Opinion from the stands

How crucial can this man be in West Ham’s season?


Obiang has been impressive since returning to the side

Pedro Obiang hasn’t featured massively as of yet for West Ham, however I feel that the Spaniard deserves more of a chance in the first team. Admittedly when the club signed the former Sampdoria player I did not really know much about him other than his nationality and the fact that the club had been looking at him for a while. Obiang is an extremely underrated player within the West Ham squad at the moment, and I hope he breaks into the first team and cements a place because he looks versatile as well as energetic.

Having seen the 23 year old midfielder play in the league game against West Brom and the recent FA cup win against Wolves, he has not looked out of his depth and has stood out within the West Ham midfield. Obiang is powerful but surprisingly quick for a man of 6ft 1 and his work goes unnoticed on occasions. For example, in the 1-1 draw against West Brom he made intelligent passes which started attacks and he also made space for the more attacking players such as Zarate and Lanzini. I can understand why Obiang doesn’t always get the plaudits he deserves because he generally doesn’t make 50 or 60 yard passes which sets up a chance although what he does do is break up play, distribute the ball wisely and make space very well. By no means am I suggesting that Obiang cannot spray passes all over the pitch but that is not something we have seen much of, and with the likes of Alex Song on the pitch it’s not necessarily required.

I really hope that Slaven Bilic doesn’t view Obiang as a squad player or a potential liability in the first team because on the limited occasions we have seen him play, he has definitely impressed. Furthermore, with Alex Song perhaps not entirely fit and Kouyate not necessarily reproducing the impressive performances he has done in the past, I feel Obiang could and should be in the first team. With Mark Noble as captain it is unlikely he will be dropped, and he probably doesn’t deserve to be to be honest considering his improved performances in recent weeks. As a West ham fan, I want Bilic to select the strongest team he can and with Kouyate and Song not performing at their finest, Obiang is certainly constructing a good case as to why he should be in the first team.

Of course as fans we don’t know the dressing room psyche and what goes on but when I have seen Obiang speak in interviews, he comes across as a hard working player who trains well. In fact Mark Noble was quoted as saying Pedro Obiang “is the best trainer”. It would appear that Obiang works hard in training, and so far on the pitch he has done nothing wrong but perhaps hasn’t been recognised or appreciated as much as he should be due to him ‘doing the dirty work’.

Ultimately, Pedro Obiang looks to be a very promising player filled with energy and composure. My point overall is that if I was manager I would be seriously considering giving Obiang an extended run in the team because he looks competent on the ball, and strong physically as well as technically. If Bilic rewards Obiang with a first team place in the upcoming games, I think that West Ham will reap the rewards in the future because he looks incredibly talented.

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