What has Felipe Anderson ever done for us?
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 30 April 2019 at 8:00am
Written by: Nick Moore
Reading the player ratings after the Leicester game on another web site I couldn’t help but be struck by Arthur Masuaku getting a higher rating than Felipe Anderson.
Really? Harvey Barnes plays a one two at the end of the game and Arthur doesn’t track him. Two points fly out of the window. Now I know the one two is a sophisticated football ploy that we have never heard of, but maybe if you were playing left back it might be part of your role to track your winger?
There was even a piece on Arthur’s performance but they seem to have left early and missed his points-conceding mistake.
But why is Felipe so poorly rated by some? And, in the spirit of Monty Python – what has Felipe Anderson ever done for us?
- He signed for us. The Gold and Sullivan years have been littered with expensive players who we were linked with us – cynics say usually around season ticket renewal time – but who in the end didn’t sign: Lacazette, Batshuayi, and Bacca amongst others. There are some bullets dodged here – Batshuayi is warming the bench at Palace, he is so good. Would we ever have got the ball into the box enough for Lacazette? But Felipe wanted to sign. He wanted to play for us.
- He has worn his price tag lightly. Plenty of players have gone under weighed down by a big price tag. How is Savio these days?
- He hasn’t got injured. It is a long tradition amongst West Ham signings to have a serious injury shortly after signing the contract to play for West Ham. Anderson has only missed one Premier League game through injury. That was the very poor home capitulation to Everton. Because he has played more games that has improved his statistics but it is very hard to have a good season from the treatment room.
- He’s our top scorer. It kind of speaks for itself. He’s not a striker. He has scored more this season than two of the players named in point one who are all out and out strikers. Nine goals is hardly massive but it’s a useful contribution for sure. And it is more than anyone else.
- He’s high on the list for assists. It might have been a better figure if some of our strikers had been firing (seeing him burst through to pass the ball to Arnie for him to scuff his shot straight to the goalkeeper is a strong memory from the Huddersfield game.)
- He can win games (nearly) on his own. The away game at Southampton is an example – our last away win before Spurs – where we went behind on 50 minutes. Going behind used to be the end for us. We hadn’t been playing that well and that included Felipe. But with a little help from Michail Antonio, two finishes that no other player in the side would have been comfortable with and we have three points.
- He is good at playing early balls in attacking areas. As a team we lack pace and so we often find ourselves with the opposition well set up in front of goal. Anderson has the ability to play the ball quickly and sharply into space even though the defence think they are set.
- He has completed more nutmegs than any other Premier League player this season. If you really want to know how good he is google the video of his nutmegs. Even as a fan of Anderson’s I realised watching this how many I had missed at the time. He has the most nimble feet at West Ham since Joe Cole. His use of the nutmeg is quite intentional and very hard to defend against.
- He has the second most tackles in the season. This statistic has been derided by some and it would be quite wrong to see him as great defender. However the statistic is real. He has nearly twice the number of tackles of Mark Noble who is rightly known for his commitment to the cause. Only Declan Rice has more. Anderson is not a player who will ever be known for his defending but the tackles do show a level of commitment.
- Felipe has the highest number of interceptions of any of the attacking players. All the players with more interceptions than him apart from Declan are defenders.
So Reg, apart from wanting to play for us, staying fit, scoring more goals than anyone else, being good at assists, quick passes, nutmegs, tackles and interceptions what has Felipe Anderson ever done for us?
No wonder he is not well rated.