West Ham lost to Southampton in the FA Cup last night but Issa Diop was one of the few players who could leave the pitch with his head held high.
The 25-year-old has been the target of huge criticism recently from some sections of the Hammers fans.
And in fairness, he has regressed badly over the past 18 months.
The frustrating thing about Diop is that we all know that he has the basic ingredients needed to be a truly top-class Premier League centre-half.
However, the 6ft 4in defender does lack any kind of positional awareness and his concentration levels leave a lot to be desired.
Surely there is a player somewhere in there though…surely! Well if his performance against Southampton was anything to go by then there almost certainly is.
West Ham ace puts in stunning display against Southampton
Diop was absolutely brilliant for the Hammers against Southampton at St Mary’s last night.
In fact, it could be argued that he was the best player on the pitch for West Ham.
David Moyes said as much during his post-match interview last night, as covered right here on Hammers News.
The 25-year-old was confident in possession, strong in the challenge and commanding in the air against Southampton.
Even his positioning, concentration levels and decision making were spot on.
Diop stats for West Ham vs Southampton
Diop made four tackles and two clearances, won two aerial duels and actually notched up an assist as well during our defeat to Southampton (Who Scored).
The former Toulouse ace was very good with the ball at his feet. He made 48 passes and registered a completion rate of 85.4%. On top of that he attempted six long balls and was accurate with four of them (Who Scored).
What was even more impressive about Diop’s display was the fact that he had to fill in at left-back for the final 20 minutes as well. And he passed the test with flying colours.
David Moyes was allegedly thinking about selling Diop in January according to club insiders Claret and Hugh. The way that the 25-year-old had performed this season, it would have been no surprise to see Moyes move him on from the London Stadium in January or this summer.
Diop’s performance for West Ham against Southampton last night proved that he still has a lot to offer us though. And hopefully now we will start to see the best of the centre-back on a much more consistent basis.