After a sluggish start to life in East London, Felipe Anderson is starting to show us all just what he is capable of. The goals are flying in, but what has been more impressive is his sudden swaggering confidence in a West Ham shirt.
Hammers supporters are known to love an easy on the eye player and the quality football they bring with them. Quickly, their fans are known to grow restless with a perceived negative or direct style of play. The likes of Moyes and Allardyce were never truly loved there, despite not doing awful jobs at the famous old East London club.
The Hammers Faithful want to see results arise from ambitious, attacking football. Their £38 million summer signing will have rekindled the imaginations of thousands of supporters with his dynamic performances in recent weeks and lifted hopes that better times are ahead for West Ham.
It’s currently very much a two way street though, with the Brazilian also likely thrive at The London Stadium in what is threatening to be an exciting 2019 for West Ham supporters.
Anderson is one of those players who seemed perpetually linked to everyone. While at Lazio, his name floated around gossip columns and a big move seemed a matter of when not if.
At first glance, a move to West Ham United seemed at best a sideways move, at worst a mercenary transfer to a club in a rich league. Lazio have been doing a lot better in recent years; they have regained regular European football and won a domestic cup in 2013. For Anderson to move from them, to a club perennially stuck in the bottom half of the Premier League table, it smacked a bit of someone who hadn’t quite hit the levels many anticipated back in his Santos days of 2010.
However, under closer inspection the move to Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham may well have been a bit more thought out than it first seems.
In the summer, West Ham replaced the interim David Moyes with the classy, if ageing, Manuel Pellegrini. For a club which has opened its arms to retirement age players like Patrice Evra and Pablo Zabaleta in recent years, it was a move which seemed like the last post for the veteran Chilean coach, at a well paying football club.
However, his name still carries respect and plenty of clout, and with ambitious spending in the pipelines, the West Ham hierarchy deserve some credit for a shrewd bit of recruitment. This brings us nicely to the case of the Brazilian maestro, Felipe Anderson.
West Ham coughed up a club record £38 million for the winger’s services. That’s a fee most top clubs would still consider on the heavy side, so for a middling club to spend it, there was clearly a plan in the works. And it now appears that plan is coming to fruition.
We could be witnessing the start of a mutually beneficial relationship between, West Ham, Pellegrini and Anderson. The new manager has seen his side’s form turn a corner, just as Anderson has really started to shine.
The pacey winger has lit the touch paper on his Premier League career, galvanizing his team up the table as a consequence. Manuel Pellegrini is now talking about the top six, rather than a tense relegation fight. While his lofty ambitions are way out of bounds for The Hammers, it could be a case of you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, for Pellegrini and Anderson.
Anderson will benefit from a coach who has worked with some of the very best in the game and harnessed a reputation as one of the game’s intellectuals. He could do well under a couple of years of Pellegrini’s guidance, whilst thriving of the adoration of a West Ham crowd who lap up a player of his type. His wicked pace, skill, wonderful feet and improving eye for goal could make him a club icon and well suited to the Premier League.
The Brazilian has the skill, ability and know-how to be the star man for his new manager’s side. While the gaffer will no doubt benefit from Anderson spearheading West Ham’s ambitions, his player will reap the long term rewards of playing at a very competitive level and on a truly global stage. Scouts will be watching and if he uses his time wisely at The London Stadium, Anderson could well get that big move the gossip columns were promising for so long.