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Praying Paqueta puts West Ham hopes in almighty hands

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Aguerd and Paquetá

Praying Paqueta puts West Ham hopes in almighty hands

Praying Paqueta puts West Ham hopes in almighty hands By Hughie Southon

Lucas Paqueta is ready to help the Hammers into a triumphant end to a so far mediocre season in League terms.

The Brazilian has been in rapidly improving form as the campaign has progressed and will be looking to trick and jink his way through the AZ Alkmaar midfield on Thursday and into the  UEFA Conference League final come June 7.

There is work to be done yes, but the No11 is confident. A 2-1 home win over AZ last week puts the Club in prime position to reach a first European final in 47 years when West Ham travel to the Netherlands for the second leg of our UECL semi-final on Thursday.

With much experience of such a level of competition Paqueta is going to be a key player if we are to make it into the Final.

“We’ll do everything to win this semi-final because it’s our chance to get a trophy and make history for the club,” Paquetá enthused.

“I’m happy. I feel more and more adapted to the team, I understand the players on the field. I think it’s important to have this rapport and understanding the other players, and your teammates.”

Paquetá performances against Manchester United, KAA Gent, and Arsenal and AFC Bournemouth have shown a player more than finding his feet. Eight of his ten West Ham goal contributions since the turn of the year are further evidence of just that.

His goal and two assists in the 4-1 win over Gent demonstrated what he is all about – Eest Ham have a top player in the squad.

Paquetá

“In that match, I think that I had planned with Nayef [Aguerd] that when I’d scored my next goal we would do a little dance,”  he said.

“When I scored, I looked at Nayef and he said to me: “Shall we do the dance?”, and I said: “Of course!”.

We ended up dancing and celebrating the goal, and ultimately won the match. People have a special fondness for seeing me dance and celebrating the goals, and I’m very grateful for that.”

“Like the other matches, there are some things I usually do. I pray, I ask for help, and I thank God beforehand, that’s something I do a lot. I ask for help, but I say thanks at the same time. Because, this way, I believe God will bless me and everything will always work out.

“When I get to the field, I ask God to make me happy, so that I can make the most of the gift he’s given me. He’s got the rest.”

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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

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