“Yarmolenko with a volley over the bar, he has been outstanding,” said Sherwood on BT Sport Score (16:27, Saturday, August 31st).
Sherwood then heaped further praise on Yarmolenko when summing up the game and effectively dubbed the West Ham winger as his player of the match.
“Yarmolenko for me player of the match, managed to volley it on the second occasion, first one hit the post,” added Sherwood (16:52).
Considering Yarmolenko’s display had some West Ham fans ripping him apart on social media for looking off-the-pace, Sherwood’s praise of him will certainly raise some eyebrows. However, the 29-year-old did show some glimpses of his talent on Saturday and it was his best outing of the season by far. While at times Yarmolenko was frustrating, he missed controlled the ball three times (Source: WhoScored), the fact he scored a fabulous volley, made two key passes and managed to get in a shooting position three times, then he can be forgiven. The 29-year-old clearly isn’t at 100% just yet, after spending 252 days on the sidelines and missing 32 games of the 2018/19 campaign due to a knee injury (Source: Transfermarkt). So in fairness to him, West Ham fans and Manuel Pellegrini need to be patient with him as he could still becoming a game-changing player for them. Also given that Yarmolenko did look over-the-moon to have scored a goal on Saturday, and even a little relieved, perhaps that is the confidence boost he needed in order to get in the fast lane towards getting back to his best.