Arthur Masuaku has made quite an impact in West Ham United’s previous two matches.
Last Tuesday evening, the 23-year-old completed the scoring in the Hammers’ 3-0 Carabao Cup third-round win over Bolton Wanderers with an unstoppable, swirling 25-yard strike into the top corner.
Then, on Saturday, Masuaku emerged from the substitutes’ bench with his side trailing Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 in the Premier League, and again he most definitely caught the eye.
While he played as a left-back against Bolton, the French-born player was handed a more advanced left-wing role as Slaven Bilic’s team tried to turn the game around against a Spurs side reduced to ten men by Serge Aurier’s red card.
In just 20 minutes on the pitch, Masuaku was hugely influential in the attacking half of the pitch, most notably when providing the driving run and pinpoint cross for Cheikhou Kouyate’s 87th-minute header, which reduced West Ham’s arrears to 3-2 and set up a grandstand finish.
That goal came as a direct result of one of four dribbles (denoted by triangles on the pitch map) Masuaku embarked upon during his exciting cameo, two of which were successful (green) and two of which were ended by Tottenham tackles (red).
When you consider West Ham players dribbled the ball just 16 times in the entire game, you can see how Masuaku’s individual endeavour and willingness to take on his man – or men – created uncertainty in the Tottenham defence and chances for his teammates.
Masuaku was arguably the focal point of West Ham’s attack late on as they moved the ball from flank to flank in an attempt to find a way through the deep-lying Spurs defence, touching the ball 22 times in just 20 minutes. In comparison, Marko Arnautovic touched the ball 26 times in the 65 minutes he was on the pitch, and Cheikhou Kouyate had 32 touches in the full 90 minutes.
Ten of those 22 touches were passes (denoed by green arrows on the pitch map), with all ten reaching their intended destination to give Masuaku a 100 per cent completion rate.
Masuaku has spent the majority of his career at left-back, of course, and his defensive skills were also evident as West Ham desperately tried to get themselves back into the game late on, with the No23 making two ball recoveries in the final ten minutes, including one on the edge of his own penalty area.
So, all in all, Masuaku undoubtedly made a positive impact on the game and has given his manager another attacking option down the left flank going forward.
Source : www.whufc.com