With the summer arrival of Pablo Fornals, along with the return of a motivated Jack Wilshere, it leaves our midfield stacked with depth and quality – so where exactly does this leave Robert Snodgrass?
The Scottish international had a solid campaign last season, with his most impressive bout of form coming over the Christmas period, proving a key figure in our four game winning streak throughout December.
That run consisted of home wins over Cardiff City and Crystal Palace, sandwiched between away victories over Newcastle United and Fulham.
Snodgrass directly contributed to five goals during this period – scoring two and chipping in with three assists – showing form that we never thought we would witness from our “Dimitri Payet replacement”.
However, while his work-rate and endeavour remained the same, his productivity did not continue in the same vein during the second half of the season.
While, admittedly, the whole team’s form was patchy during the latter half of the campaign, it surely shows us that his impressive run of form over Christmas was an anomaly rather than the norm. Can we really expect that to happen again; and for how long?
I’m sure Manuel Pellegrini didn’t envision using Snodgrass as much as he did last season, but with constant injury problems in midfield, along with the Scot’s consistent displays, our number 11 got a fair crack of the whip – in the process endearing himself to the West Ham fan base with his never-say-die attitude.
With the aforementioned Fornals and Wilshere now in the picture, along with a fully-fit Manuel Lanzini, it may prove a struggle for Snodgrass to earn regular first-team football at West Ham next season.
Now he has had the chance to impressive Pellegrini, however, the Chilean knows the quality and drive that Snodgrass possesses, and in my opinion, is likely to be seen as able deputy for when cover is needed in midfield or on the wing.
Knowing his character too, the Scot will not give up at the thought of being benched next season. He will surely be even more motivated to earn his place back in the starting 11, which will hopefully in turn keep the new-boys on their toes, creating a domino effect of hungry footballers fighting for their spot in the first-team.
We West Ham fans don’t ask for much, but one thing we do desire is for players’ to give their all for the claret and blue shirt. And that’s what Snodgrass does in abundance.
By Louis Pye (@lou_pye)
[Featured image from whufc.com]