With the end of the season approaching, games coming at us thick and fast and a little more positivity around the club all of a sudden. With a bit of breathing space I have now had a bit of time to think about something other than how teams around us get on and who needs to beat who for us to not get dragged in to the bottom 3 again.
My mind wandered to who will get my vote for Hammer Of The Year. I think Arnoutovic would probably be the favourite, but he’s not my choice. He’s been the best player for a large part of the season but he didn’t turn up until Moyes came in and told him he needed to run in order to play. In this period he’s been a revelation and better than I thought he would have been. He’s become far more important than I thought he could especially after the signings of Hart and Hernandez. Maybe we have finally found the striker we have been striving to find for so long, but that’s for another blog.
Maybe Arthur will get a few votes, he’s been the player that excited me the most personally, the way the ball sticks to his feet is magical. Lately beating one man isn’t enough, he seems to wait for the second man to close him down so he can leave them both on their heels while he’s flying up the line. He a very god wing back and I think we’ve got an absolute bargain. Id like to see him used as a winger in a 4-2-3-1/4-4-2 system, ironically where I was expecting to see Arnoutovic! For the poorer parts of our season he has been one of the sole sources of excitement. But he still hasn’t done enough to get my vote. Probably due in part to the stupid nature of his sending off meaning he was missing for some 6 games in the middle of a favourable run of games. If he had of been available maybe we could of picked up a few more points, not that he alone would win a game but nonetheless his absence had an impact.
There aren’t too many other players have much of a claim for this award, most have been injured for a period or just poor. But the only player who did his job under Slav and Moyes is Zabaletta. I found myself most weeks coming away saying that he was the only man who should be able to look at himself and know he done his bit. He had no affiliation with the club prior to this season but the way he carries himself on and off the pitch you would of thought he had been a hammer man and boy. He is a natural leader and the way he communicates with the other players on the pitch saved us from being embarrassed further early on in the season.
He had to get used to not bombing forward and being more of a defensive player, the only time he got caught out was when Obiang played a terrible ball across to him and it turned in to a through ball for the opposing player. I forget who it was against but that there is one occasion where he has potentially been at fault, pushing up a bit high in possession, at worst says a lot about a man who has come to a struggling team at the end of his career.
We have had our fair share of player who have got ‘a good year or two’ left in them that have been absolute shitheaps. But so far Zabaletta has shown he is not one of them. I don’t know how long he will have left but when you look at the right backs weve had over the last 20 years or so (the only time I can comment on as I didn’t go prior to this) I don’t think weve had a better right back. Generally they have been a disaster, the only one I remember fondly also won hammer of the year, Sebastian Schemmel.
He might not be with us for a long time but he is certainly the best we’ve had in his position for far too long.My Hammer of The Year Pablo Zabaletta.
By Jack | @myWHUopinion