The lesser-hailed West Ham heroes who stepped up against adversity
West Ham United’s stellar season so far hasn’t come without its challenges but the Hammers have stood up to each and every one of them.
Perhaps the biggest adversity the club has faced this season though is the untimely injuries to central defensive duo Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna who have both missed a large portion of the season so far.
Most teams who lose both of their first-choice centre-halves would see a considerable dip in form as Liverpool did last year, although they also lost their backups, in fairness.
But no such drop off has been evident at the London Stadium and that’s because of the step-up in performance from two of the lesser-hailed Hammers.
With Zouma and Ogbonna out of action, David Moyes has had to call upon Craig Dawson and Issa Diop to marshal the defensive effort and they have done so admirably.
Diop epitomises the modern defender in his willingness to step into the midfield with the ball and pick a pass to one of his attackers.
Dawson is much more traditional, English bravado in throwing himself in front of every shot and player anywhere near his goal in an attempt to keep a clean sheet.
He doesn’t do as much in terms of attacking or bringing the ball out from the back, instead choosing to play simple balls to his more attack-minded teammates while he gets on with his job.
Moyes has been active in the transfer window trying to bring in another defender to help relieve some of the strain on Dawson and Diop who have played every game since Zouma’s injury.
But given how the two complement each other and the solidity it has given the side, maybe there are areas where improvements are needed more urgently.
In other West Ham news, David Moyes has revealed that a loan bid has come in for one of his “brilliant” players.