Yarma, Yarma, Yarma, Yar-Mo-Len-Ko
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 2 October 2019 at 9:03pm
Written by : @daena_bodie
Oh, it is good to be a Hammer right now. The club are in the top five, unbeaten in six, and outside of the opening day defeat to City, have only conceded four goals. Of course, as any West Ham fan will know, with the good comes the bad. Last year’s Hammer of the Year, Lukasz Fabianski is now out injured for at least two months, but even still it would be hard to dampen the spirits of any East Londoner at the moment.
A lot was being made of Michail Antonio’s injury a while back and it was fair, considering the fact he was having an impact early in the season. Many were upset to see him sidelined with another hamstring injury and were wondering who would fill his boots on the right wing. His replacement, Andriy Yarmolenko has done wonders to calm the minds of worried fans.
Off the back of a long injury lay-off himself, the imposing Ukranian has started the last five games for the Hammers and has got himself three goals in the process. Aside from his goals, it could be argued that for the past two or three games Yarmolenko has also put in man of the match performances. A lot of fans are quick to forget that just before his injury, Yarmolenko was the difference maker for West Ham and now that he’s back to full fitness, he’s performing again.
Yarmolenko has had his critics – he’s a tall and gangly player who doesn’t have a lot of pace – but when you look at what he can create with his left foot it’s obvious why Pellegrini and the rest of the squad rate him so highly. For a big lad it’s surprising just how nimble Yarmolenko is; he cuts and turns quickly and more importantly he is always trying to create. Something that is noticeably missing when Lanzini isn’t driving at defences.
It was always going to be important for the Hammers midfield to contribute to the goals with Haller up top on his own and while Felipe Anderson is providing assists, Lanzini is providing pacy creativity, and Yarmolenko is the one getting in on the goals. Like Antonio, Yarmolenko is a little unorthodox but the difference is, he has the little bit of extra quality in and around the box.
On top of that bit of quality, Yarmolenko is always lively in the attacking third and is constantly looking to make runs in behind and into pockets to help shift defenders and link with those around him. His performances since his return from injury have increased week after week and should his run of form continue West Ham will remain a very dangerous attacking prospect that will hopefully keep the Hammers in contention for Europe.