West Ham Player Focus: The Hammer to Stop
Match week 25 is upon us; and after 18 teams in the EPL have played no less, as Liverpool travels to the London Stadium to take on West Ham United. This comes on the back of a “draw that felt like a loss” at home against Leicester. This has also supposedly seen our credibility as “EPL potential winners” for this season take hit; as most pundits now feel like Manchester City are firmly back in the race; even Tottenham are touted to be in it as well. May I just say, that if no one else, the LFC fans have to ease up on the pressure we put on our team and show some more support to get the team over the line. (Phew; there I said it).
FELIPE ANDERSON: The HAMMER to stop from Swinging
So West Ham have suffered mix fortunes in their last 4 PL fixtures, with one draw, a win against Arsenal and defeats to Bournemouth and Wolves. They also have a long injury list, with Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini, Carlos Sanchez, Andriy Yarmolenko, Jack Wilshere, Fabian Balbuena, Samir Nasri and Lucas Perez all out for the long haul. However, there is a certain attacking midfielder with the curly hair; who has played in 24 out of 24 EPL matches for The Hammers: Felipe Anderson.
With 8 goals and 2 assists, he has been the standout player for West Ham this season, even over Marko Arnautovic. A quick, well-rounded, and technically gifted midfielder, Felipe is predominantly known for his pace, and is regarded as one of the fastest players in the modern game; although not imposing physically or in the air, he also possesses good ball control, quick feet, and excellent dribbling skills, which allow him to beat opponents in one on one situations. A tactically versatile player, he is capable of playing in several different positions due to his wide range of skills, high work-rate, and ability to both create and score goals: he has been used as a forward or as a central midfield playmaker, but has most frequently been deployed as either a winger or an attacking midfielder, due to his offensive movement and tendency to operate between the lines; he is capable of playing on either flank or through the centre of the pitch, due to his ability to cut into the middle and strike on goal, or move out to the wing to provide accurate crosses to teammates in the area.
In addition to his speed, stamina, creativity and technical ability, he is known for his eye for goal, and is gifted with a powerful and accurate shot from distance with either foot, despite being naturally right-footed; he is also an accurate set-piece and penalty kick taker. He can also serve as an assist-man due to his creative ability, vision, dead-ball delivery, and eye for the final pass.
Liverpool will do well to avoid dead-ball situations, unnecessary free kicks and unmarked spaces; while targeting Pablo Zabaleta on the other end of the pitch.