Alphonse Areola believes that West Ham’s performances are going under the radar but he is perfectly happy with that.
Very few clubs are lucky enough to have two top quality goalkeepers in their side. West Ham have two keepers that they can rely on and trust whenever called upon, with both Areola and Fanianski putting in some impeccable performances this season. However, last night’s 0-0 draw might just be the pick of the bunch.
Much to Brighton’s annoyance, Areola has almost single handedly won his side points against the Seagulls this campaign. The Frenchman pulled off 8 saves at the London Stadium, 4 of them he has absolutely no right to save at all. It is not just his own performances he is delighted with though, as he has stated that he is extremely proud of the resilience that his teammates have shown recently.
“We always want more, we always want to win, but we showed that when we had to suffer we stayed compact, we stayed together,” he told WHUFC.com.
“We have shown in these last games that we are strong at the back and ready to go forward, so we have shown that we are fighting for each other and that’s a good thing.”
“To keep those four clean sheets in a row is great. We are fighting for that and we want to be part of the [group of] top teams. Winning in Europe last year showed that this Club wants to be where it is right now.”
Despite the fact that the Hammers are currently sat in 6th place, they have not had the plaudits they deserve for it. Fortunately, this can only work in their favour according to the No.23.
“We don’t need more lights on us,” he declared. “We are hard workers and we are humble. That’s a good thing and we’re fighting for each other, that’s the main thing to stay as an underdog and fight for the points against all the teams, to earn as much as we can this season.”
Brighton were forced to play a weakened side against West Ham, but David Moyes had little choice but to put out an even weaker one. Injuries, illness and AFCON led to the Irons starting 5 rotational players. Luckily every single player seemed up to the task, putting in yet another impressive defensive display.
“Every time the manager asks someone to come into the team, the player gives their all and performs for the team first, and obviously individually to show the manager they should be in a bit more,” Areola concluded. “It’s a good thing for the team because everyone can play and perform.”
Hard work, togetherness and a masterclass from Areola were all key to earning a point. With our Irons being 3 points clear of both Manchester United and Brighton now, there is a real opportunity for them to push on. Sixth place is theirs to lose but, with half the season still to go, will the pressure be too much or will they turn the club into European mainstays?