Three surprise packages at West Ham United so far
West Ham United started the 2018/19 season poorly.
New manager Manuel Pellegrini lost his first four Premier League games, and many Hammers supporters were beginning to grow slightly agitated.
It was clearly a transitional period though, and the team are now in much better shape having won six top flight matches.
They sit comfortably in 11th place on 21 points, and there’s new confidence now that the Hammers can finish in the top half.
There’ve been some standout performers in Pellegrini’s squad, but who are the surprise packages?
It’s as though Zabaleta knows in his own mind that 2018/19 will be his last season before he hangs up his boots.
That’s been the talk in recent weeks, but the Argentine has actually been in solid form this season, even when the Hammers were struggling early on.
Few would have expected to see him playing to the level he has been playing to, especially since he hits 34 in January.
Snodgrass’ resurgence at West Ham been great to see.
He joined the club in January 2017 for £10.2 million, but struggled to make much of an impact.
He then went out on loan to Aston Villa for the 2017/18 campaign when he wowed with his technical quality and attitude.
When he headed back to West Ham though, most assumed Pellegrini would deem him surplus to requirements – especially after he signed Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko and didn’t sell Michail Antonio.
At present, Snodgrass is one of the team’s most integral players.
At the start of the season very few people will have known who Grady Diangana was.
The youngster was handed a chance out of nowhere by Pellegrini in the Carabao Cup clash with Macclesfield Town in September.
The Irons crushed the League Two side 8-1, with Diangana scoring a brace.
He is now fairly involved with the first-team with Yarmolenko out for the foreseeable with injury, and he looks a real threat when given the chance to come on in games.