West Ham manager Manual Pellegrini has been singing the praises of several of his sides players ahead of tonight’s clash against Brighton at the Amex.
Pellegrini’s side began their Premier League campaign in horrific form, losing all four of their opening fixtures. However, West Ham have been one of the top flights in-form sides in recent weeks, beating Everton away before drawing against London rivals Chelsea and then beating Manchester United last weekend.
While star attackers like Marko Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson have been receiving many of the plaudits, Pellegrini was quick to praise the contribution of club captain Mark Noble and talented youngster Declan Rice at the heart of the Hammers midfield. The Chilean coach has also been impressed by the recent performance of centre-backs Issa Diop and Fabian Cornelio Balbuena, both of whom were summer signings.
“When you are a captain of a team you are because you’re a player that needs to be a leader and Mark has a lot of reasons why he is the captain,” Pellegrini told whufc.com.
“He has so many years here at the club, he is a midfielder that has a lot of influence in the way we play and he has the personality to acquire from everyone his best performance.
“It is very important to have a player like him, very important but not just one player. In the squad, you need three or four. During the week they are always demanding the best from the rest of the squad, mature players, better if they have a good career so all the young players have the best example.
“Declan is giving good performances, and he is a good player but he needs to learn a lot if he wants to be a top player. He has just started his career, he is improving every week because he is always asking and learning, The more he improves the better player he will be.
“I am happy with Issa Diop too. All the players I brought here, I am very happy when they have their best performance.
“I think that Diop is playing well, I think Balbuena is playing well, I am very happy with Lukasz Fabianski.
“More than individual players, we need to be as a team and for that, we need all the players to have a performance together.”