West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini could well make a huge personnel decision for London derby against Chelsea this Saturday.
The Hammers are on a woeful run of form, having picked up just two points since beating Manchester United in September.
Their trip across London to Stamford Bridge could not come at a worse time, with academy graduate Frank Lampard excelling in charge of the Blues as they look to obtain a Champions League spot.
Defeat to the Blues could well spell the end of Pellegrini’s tenure in the East End, with summer signing Roberto bearing the brunt from fans for his poor form between the sticks.
However, the Chilean urged fans to get behind the 33-year-old Spaniard in his press-match press conference.
“The fans must be always behind the players,” he said. “When the result is finished, they can have some mood.
“Because they cannot be happy, nobody can be happy with the way we have lost. But we need in this moment, more than ever, all the fans behind us.
“Of course I am concerned (about his confidence), but it is not just about the goalkeeper.
“Every time you decide your starting XI you have the complete week to work with them, the technical staff about positives and negative things.
“To just to fight for relegation is not my goal at this club. So we need to reverse these results.”
However, it seems as though the Premier League-winning manager could well be about to spring a shock and call up 19-year-old Joseph Anang.
The England Under-20 international was a notable omission from the Hammer’s Under-23 fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday night for the Premier League International Cup match.
So who is he and could ge get the chance to take the gloves off Roberto at Stamford Bridge on Saturday?
- Full Name: Joseph Tetteh Anang
- Date of Birth: June 8, 2000 (19 years old)
- Place of Birth: Ghana
- Height: 1.83m (6”0)
- Squad number: 49
- Joined (senior terms): 01.07.2018
- Contract Expires: 30.06.2021
Anang joined West Ham as a scholar in 2017 after leaving his home country in order to secure a dream professional contract. His trial period with the Hammers was successful and he was snapped up.
Whilst playing for the Under-18s team, he made five starts before spending July 2018 on the pre-season tour to Austria with the first-team squad.
Pellegrini has picked the shot-stopper in a number of matchday squads last season.
Anang started seven of West Ham United’s opening U18 Premier League South fixture in 2018/19, helping the Hammers to wins in their opening four matches.
He was then called up to the Under-23 squad in September 2018 and also started in the Checkatrade Cup first round game against Bristol Rovers in the same month.
So far this season as first-choice for the Under-23 side he has made 11 appearances and kept five clean sheets, conceding just 11 as Dmitri Halajko’s side sit top of the Premier League 2 table.
Joseph Anang and David Martin have both been heavily involved in training this week ahead of the game against Chelsea.
— West Ham News (@whufc_news) November 27, 2019
The Ghanaian is robust and well-built for someone so young, meaning the physicality of the Premier League should not be a problem. This allows him to command his box imperiously.
Anang is a great shot-stopper in the classic sense, using his reflexes well.
Perhaps owing to his inexperience, Anang can get caught in two minds when it comes to claiming balls into the box. Staying on his line or coming to claim are things he can work on.
His distribution has improved incredibly since his move, although there is still some work to be done.
West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini could well make a huge personnel decision for London derby against Chelsea this Saturday. The Hammers are on a woeful run of form, having picked up just two points since beating Manchester United in September. Their trip across London to Stamford Bridge could not come at a worse time, […]