I was at a bar the other night talking to some buddies about the scheduling of the Premier League and how difficult it must be for teams to bounce back during a midweek fixture. A friend, who will go by Ryan, believed it has the opposite effect. Ryan put forth that a difficult loss lingers and the players want nothing more than to get back onto the pitch and make it right.
Make it right...
That inebriated sentiment stuck with me. Because it’s’ true, West Ham United players need to make it right. Not just for the fans, not just for troubled Slaven, but for themselves as well. While the manager is currently taking the majority of the heat for their four consecutive defeats, it is only a matter of time until names start getting cut. Or perhaps, we’re already there.
Earlier we made a case for Havard Nordtveit and what an impact he might have playing in front of our defensive line. We’ve already discussed how awful Sofiane Feghouli and Robert Snodgrass have been, and the fans have certainly let them know. But there’s a new name emerging. One we haven’t seen in quite some time...
Diafra Sakho told the club’s website he is ready to get out there and make some noise against Arsenal.
I feel I'm ready to play. I've already asked to play before, but I think the medical team wanted to protect me, so that I could do a bit more work in the gym and on the training pitch individually.
But is he really ready? Players always seem to be the first to volunteer their services, as any professional would. Slaven Bilic said in his pre-match press conference against Hull City last week that there is still a bit of work to be done.
“He is very positive and says ‘I want to play, please, please!’ and is pushing in a positive way, which is what we want, but we have to think about his fitness because there is a big difference between training and games, because in training you can control your movement and all that.”
Afterwards, a reporter followed to ask if perhaps the Arsenal midweek clash could be a realistic time of return. Bilic was hesitant to give any hint of the player returning but he did warn that if Sakho were on schedule to return they would know by now.
Realistically, no, Diafra won’t even make the substitute squad. The good news is he’s not too far away. He has started to join full first team training and not just limited work. We’re loving the positive attitude being exuded by the 27 year old Senegalese striker and can only hope it’s infectious.
"It's mental strength that gives you extra desire and when you see your team-mates out training, you want to give even more. I'm coming to the end of the tunnel, so I think I'm making good progress.”