The recent games against Watford and Everton have shown West Ham that they have to work a lot harder against the so called “lower teams” in respect to the top teams they have already played so far this season. We have started off the season magnificently, but this start seems to be trailing off somewhat recently. I believe this could be down to the injury to Diafra Sakho.
The absence of Diafra Sakho has had an effect on the team as of late, with Andy Carroll unable to replicate his work rate as he attempts to recover fitness after a lengthy spell out injured. It’s all good having plenty of cover in most areas now but Andy Carroll starting left the team without pace and without, arguably, the most hard working player on the pitch.
Sakho has managed five goals already this season and will be keen to add a lot more as the season goes on if we can keep him fit but what was apparent on Saturday is that it is not just his goals the team miss it’s his all round game. He doesn’t just wait for the midfielders to find him up front he’s always running up and down the flanks, creating chances for other players or getting back to help defend. These are qualities that just don’t come in Carroll’s game, the team that’s done so well up to now has been all about pace and flair with players like Lanzini and Payet working with Sakho and constantly running. Carroll may be lacking match fitness but if he is to continue to play then we need two out and out wingers performing at their best and getting the crosses in.
Payet may have stolen all the headlines so far this season but there is certainly a case for Sakho being the most crucial player in the team, so fingers crossed he is fit enough to come back after the international break. By then we should also have Reid and Ogbonna side by side, who are probably our best defenders, which would tighten up the back line alongside Cresswell and Jenkinson.