Haller and Anderson: Tested, but not trying?
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 26 November 2019 at 7:45pm
Written by: Graham Keeffe
Another week, another disheartening performance. The rollercoaster ride that is supporting West Ham has now taken an ugly turn and appears to be hurtling towards the relegation zone. Off-field matters have continued to creep in and poison various aspects of the club, to the extent that the Hammers are now winless in seven league games.
Pellegrini seems to be greying by the day, constant rumours and speculation are seeping from the boardroom and our major signings simply aren’t performing. Is there any hope at all on the horizon? Well, there kind of is, in the unlikely form of a 32 year-old Scotsman by the name of Snodgrass and a rejuvenated Michail Antonio. Two players who, if nothing else, show genuine effort and passion in their play.
For three consecutive summers, West Ham have broken their transfer record by signing Arnautovic, Anderson and most recently, Haller. With the Austrian now well moved on, responsibility for goals and creativity lies quite literally at the feet of the Brazilian and Frenchman.
Fans will be all too familiar with Anderson’s ability to blow hot and cold, but much more was expected of Haller. Admittedly, he is not suited to the system currently being deployed by Pellegrini. At times he has cast an isolated, frustrated figure lacking support, which has been the topic of much debate amongst fans. While the two may be struggling for confidence and adaptation to tactics, there is simply no excuse for either of them not trying.
This is the key difference between the likes of Snodgrass and Anderson. When Anderson chooses not to track back after losing possession or Haller decides not to close down the space in front of the opposition defence, it causes us as fans to question their commitment levels. Snodgrass cost a fraction of what Anderson or Haller did to bring to the club and in recent weeks he has shown twice the amount of heart.
Similarly, Antonio came off the bench against Spurs and popped up with a goal. After the game, he appeared to react in a genuine manner on his social media to the loss. The same cannot be said for the “we must try harder” or “we go again next week” posts of our shambolic club media team who really, at this point, should have a day off.
Antonio and Snodgrass know what it takes to play for West Ham. They know what we as fans go through each week to support the club. Some of us travel to both home and away to games, in the hope of seeing the team triumph. When we win, they celebrate with us and when we lose, they share our hurt. Knowing what it takes to play for the badge is a key ingredient for success at any football club. Haller and Anderson are two fantastically talented footballers who are more than capable of consistently succeeding at West Ham. What’s missing most right now from their games is genuine passion for the club. They need to re-establish that intrinsic link with the fans.
West Ham’s next three games are effectively three cup finals. Two London derbies against Chelsea and Arsenal, with a trip to Wolves in between. Pellegrini will be fighting for his job and if his players truly want him to stay, they’ll fight for it too. Snodgrass, Antonio, Ogbonna and others can’t do it alone. We need eleven warriors working as a unit. While hard work may beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard, it is high time that our talent did start working. COYI.