Aston Villa highlighted their promotion credentials at the weekend, by handing out a 4-1 thrashing against table-topping Wolverhampton Wanderers at Villa Park. Goals from Albert Adomah, James Chester, Lewis Grabban and Birkir Bjarnason proved to be enough for Villa as they left their fans in raptures.
West Ham loanee Robert Snodgrass was again in good form. It was from his corner that Adomah scraped in the opener. Snodgrass then swung in a free-kick to perfection for Chester to touch home for Villa to take the lead again after Diego Jota had equalised.
After the game, the Scottish winger spoke highly of his manager Steve Bruce. He was quoted by the Daily Mail as stating:
“The lads want to run through a brick wall for him. He’s just got that hold of you. He’s got the traits of Sir Alex Ferguson where he gets the best out of players.
“The lads love him and respect him and he gives you a bit of licence. The one thing he wants is that you work hard for your team and that’s one thing I’ve done since I’ve come here. He trusts you.”
It was a brilliant sentiment from the wideman, one which will have West Ham fans thinking.
Whilst Villa had a great weekend, Snodgrass’ parent club West Ham were the disgrace of the Premier League. The Hammers lost 3-0 to Burnley at the London Stadium. The pitch was invaded by disgruntled ‘fans’ whilst the atmosphere at the ground was poisonous – especially toward the West Ham board.
Regardless of the crowd trouble, West Ham’s players have not been performing recently. Three defeats in a row, all by a difference of three goals, has West Ham edging closer to the relegation zone.
It certainly begs the question, would West Ham players do what Villa players would for Bruce with David Moyes?
The Scot seemed to have turned things around at West Ham after taking over from Slaven Bilic. However, many of the West Ham players did not step up to the challenge v Burnley and the same can be said about the 4-1 loss to Swansea.
Skimming through the West Ham team, only James Collins, Mark Noble and Marko Arnautovic stand out as players who put in their best effort in a West Ham shirt, even if their best is not always enough.
Snodgrass joined West Ham last January for a fee reported by the BBC to be in the region of £10.2 million. He struggled to settle at the club and was told he could leave in the summer. After reuniting with former Hull boss Bruce the winger has been in fine form and West Ham will wish they had a player in such fine form.
If West Ham are to stay up, some of their players need to start playing for Moyes the way Villa’s players do for Bruce. Whether that will appease the West Ham fan discontent could be another matter.