Joey O’Brien is not the first name that everyone will think of in terms of the quality driving forces behind the current Hammers side. However, his decision to sign on with the club until 2016 is undoubtedly a positive for the club.
O’Brien’s versatility is important because West Ham do not have the biggest squad in the Premier League. He can play on either side of the defence or he can push up into a defensive midfield position which creates more options for Sam Allardyce.
O’Brien himself has shown a great deal of desire which means he tears around the pitch like a school boy. This could be an urgency to add to his six international caps and it means Allardyce doesn’t have to man manage or motivate him.
O’Brien is not injury prone, therefore, he is reliable. He fills a place in the side and allows the manager to concentrate on other areas that need improvement. He has played 16 Premier League matches this season and has scored two goals.
His discipline for a defender is superb with only three yellow cards to his name this season. This means he’s not picking up unnecessary bans which have a knock on effect to the rest of the team.
His attacking play is very important for West Ham because he holds a full back position. His stats show two goals, two assists and six shots so far this season. Not majestic numbers but not abysmal, it shows he’s chipping in consistently.
Most importantly, O’Brien’s commitment ties up a place in Allardyce’s squad meaning he doesn’t have to panic and start thinking about replacements which could mean signing the wrong player.
What other positives do you think O’Brien offers West Ham?
image: © Matthew Black