While the spotlight has largely focused on players such as Paqueta and JWP, there’s an unsung hero quietly establishing himself as a key figure in the starting West Ham line up— Emerson Palmieri dos Santos or just plain Emerson. Excellent Emerson in fact!
Under the strategic direction of manager David Moyes, who increasingly favours the back five formation, has been thriving. The adoption of the system has yielded positive results for West Ham, facilitating a more potent press. As the sole natural left-sided wing-back in the squad, the Italian player plays a pivotal role in this tactical shift. Effectively deploying this formation places significant emphasis on wide defenders participating in attacks, especially with one less player in the attacking midfield.
Emerson’s strengths lie in his direct ball-running ability and his resistance to pressure, providing valuable support to West Ham in navigating challenging situations. His adept close ball control and technical skill set are noteworthy, and he excels at crossing—an asset particularly valuable in the absence of Aaron Cresswell.
In the absence of an attacking midfielder, wing-backs like Emerson play a crucial role in sustaining attacks. His late, hard-to-track runs from deep positions significantly contribute to attacking moves in the opponent’s half.
His role is proving instrumental in shaping the “new-look” West Ham witnessed since the beginning of the year. While there’s still a journey ahead to climb the league standings, the importance of maintaining a fit and impactful Emerson cannot be overstated.