West Ham Duo In Team Of The Week (16/1/18)
West Ham United are represented in the latest Premier League team of the week that has been selected by BBC pundit Garth Crooks.
Actually Garth is now down as a 'Football Analyst' these days, a posh term for a pundit then!
The performances by Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic in the four one victory over Huddersfield Town at the weekend at the John Smith's Stadium was enough to earn them a place in the side alongside the other, in the opinion of the former Spurs striker anyway, most impressive performers in the topflight over the latest weekend.
I think we'll already know ourselves, and not just based on the latest performance, why Crooks, we'll also not argue with it, selected the duo as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.
'Manuel Lanzini has been promising to take over the mantle of Dimitri Payet - remember him? - for some time and his performance against Huddersfield was as close as he has come. The skilful Argentine was like a sorcerer's apprentice weaving his magic and left the John Smith's stadium with the Terriers still under his spell. What was so impressive was the way Lanzini, with West Ham already 3-1 up, raced 40 yards to support Marko Arnautovic in order to administer Huddersfield's last rites. The finish was equal to the work and endeavour the player put in throughout the match. The only problem I can foresee is that if Lanzini keeps playing like this, how long before Chelsea come knocking on the door? Cesc Fabregas is not getting any younger you know.'
'Mark Hughes must be seething. The fomer Stoke boss will know better than most what Marko Arnautovic is capable of. It was, after all, the Austrian who drove a dagger through Hughes' heart by leaving the Potteries in an acrimonious split in the summer only to return with West Ham and hasten the departure of Hughes with a starring display in a Hammers win, with a goal just to stick the boot in. In recent weeks at West Ham the forward has discovered a new lease of life and seems to get better with every performance. He absolutely destroyed Huddersfield, who have been praised this season but are starting to run out of gas. When your defence fails to win the first ball that's bad enough but when you don't get the second and even fail to get the third, in one phase of play, then immediate surgery is required. Manager David Wagner has performed wonders at Huddersfield but they need reinforcements now. As for Arnautovic, well if you can get Andy Carroll, Lanzini and him on the pitch and playing well all at the same time then the Hammers suddenly become a serious proposition. In the meantime it looks like West Ham and David Moyes are back in business.'
It's always good to see the club represented in this way, and well played to both for their recognition, but the most important thing about the weekend was of course the points.
Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion), Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Marko Arnautovic (West Ham), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Sadio Mane (Liverpool)