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He let them down, but Arthur Masuaku’s return is key to West Ham survival

English Premier League

He let them down, but Arthur Masuaku’s return is key to West Ham survival

The Congo wing-back returned to the West Ham side after serving a six-game suspension.

West Ham United returned to the London Stadium this weekend for the first time since the embarrassing scenes during the game with Burnley three weeks ago. The Hammers were thrashed by Burnley on that occasion, with fans invading the pitch and venting vitriolic frustration toward the club’s owners.

Yesterday was a completely different story. West Ham put Southampton, managed by Mark Hughes for the first time in the Premier League, to the sword. Joao Mario opened the scoring and then the darling of West Ham this season Marko Arnautovic bagged a brace, which he clearly enjoyed against former Stoke boss Hughes.

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND – JANUARY 13: Tommy Smith of Huddersfield Town is fouled by Arthur Masuaku of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and West Ham United at John Smith’s Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

One man whose return certainly helped the Hammers is Arthur Masuaku. The Congolese made his first appearance for West Ham since the FA Cup exit to Wigan Athletic on 27th January. He was sent off in that game for spitting at Wigan attacker Nick Powell. It was a despicable act which let his team and fans down.

Because Masuaku is a key player for West Ham, which he proved yesterday afternoon.

 

The marauding left wing-back was in fine form on his return and left West Ham fans ecstatic at his return.

The 24-year-old was relentless in his pressing throughout the game and was a constant outlet on the left-hand touchline. To add the cherry on top of his huge display, Masuaku provided a peach of a cross for Arnautovic’s second and West Ham’s third goal.

West Ham United’s French defender Arthur Masuaku (L) is shown a red card by referee Chris Kavanagh during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Wigan Athletic and West Ham United at the DW Stadium in Wigan, northwest England, on January 27, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Masuaku certainly let the team down back in January and his enforced absence has been a thorn in David Moyes’ side ever since. His energy and wicked left-foot make him a potent weapon in the 3-4-2-1 formation that Moyes fielded today.

Now he is back and West Ham fans will undoubtedly be on top of the moon to see the talented wing-back flying down the wing once again.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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