Does Felipe Anderson & Marko Arnautovic Hold the Key to Improvement?


West Ham United supporters are staring at another cagey season in a relegation dogfight, or at least that is what the early stages of the new Premier League season suggests. Three defeats from three is a bleak reading, but the attacking duo of Felipe Anderson and Marko Arnautovic has the quality to improve their fortunes.

The Hammers stole into an early lead against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. Felipe Anderson accelerated with supersonic pace towards the penalty area and beautifully combined with Marko Arnautovic in a confined space to create an attacking opportunity.
Arnautovic masterfully engineered a shooting opportunity and ruthlessly buried a low strike into the far bottom corner. West Ham supporters quickly rose to their feet to appreciate the brilliance of such an exciting attacking move, but they would head home disappointed with another defeat to their name.
Manuel Pellegrini became the first West Ham manager to lose his opening three matches in the Premier League since Avram Grant in 2010. Considering that the 2010/11 season ended in relegation for The Hammers is likely to create anxiety around the Olympic Stadium, but Pellegrini has the experience and quality to drag them away from potential relegation.
He’s acquired the services of various new players during the summer transfer window, which means they require time to adapt at the club. It’s evident that Pellegrini is opting for a counter-attacking system at West Ham and Anderson and Arnautovic are set to be the catalysts from the evidence of their defeat to Arsenal.

A Match Made in Heaven?

If you browse through the history of partnerships on the football pitch, you tend to find that contrasting playing styles complement each other beautifully. For example, Paul Scholes and Roy Keane in the iconic midfield of Manchester United’s 1999 treble winning season. Scholes was famous for his ability to spread the play with his eagle-eyed passing range and Keane utilized his immense footballing intelligence to bridge the gap between defence and midfield and break up play.
This may not seem relevant to the partnership between Anderson and Arnautovic but it’ll soon make more sense. Anderson is exceptionally quick and very skilful in possession, whereas Arnautovic preserves his energy by utilizing his intelligence off the ball to discover the most dangerous goal scoring opportunity.
The pair have the ability to complement each other and the more they partner each other in the final third, the more telepathic their understanding of each other will become. Anderson’s darting runs can easily split defences and create space for his Austrian teammate and Arnautovic’s technical excellence can create opportunities for Anderson to latch onto in the opponents’ half.
I’m excited to witness the development of the partnership, as I’m sure many of the West Ham supporters are too. There are also many other issues to resolve at the club, including most notably the boardroom staff and the defensive line, but it’s great to discover positives from a truly dismal opening to the new season for the Hammers!

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