West Ham United striker Andy Carroll has explained what ‘fantastic’ loan signing Alex Song has brought to the club.
There was surprise when the Hammers announced they had agreed a deal to sign Song on loan from Barcelona last summer, but he’s quietly gone about his business, partly helping the Hammers to their current position in the table.
Carroll has been left purring over the form of his teammate as the Hammers prepare for a busy Christmas and New Year period.
“Every game he has played he has been fantastic. He just slows the game to his tempo which is a benefit for us if he can slow the game down when it needs to be,” Carroll told the West Ham website.
“At 1-0 down we weren't going gung-ho. He just held it together and passed it nicely for us to counter.”
Song’s experiences with Barcelona and formerly Arsenal are showing because of the way he controls the middle of West Ham’s team.
He’s well suited to complimenting the other ball players in the middle of the side and has the technique to be able to deal with a variety of touches and passes under pressure.
He also doesn’t jeopardise West Ham’s strength in midfield because he’s a big man and carries that presence around, which allows him to control certain areas and midfield space.
The trick for Song is how he’s going to stay effective over the second half of the season.
Sides will be working hard on finding ways to get the better of him in front of West Ham’s back four and if he stays consistent, there’s no reason why the Hammers can’t secure a Europa League space this season.
There’s also the chance that West Ham could push for a permanent deal at the end of the season, if Song has played an integral part to their success which looks likely to be the case.