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Robert Snodgrass is West Ham United’s very own phoenix and well on the way to taking the mantle of James Collins as a real cult figure.

In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that is born again by rising from the ashes of its predecessor.

Snodgrass is certainly long-lived having enjoyed a long and very respectable career so far and he has been reborn at West Ham this season when his Hammers career looked well and truly dead.
After failing to establish himself at West Ham following a £10million move from Hull, Snodgrass was shipped out on loan to Championship Aston Villa last season.
The 31-year-old looked certain to leave the club in the summer.
But a discussion with Manuel Pellegrini and a new determination to make his Hammers career work have turned everything around.
Pellegrini recently revealed that Snodgrass impressed him in pre-season and trimmed down in a bid to make things work.

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Snodgrass 2.0 – leaner, quicker, fitter, sharper and hungrier

“At the beginning of pre-season, I spoke with Robert, I knew him before when I was at Manchester City and I’ve always considered him a very good player,” Pellegrini told whufc.com.
“He worked very hard in pre-season. He lost a lot of weight – four or five kilos – and he’s working hard every day. All of what he’s doing on the pitch is deserved because of the way he’s working.”

The rewards have been there for all to see, Snodgrass has become an integral part of the side.

The Scotland international has played a part in every game so far.

He looks leaner, quicker, fitter, sharper and hungrier than ever before in a West Ham shirt.

And he is fast taking the mantle of departed West Ham cult hero James Collins.

The Ginger Pele, as he is affectionately known by Hammers fans, was released in the summer.

While West Ham lost a decent if ageing centre back, it was the connection the fans had with Collins which is missed most.

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“I’ll go on boss” the making of a cult hero

Like captain Mark Noble, Collins was very much a fan on the pitch. Indeed he was often a player in the stands as he preferred to sit in with the Hammers faithful when not involved in the matchday squad.

He “got” West Ham fans, what they wanted from their players and teams and the supporters appreciated him.

Those players are rare in the modern era.

But it seems Snodgrass is taking the baton from Collins.

For many fans their view of Snodgrass changed as West Ham toiled to a narrow Carabao Cup win at Wimbledon.

New signing Lucas Perez seemed reluctant to come on as a sub. So Snodgrass leapt up and could be seen telling Pellegrini “I’ll go on boss” as he ripped off his bib like a man on a mission.

His gritty performances, set piece delivery and workrate have only helped further endear the midfielder to supporters, teammates and his manager.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

Bullish attitude has impressed Hammers faithful

Storming around the pitch and pressing Burnley at the weekend was crucial to West Ham securing a welcome 4-2 win.

Anyone watching might’ve thought the Hammers had signed Snodgrass’ rampaging international teammate Andy Robertson who does the same for Liverpool.

Snodgrass was publicly criticised and embarrassed by comments from co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold in the past.

But even the way he dealt with that was admirable.

First taking no prisoners with his ‘Thanks for the support Mr Chairman’ response on Twitter at the time.

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Football clubs need players like Collins and Snodgrass

Then by insisting that was all in the past after clearing the air before coming back to West Ham.

Now Snodgrass is even taking it upon himself to guide West Ham’s latest emerging talent on the path to success, offering Grady Diangana sage advice on what he and other academy stars must do to succeed at West Ham.

Football clubs need players like Robert Snodgrass and James Collins. They’re the link between the stands and the pitch in an era where the two are more disconnected than ever.

Snodgrass has taken the mantle of the Ginger Pele, who showed the feeling really was mutual between him and the supporters when he left the pitch in tears for the last time back in May.

Now Snodgrass just needs a proper nickname, how’s the Scottish Messi for starters?