Jeff Stelling suggested that West Ham were too nice of a side when remarking on the chances of Manuel Pellegrini’s team achieving success this season.
The Sky Sports presenter shared that with lovely ball players like Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson to call upon, he had to question whether the Hammers were just too nice and appeared to imply that they lack a bite to back up the club’s bark.
While Lanzini is a fantastic player, you do feel that the Argentinian is just an asset going forward and isn’t really the type to get stuck in when not in possession.
However, Stelling namedropping Anderson is surely wrong as the Brazilian has shown that he is more than just a lovely ball player as he hasn’t exactly shunned his defensive duties.
“Are they almost too nice? When you look at their midfield, Lanzini and Anderson are lovely ball players…but a little too nice?” questioned Stelling on Soccer Saturday (13:32, Saturday, September 21st).
The 26-year-old attacker has registered seven tackles this season, winning 71% of them, blocked four shots, made three interceptions and has even made three defensive clearances in his four league outings. (Source: Premier League)
Those stats show that Anderson is all about just playing nice football as he clearly isn’t afraid to put himself about to ensure the Hammers get the ball back when they’re not in possession.
Also pulling his weight defensively isn’t new to Anderson either.
The Brazilian showed in his debut campaign in the Premier League last season that he wasn’t a player who didn’t enjoy getting stuck in.
Anderson registered 89 tackles, 17 blocked shots, 41 interceptions and 12 clearances across his 36 league outings and considering he is an attacking player who shouldn’t really be sweating too much about stopping his opponent scoring, then his stats are amazing. (Source: Premier League)
While the 26-year-old isn’t the type to lose his head and make reckless tackles, he has racked up only four yellow cards in the Premier League so far in his career, it doesn’t mean he should be dubbed a player who contributes to the Hammers being “too nice” of a side to succeed. (Source: Premier League)
As when the going gets tough, Anderson is capable of rolling up his sleeves and get stuck in like the best of them.