Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Anderson's Awakening Has Pellegrini Dreaming of Top-Six Spot

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Anderson's Awakening Has Pellegrini Dreaming of Top-Six Spot

Article excerpt

Byline: Giuseppe Muro

FELIPE ANDERSON took some time to find his feet in the Premier League, but hard work to improve his English and extra time in the gym is helping the Brazilian flourish at West Ham.

Anderson scored a stunning goal as West Ham beat Crystal Palace 3-2 on Saturday to climb into the top half of the table for the first time this season, if only until Wolves won yesterday.

The PS47million club-record signing was written off by some as an expensive mistake after he struggled in the opening weeks of the season, but he is now starting to show his class.

Anderson has scored five goals in his last six games and his curling effort from the edge of the area against Palace demonstrated his growing confidence. It capped another fine individual display and his team-mate, Robert Snodgrass, has revealed how hard the 25-year-old works on the training ground and behind the scenes.

"He is always in the gym, trying to do better, trying to learn better English," said Snodgrass of the summer acquisition from Lazio. "He is a good professional, it is a simple as that.

"Sometimes you get lads coming from foreign countries and maybe they do not understand what it takes to play at this level. He had a few games that he found a little bit difficult but he battled through it.

"He is working so hard to do what he is doing week in, week out. I am happy for him and long may it continue. He is a good lad. It is great to see him scoring goals because he is a terrific talent."

Anderson was again influential against Palace as West Ham made it three consecutive League wins for the first time since December 2016.

The Hammers sat bottom of the table after losing their first four League matches, but they have made real improvement under Pellegrini and are now up to 11th, five points behind sixthplaced Manchester United. The Chilean is targeting a push for the top six ahead of an inviting run of games against Fulham, Watford, Southampton, Burnley and Brighton and qualification for Europe must now be a realistic target. …

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