West Ham United’s 2018-19 Premier League season started just about as poorly — in the face of sky-high expectations — as it could have done.
When Manuel Pellegrini was appointed as manager in the summer, West Ham were widely applauded and the club was expected to firmly solidify itself as a perennial top-half, if not top-seven, side. To lose their first four games was rightly dubbed a disaster.
But now, following Thursday’s comeback victory away to Southampton, the Hammers have won five of their last six games and have risen to ninth in the PL table. Pellegrini praised his entire squad after the game, but Felipe Anderson, scorer of both West Ham goals and $48-million man, was singled out for further plaudits after bagging seven goals in eight games — quotes from the BBC:
“December has been a good month for the team, not just for me, for the team. We played a very good game from the beginning. We didn’t allow Southampton to reach our box. We started one goal down but we drew level as soon as we could and then got the second goal.
“I think one of the most important things is that we play the same way away as at home. We try to continue doing our work. The better thing we did was to stop them being near our box.”
“Anderson‘s run of goals is important for him and the team. It’s not easy for a midfield player to score so many goals by this stage of the season. He can change the score of the game in any moment.”
“It’s consistency that is important for us. The important thing after our start to the season was to reduce the gap to all the other teams. I think if we continue play this way, we will improve the number of points we can get. With our winning mentality, it’s important to finish as high up the table as we can.”