West Ham captain Mark Noble has hailed Sebastien Haller for his contribution in the Hammers’ opening day defeat to Manchester City.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men were subjected to a 5-0 thrashing from the champions, but the Frenchman stood out in an otherwise poor display.
Writing in his column for the Evening Standard, Noble acknowledged the striker efforts.
He said: “I thought Sebastien Haller, especially in the first half, did really well.
“He worked hard, his touch was good and his hold-up play was excellent.
“It was City, though, and we didn’t present him with enough chances in the box.”
Noble tells it like it is, and if he says that Haller had a good start to life in claret and blue, then he definitely means it. The Frenchman may have been starved of service a little bit last Saturday lunchtime, but in the brief moments that he was able to get himself in and around his usual operation area, he looked sharp and dangerous. His stats from last year make for impressive reading, with 6.9 aerials duels won per game and an average of 1.9 shots on goal per match too, according to Whoscored. Even against City, when possession and time was at a premium, he managed two aerial duels won, a shot on goal, and wasn’t dispossessed once. He may not have scored, but if he can keep up that level of work in the coming weeks, he will surely get some kind of joy against some of the more beatable sides in the division. Saturday was a baptism of fire, and he came through it very well.