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West Ham Snodgrass: There was so much pressure on me to replace Payet

PUBLISHED: 14:31 23 October 2018

West Ham United's Robert Snodgrass celebrates scoring his side's sixth goal of the game during the Carabao Cup, Third Round match at London Stadium.

West Ham United's Robert Snodgrass celebrates scoring his side's sixth goal of the game during the Carabao Cup, Third Round match at London Stadium.

PA Wire/PA Images

Scotland international is enjoying a renaissance at the Hammers under new boss Pellegrini

Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier (left) and West Ham United's Robert Snodgrass battle for the ball during the Premier League match at London Stadium.Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier (left) and West Ham United's Robert Snodgrass battle for the ball during the Premier League match at London Stadium.

One of the boldest moves by Manuel Pellegrini since his arrival at West Ham has been his resurrection of Scotland winger Robert Snodgrass.

Vilified and scapegoated after arriving in a big-money move from Hull City, he was shipped out to Aston Villa last season and it looked like he would never be seen at the London Stadium again.

But Snodgrass, attacked by vice-chair Karren Brady in her newspaper column, is made of sterner stuff and this season he has been a revelation.

He started on Saturday against Spurs and had a decent game in an unusual role and the best thing about him is his attitude.

“I have always given 100 per cent,” said the 31-year-old Glaswegian.

“When I came here it was difficult. I played in a position that was very difficult for me and when I came we had just lost a superstar in Payet.

“People were saying he will be a replacement for Payet because he can take a good set-piece so there was massive pressure on me.

“I play a totally different game to him, he was one of the best players in the Premier League at that point, so a lot of things happened like that.

“But when I did play, we won a few games in that first season and then obviously I went away to Villa to keep playing, but I always kept an eye on the results and spoke to the lads, wishing them good luck through those tough times last year.

“I am friends with these people. I wanted to come back and try and prove myself to the manager.”

Not only has he proved himself to the boss, he has won over the fans as well with his swashbuckling, all-action display.

“The West Ham fans are as honest as the day is long, there is such a tradition here among them and the first thing they want to see, because they pay a lot of money is to see the team working hard,” he said.

“They want to see players giving every ounce for that badge and that is what we did.”

Certainly Snodgrass did, though others did not live up to that level on the day, but he was adamant that West Ham should have got something from the game.

“If they didn’t have a world class keeper at the peak of his game then it could have been different,” said the Scot.

“I would love to be talking to you about getting something from the game and we deserved it. You can see the difference between that performance and the Wolves defeat.”

He is right. The Hammers matched high-flying Spurs for the entire game and on another day they could even have won it.

“It was a good game with both teams going at it,” said Snodgrass, who is one yellow away from ban.

“We can all sit here and play 4-5-1 against Spurs and try to nullify them, but the fans don’t want to see that.

“We want to take the game to them and we did that for large spells and created chances.”

With Andriy Yarmolenko set to be out with injury for some time, Snodgrass will certainly look to start more games, but he is easy about it.

“I just get my head down and work hard every day,” he said. “If I am not playing I wish the guys who are good luck and I am right by their side.”

What a great attitude and if he does get the nod to start, then he won’t let anyone down.

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