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“Oh Arthur”…in praise of the unlikeliest of heroes

New ClaretandHugh blogger Lee Dobinson is mightily impressed with a new Hammers hero and is old enough to recall the wonderful Olive from On the Buses who no doubt would have been mightily impressed with him and her another Arthur (or praps not in the latter case)

by Lee Dobinson

How many of us would have had a punt on West Ham scoring four, keeping a clean AND Arthur Masuaku being perhaps the best players on the pitch on Sunday night?!

A lot’s been written about Sunday’s result and the team performance over the last couple of days, but I couldn’t help taking to C&H to say a few words about Masuaku’s performance.

Given Arthur’s underwhelming – to say the very least – record in the claret and blue, his performance was perhaps a bigger surprise than the goals and clean sheet. After all, who could forget the sending off against Wigan in the FA Cup, the seemingly endless displays of near-ineptitude at left back and the toothless performances at left mid?

On BT Sport before the game, Peter Crouch (still sporting a ‘lockdown’ haircut, by the look of things) was purring about the new-look Wolves right flank: how energetic Semedo is on the overlap and how difficult Traore is to play up against.

At this point, West Ham fans could have been forgiven for deciding to give the game a swerve. Surely there could be only winner in a Semedo/Traore match-up with Cresswell/Masuaku. Wrong!

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The Cresswell/Masuaku double-team saw off Traore, who was substituted in the second half after contributing absolutely nothing at all. Arthur’s service into the box was exceptional, particularly for the Haller goal. He was assertive carrying the ball out of defence.

He took on, and beat, more players on Sunday night than £45m Felipe Anderson managed to do in the whole of last season. There was some lovely intricate passing between Arthur and Fornals on that left-hand side too.

Only one or two nervy moments in our box in the second half stopped him putting in a faultless performance. But massive credit where it’s due. He was a revelation.

It has to be said that there’s been something in the air over the last couple of weeks. It all started with a C&H article on how much the West Ham players rate Arthur, and how much of a handful he is on the training ground. Then there was the green shoots of the Arsenal game, when some of our best stuff in the second half came through him.

What price a few more of these sorts of performance from Arthur, starting at Goodison in the League Cup, and him nailing down that left mid position? He owes us a few after all!

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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

5 comments on ““Oh Arthur”…in praise of the unlikeliest of heroes

  1. I had written him off (I still think that he is an utterly useless defender) but, give him his due, he has found a new lease of life in his current role. I can’t really fault his last two performances – long may it continue. I can hardly believe I am saying this but, he could even be one of our most important offensive players ! Who’d have thought it ?!

  2. I think that this is one of DM’s strengths – getting the best out of teh players that are available

    Another is looking at the opposition before we play (as opposed to Pelle’s think like a big team and dont pay any attention to the opposition’s game plan)

  3. Good article, Lee. I guess with Pelle and Moyes preferring inverted wingers Arthur was only ever going to be used as a left back. In a back 3/5 he is useful as the wingback, he is quick, has the feet of a ballet dancer and a wicked left foot. In a four, however, he is expendable. Does his recent use point to a change of system for the season do you think? We seem to be much better with a back 3/5.

    Just goes to show what a player can do when not played out of position. What a surprise!

  4. Can we stop calling someone who crosses a football to another footballer a hero.Period. He’s just doing his job for the first time in ages.
    Thanks

  5. I too had written off Arthur at left-back as his body shape and positioning as a defender made me cringe at times…. But shockingly I had seen enough of him to realise that ability wise he had bags of ability…. just NOT at left-back.
    I was totally thrown when he was awarded a massive long term contract by Pellegrini and a few clubs unexpectedly came sniffing about his availability.
    Surely we must now ALL be aware that he is a skillfull left sided player who excels when freed of the burden of being used as a left-back and he then becomes a skilful fearless attacking left wing-back… which IS his proper position and long may he continue to shock us with his amazing ability in that position….
    Yes indeed, Who’d have thought it?

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