Today’s game against Burnley was another great victory for West Ham taking us to the heady heights of 4th place before Sunday’s games. One of the big reasons for this is Diafra Sakho, who has been a revelation for West Ham. He is the first player since Carlton Cole to score 5 in 5 EPL games. He is on 6 in 6 counting his first appearance in the League Cup.
Obviously, it is too early to call Sakho a West Ham Legend though he is off to a blistering start and, along with Enner Valencia, has the fans feeling great about the team for the first time in a long time. This brings us to the only other West Ham player to match Sakho’s recent feat, the one and only Carlton Cole.
With all respect to Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan I would suggest that no player splits the fans more than Carlton Cole. He has never been prolific but has been a reliable scoring option from year to year. Just as importantly he has put in the work and is also good for an assist when playing in the right system.
The reason the fans are so often down on Mr. Cole, in my opinion, is that for much of the last few years Big Sam insisted on playing him in a system he is not ideal for. Sure there are times he has not been able to do anything up front; but those times he has been alone up front with the rest of the team playing deep and making no attempt to link up with him effectively. If you want to bash Cole for not being a one man army that scores goals at will then so be it, but to do so is to ignore his very real and very meaningful contributions (which have included more than a couple of important goals over the years.) This theory seems to be born out with the changes this year as he has seemed in great form coming on as a substitute, scoring two goals in four appearances thus far.
So, with Carlton Cole you get incredible effort, incredible loyalty, and important, if not prolific, goal scoring. This leads me to the man I hope will be the next West Ham Legend: Diafra Sahko.
It is of course too early for this sort of talk in many ways, but his goal scoring and his ability to provide assists as well, have been completely epic thus far. What is just as important though is how important it all seems to him and how much he seems to want to be at West Ham; this is especially true with the news that his contract does not include an escape clause – it seems to me that if someone else wants him they will have to give up a King’s ransom. Though in truth I am hoping to watch him just score goal after goal for West Ham in the coming seasons.
The other thing that seem important to me is how the rest of the team seems to have reacted to him. It is great to see him settle so quickly and to truly want to be part of the team. You so often see newly bought players struggle to fit in and find a comfort zone. The fact that he (and in Valencia) have done so this easily is a testament to what a great club West Ham is and how hard both they and the rest of the team have worked to make this season a success.