Last weekend's FA Cup tie against Leeds United was essentially a dress rehearsal for this afternoon's Premier League clash, some will say this game is FAR more important than last weekend's cup tie. FA Cup competition supporters will not be pleased to hear that, it is indeed rather sad that a competition that once lit up the calendar has now by and large been sidelined, gone are the days when supporters who didn't have tickets to the final would sit for hours ahead of the game, glued to their TV screens in anticipation of the main event. Wall to wall live Premier League football AND coverage of the European Leagues has denigrated the value of not only the FA Cup, but all of the domestic Cup competitions throughout Europe and beyond.
Enough of that misty eyed imagery of the past, the present is ALL about Premier League position and qualifying for European Cup competitions on a continuous basis, its called PROGRESS and is here to stay whether you like it or not! Biting the bullet and adapting to the modern game is something that David Moyes, somewhat surprisingly, has taken in his stride, nay embraced whole heartedly.
Moyes had been accused of being a footballing dinosaur ahead of his return to the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, perhaps he might have been, in the PAST! Whatever caused it, Moyes grabbed the chance of his redemption with both hands and has achieved 'miraculous' results, earning him the 'Moyesia' moniker.
Part of Moyes' 'brave new world' was establishing a core of totally reliable players on which his team would be based, one of those players is Aaron Creswell, written off by many, including one of our OWN writers..you know who you are, Cresswell's contribution has been nothing short of amazing. It was only when Cressie became unavailable due to his collision with a goalpost during the match against City, a game played in a blizzard that surely would have been stopped had City not been in the lead, that the left back's contribution has been brought fully to light.
Losing Angelo Ogbona was bad, losing Kurt Zouma wa even worse, but arguably losing Cresswell had the most dramatic effect on the cub's fortunes. Devoid of the Liverpool born 31 year old, Hammers struggled to provide the crosses required by the 'thunderous three' of Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen and before he went off to the AFCON, Säid Benrahma.
Hammers free scoring run dried up as the club went through a rough patch of only ONE win in SIX games, fortunately Cresswell returned against Norwich in midweek and played as if he had NEVER been away. Cresswell's return couldn't have come at a better time, and there may be even better news as Kurt Zouma is "really close to returning" as well.
The pin point accuracy of Aaron Cresswell's crosses and dead ball delivery is well known and as such is not a secret, but boy how good has it been for David Moyes AND Ben Johnson as well as Authur Masuaku to see the diminutive scouser back in the ranks? - LN