into life.

That’s just what Manuel Lanzini did against Spurs in a pulsating 3-3 draw at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium that earned the attack-minded player a perfect ten rating for his performance.

The Argentine had only scored once in two seasons for West Ham after suffering an ACL rupture in 2018, before smashing home his thunderbolt into the top corner of Hugo Lloris’ net.

You can’t help but feel that the timing was rather ironic as, the week before, David Moyes had just brought in Algerian playmaker Said Benrahma.

The former Brentford man is expected to provide the Hammers’ attack with an exciting dynamic edge, but Lanzini’s newfound form could even delay the Algerian’s introduction to the Premier League.

At the very least, Moyes now has a selection headache when it comes to that roaming number ten role. The fans will be down on bended knee hoping that this does indeed mean that Lanzini returns to the form he was showing during the 2017/2018 season.

Of course, Hammers fans have experienced many a false dawn before and will be cautious about their optimism.

But, at the same time, the entire team looks to be playing for David Moyes in a way that suggests this could well be an enjoyable season.

It would also be remiss not to point out that despite a few very promising results, William Hill’s odds on football for the Premier League still have the Hammers as outsiders at 3/1 for a top-half finish.

With the arrival of Benrahma and the hoped for surge of Lanzini form i, you do feel that the Hammers won’t be short on goals and could quite easily gatecrash the top half.

Ultimately, the signs are very good indeed for West Ham. Competition for places has immediately proved effective in bringing underperforming players out from their slumber, and a will to play until the final whistle suggests that the spirit within the camp is exceptional.

The underwhelming summer feels a long way away now.

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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

4 comments on “Coincidence? Lanzini springs into life as Benrahma arrives

  1. Not sure if 1 goal, as good as it was , is a return to form. He was only on the pitch for 15 minutes.

  2. Manu Lanzini has a slight build and does not have the ideal physique for English football, however, his skill kept him intact at first. He was incredibly unlucky to pick up a nasty injury just as he got into the Argentina World Cup squad, but the killer for me was away at Burnley. He was just getting back into the team and was cynically upended by Westwood in the 88th minute when Burnley were 3-0 up leading to yet another serious injury – a dislocated shoulder, I think. His confidence hasn’t been the same since and in England he’s not going to get the kind of protection from referees he would enjoy in Spain or Italy. If I were his agent, I’d be looking for a move to a foreign club. Alternatively if I were his manager, I’d send him to the gym to beef him up and throw in some martial arts training to build his confidence. He’s an excellent footballer and deserves to do well.

  3. Lanzini’s first injury was a serious one which has finished many players careers. I think it is shows how hard he worked to get to where he is today. It was always going to take time for him to get up to pace again 10-15 games before we will know if he can. His talent is not in question for me and if means he don’t start but can be used off the bench with goals in his locker like that he could at times be a match winner. We need a strong squad to make a European spot and Moyes will know if Manu is part of it.

  4. I agree with the comment above – on the pitch for 15 minutes and gets MOTM on one site I looked at. Crazy.

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