Sam Allardyce names Alex Song as West Ham’s key man

Alex Song

The Irons boss has sung the praises of West Ham’s loan midfielder Alex Song.

Song moved to the Boleyn Ground over the summer, signing a season-long loan deal with the East London club.

Coming off the back of a fairly unremarkable season with Barcelona - and an exceptionally poor World Cup with Cameroon - many were surprised with the decision to sign the former Arsenal man, but he has excelled in the centre of a Hammers side sitting third place in the Premier League table.

Linking up play in the middle of the park, the 27-year-old has made eight starts and one substitute appearance this term, and, having recovered from injury, he made his first start in over a month on Sunday, as the Hammers overcame similarly high-flying Swansea City 3-1. Despite failing to register a goal or an assist to his name - with Stewart Downing acting as the real creator in the Hammers ranks - he has controlled possession in the new look diamond midfield, and the Cameroonian international’s ability to read the game has made him a vital part of the side.

His influence has not gone unnoticed, and it has been suggested that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger should have made a move for the midfielder over the summer. Rather than looking at the former Gunner, Wenger once again failed to strengthen an increasingly weak midfield area, and the Hammers were the side to benefit.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce spoke after the game, telling the media that Song is the key man in the Irons’ ranks.

“Song makes us sing!” Allardyce was quoted as saying by the official West Ham website. “Because he can control the midfield. He is composed, cool, calm, accurate with his passing, most of his passes are forward, he waits for the right pass and he beats a man when he has to try to make sure he makes the right pass.”

Despite impressing heavily in his short stay in East London, the 60-year-old coach expects Song to still improve, with him still not playing at full match fitness.

Allardyce added: “He is not match-fit yet, but he is going to be awesome when he is match-fit. In fact, he was awesome in this game and a big bonus in terms of the way we played and how much better we were in possession of the ball and became much more creative.”

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