West Ham has struck gold


West Ham has struck gold

It’s hard to suggest that any player in modern times is a bargain given the obscene money in the game. But in Alvarez, West Ham has struck gold.

There are times when I watch West Ham and miss Declan Rice, and times when I don’t. But it occurred to me last night that the occasions when I do miss him are when Edson Alvarez is not in the team.

                                  West Ham has struck gold

I’m not suggesting for a moment that Alvarez is Declan’s equal; however, he does allow his teammates to flourish and provides the team with a steady influence. Last night, as West Ham beat Freiburg 2-0 to advance to the last 16 of the Europa League, Alvarez was sensational.

His awareness in defence at times made a third central defender, which, in turn, allowed Mavropanos to play wider. This had the knock-on effect of allowing Vladimir Coufal to advance up the pitch, and the Czech was unlucky not to register an assist.

Put simply, West Ham’s defence was worse when Alvarez departed in the 56th minute. Nayef Aguerd and Emerson, in particular, both had far more to do defensively as Ward-Prowse and Soucek struggled to shield the backline.

In midfield, Alvarez’s presence allowed Ward-Prowse to press high up the pitch and get close to Jarrod Bowen. On this occasion, it didn’t yield a goal for either, but I’ve no doubt it will in time. Factor in The Mexican’s goal and assist, and it really was a complete midfield performance.

Share this article

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


  • johnham1 says:

    Great article, hope Moyes realises this. I personally would love to see Paqueta in the centre too with alvarez. Alvarez and Kudus have been amazing signings. WP has also justified his acquisition, a sound signing but is not at the same level as the top two. I believe Pablo would have a serious impact playing alongside a+p in midfield. Cornet has alot to offer too if given a chance.

Comments are closed.