Search

Zarate gives West Ham captain a masterclass in number 10 role

09:16 24 August 2014

Archant

Our West Ham blogger wonders if Kevin Nolan will get his place back when he is fit

West Ham United's Mauro Zarate (centre) gets away from a challenge by Crystal Palace's Martin Kelly (2nd left) during the Barclays Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.West Ham United's Mauro Zarate (centre) gets away from a challenge by Crystal Palace's Martin Kelly (2nd left) during the Barclays Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.

After the victory over Crystal Palace many performances caught the eye, but perhaps none more so than that of Mauro Zarate.

When the rumour first floated around Twitter that Kevin Nolan was injured and would be out for a few weeks I don’t think I was alone in dismissing it as nonsense, however, for once, a Twitter rumour was actually accurate and the end result was Mauro Zarate giving ‘el capitano’ himself a lesson in how to play the number 10 role.

When Nolan plays behind the striker he’s forever on the periphery of the game, Zarate however is at the hub: he drops deep, links play, is able to beat people with a deft drop of the shoulder and his mobility and movement bring a completely different dimension to the position.

Kevin Nolan had two fantastic seasons playing in the hole; his first two at West Ham yielded 23 goals from that position, last season, however, whilst Nolan did wind up being our top scorer, his goals came in a glut of about 7/8 games and with the exception of that run his contribution was minimal at best.

The performance put in by Zarate at Selhurst Park was every inch what the modern day number 10 should be about and his goal was something special, surely the most spectacular scored in the league so far this season.

It’s difficult to see when Nolan recovers from his shoulder injury how he will win his place back in the team. Nolan and big Sam go way back and certainly in the past its been made clear that unless Nolan is unavailable; regardless of form he is an instant starter in Sam’s book. However at 32 years of age and with younger more talented players who can play in his position in Valencia, Morrison and of course Zarate, can the captain still be the first name on the team sheet?

Nolan’s incarnation of the number 10 role is very much based on not really being involved in the game but popping up at the right place at the right time and grabbing a goal every now and then, and for his first two seasons it worked and worked very well. In many ways Nolan was the perfect character to lead us back into the Premier League and keep us up in the first two seasons.

However we’re now in our third season back, the squad is undeniably stronger and that was epitomised by the performance put in by Zarate in Nolan’s absence; a performance full of verve, energy, sharpness and clever movement.

After Zarate’s master class can we really go back to Nolan’s by comparison ineffective performances?

No, not if this team is going to continue to evolve.

I’d like to dedicate this article to my good friend Damon Scally who sadly passed away earlier this week.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Ilford Sports News

Yesterday, 17:59
Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan in action at Brisbane Road (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Nolan hails Northampton Town following four-goal defeat at Brisbane Road

Yesterday, 17:54
Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Dagenham & Redbridge manager unimpressed after Barnet defeat

Yesterday, 17:17
West Ham United's Mark Noble celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich.

Hammers star Dimitri Payet inspired the team to come back from two goals down at Carrow Road

Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan shows his frustrating on the touchline (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Sky Bet League Two: Leyton Orient 0 Northampton Town 4

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe