Make no mistake |Jesse Lingard is making a huge difference to this West Ham United team.
I remember the usual moans and groans across the forums when it became clear that Moyes was interested in the former England star.
He was variously described as a has been, not what we required and that an out and out striker was the obvious requirement.
Now, four games in, he has managed three goals, an assist and is looking like a player who is ready to commit to this David Moyes inspired new Hammers.
Pictures emerged for the first time this afternoon of the attacking midfielder giving the Irons crossed arms sign.
He looks as though he has found his new spiritual home and although we wait on Manchester United to decide when he will become available for transfer it would be a huge surprise if he’s not on his way to the London Stadium permanently.
Speaking to West Ham TV after today’s game he said: “It’s brilliant! The lads grafted and really worked hard for the three points. We were fully focused from the beginning and we started on the front foot, which was important, and we got the early goal which settled us down.
“We knew it would be a tough game after that because Spurs are a good side, but we stayed compact in midfield and tried to create chances when we can, which is what we did.”
For Lingard, his goal was followed by an anxious wait as VAR official Darren England checked to see if the offside flag raised was valid, before awarding it.
“It feels like sometimes you can’t celebrate any more as there are always decisions and VAR checking and everything, but we had to be patient and remain positive that the goal was going to be given and thankfully it was,” he reflected.
Lingard has been part of many Manchester United teams who have challenged at the top of the table, so how good does he think this West Ham side is?
He said: “I think we’re really good,” I’ve come here to bring energy and I feel like the focus and mentality of the team to go on and win games like today’s has been tremendous and I can only come here and help that.”
The only downside of Sunday’s derby victory was the absence of the Claret and Blue Army, as Premier League matches continue to be played behind-closed-doors due to COVID-19.
“The place would have been rocking today, I feel,” Lingard confirmed. “We can still feel the support from home and we know how much it means to the fans, and being able to see football on TV is a blessing and hope they enjoyed it today.”
Next up is a return to Manchester for Lingard and a meeting with in-form leaders City next Saturday lunchtime. It may be a daunting task on paper, but the England international says the Hammers believe they can win at Etihad Stadium.
“All the lads are confident, the whole team’s confident and the management is confident and it’s about maintaining that concentration and work ethic and focus to go on and beat City,” he concluded. “As I say, we go into that game full of confidence.”