Winston Reid can be the “voice of authority” needed to pull West Ham together, according to Danny Mills.
The 6’3″ colossus has been sidelined since March 2018 with a knee injury, but is approaching a return after playing 45 minutes for New Zealand last week.
And with the Hammers on a winless run of six games, Sky Sports pundit Mills believes that he can be the figurehead needed to help turn his side around.
Speaking to Football Insider, when asked about what kind of impact Reid could have, he said: “Oh, in terms of experience just out on the pitch sometimes, pulling people together
“Just a voice when things aren’t going quite perfect, a voice of authority, a commanding figure to say: ‘Right, we’re going to do this is what we’re doing, this is what I want you to do.’ It can make such a difference.
“It’s not always about how good the player is, it’s the authority that he commands, the respect he has from everyone else and that organisational skill.”
For West Ham’s sake, you hope that Mills is right. They need something to help them get this dreadful run of form moving in the other direction, and if that is Reid marshalling things at the back, then so be it. The New Zealander was certainly a massive influence prior to his injury, and was a wonderfully consistent presence for the Hammers. Between 2012 and 2017, his Whoscored rating never dropped beneath 7.00, and that kind of solidity definitely wouldn’t go amiss right now. Assuming that he can just waltz back into the side and compete at the same level he was prior to his absence could be risky though. This was a terrible injury, and Reid is now 31. He has the talent to comeback, of course, and he clearly has the battle too, but that doesn’t mask the fact that he still has some way to go before he is one of the first names on the team sheet again.