BBC pundit Ian Wright has said there is one West Ham star who deserves far more credit for what he brings under David Moyes.
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The Hammers are now gearing up for their Europa League opener against Backa Topola this evening for what will be an interesting clash in east London.
West Ham take on the Serbian Super League side as they eye another European trophy challenge, coming after their Conference League triumph in Prague last term.
All the early signs suggest Moyes’ side are more-than capable of mounting a cup run after their brilliant domestic start.
West Ham have tasted victory in three of their opening five Premier League games; including wins against the likes of high-flying Brighton who have scored more goals than any other top flight side so far.
Speaking ahead of their bout with Topola tonight, Moyes reminisced over their Conference League win while praising his squad for some brilliant early-season form.
“I’ve got to say there’s an inner glow about me because I know getting that victory means so much,” said Moyes.
“I’m pleased to carry that with me now. I hope we can do it again, I really do, because of the magic feeling when it happened, the aftermath, what it meant to so many people in east London and to West Ham supporters in particular.
“I think we’ve tried to build a stronger whole group.
“The competition is good in the squad. We want to keep that strong and the players are in a confident frame of mind, which comes from victories and playing well.”
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There have been some standout stars under Moyes so far; perhaps most notably James Ward-Prowse, Edson Alvarez, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio among others.
The latter pair are being rewarded with the offer of fresh terms, while the former duo have been lavished with praise for their excellent start to life at West Ham.
However, former Arsenal star Wright, who regularly appears on the BBC and ITV for his punditry, has suggested there is one player who simply doesn’t get enough credit.
Wright says goalkeeper Alphonse Areola is that man, with the Frenchman pulling off some “unbelievable” saves and needs more “highlight reels”.
Indeed, the pundit says his performances have gone somewhat “under the radar” and deserve more recognition.
“Before I mention another one,” said the ex-Premier League star on Wrighty’s House.
“I think we should mention Areola. He has made some unbelievable saves. He’s gone under the radar.
“I’m not seeing enough on the highlight reels. When you see this guy he’s making great saves and doing good stuff.”
How good is Alphonse Areola?
Areola has always been waiting in the wings for his West Ham chance and recently usurped Lukasz Fabianski for the number one spot under Moyes.
Irons legend and former captain Mark Noble, now the club’s sporting director, praised Areola’s attitude and quality all the way back in 2021.
“Alphonse knows Lukasz is number one at the minute but he’s great around the boys, he doesn’t sulk,” said Noble.
“He comes in and he’s been fantastic in the Europa League games that he’s played and fantastic in the Carabao Cup games.”