Lanzini - these things take time

  • by Anjado
  • Filed: Monday, 1st April 2019

Manuel Lanzini always starts off slowly when returning from injury.

I knew the criticism would be coming when he didn't tear up the league after his first few games returning from a potentially career-threatening injury.

Yet Lanzini has been one of West Ham's top three players every season since he has been at the club, except for this one.

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Our Argentinian midfielder has returned from injury at the worst possible time, when everyone in the team appears to have given up and are playing like they are already on the beach.

He also hasn't been as bad as some make out.

Everton knew (with Felipe Anderson sidelined) that Lanzini was our only creative outlet at the weekend and basically surrounded him whenever he had the ball. Given he is not quite at his best yet, it led to him having a poor game.

But Lanzini dropping deeper in the 4-3 win against against Huddersfield was really the major catalyst for our turnaround in that game (and in the other games he has been okay).

We would almost certainly have lost him if he played for Argentina at the World Cup as he would probably have stood out as their only competent midfield player.

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One of the worst things about being a West Ham supporter is the constant dissection and criticism of our best players.

When someone like Robert Snodgrass plays a handful of decent games in a row, everyone says how amazing he is and how he should be in the running for Hammer of the Year etc - instead of saying 'this is what we should expect from someone being paid a small fortune and his previous performances were unacceptable'.

The bar is set that low that competency isn't even expected - and thus applauded when it happens.

Lanzini has been one of West Ham's best players over the past 25 years; he has provided numerous great performances and memories.

Appearing to be a bit under par isn't a major deal. He genuinely tries his best for the club and usually puts in very good performances. The important thing is that he gets his match fitness up to par and confidence levels to return.

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Despite having a poor game against Everton, at least Lanzini had a valid excuse since he would no longer be running on the adrenaline of returning from a terrible injury which ruined one of his lifelong dreams.

Everyone apart from Lucasz Fabianski and arguably Declan Rice were well below par against Everton; it was a shocking performance all round. Manuel Lanzini didn't really stand out as being much worse than many other players.

* This article was originally published on the KUMB Forum.

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