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Might As Well Back Him; Robert Snodgrass Is All In

Scottish international and former Hull City superstar Robert Snodgrass is all in on West Ham’s upcoming season, but does anyone want that?

Apparently, the befuddled attacking midfielder had a meeting with manager Slaven Bilic regarding his future at the club. Snodgrass was brought over to West Ham in the transfer window, a questionable move many view as a panic buy for a midfielder after the Dimitri Payet saga ended with his exodus to Marseilles.

Having scored seven goals and three assists, Snodgrass was undoubtedly Hull’s best player, however, his transition to West Ham was rocky, to say the least. Eventually dropped from first team selection, Snodgrass was held off the scoresheet for the remainder of the season.

In the meeting with his manager, Snodgrass seemed to sell him on the idea of keeping him on his squad for the upcoming season. Snodgrass doubled down on team commitment, and has clearly taken his poor performance personally as he stated he wants to show the team the ‘real me.’ His attitude is encouraging, as he knows that any playing time he gets will have to be earned; this is paramount on West Ham, who have a swell of talent in the attacking midfield.

So where does the attacking midfielder fit into the lineup?  Snodgrass admitted that he was bought to fill Payet’s left-wing gap, a position he does not play. As a natural right side attacker, Snodgrass was not able to whip in crosses as he is known to do, with the success he had procured at Hull previously in this year. Manuel Lanzini took it upon himself to ignite the offense and essentially filled any gap Payet had left behind. Snodgrass, who classifies himself as a dead-ball specialist, was quickly passed up for the Argentinian Jewel, Lanzini, who exemplified his skills freezing Kasper Schmeichel with a deadly free kick.

There is apparently an agreement that Snodgrass will get a run of games as a right midfielder, however, the starting position belongs to Michail Antonio, with Sofaine Feghouli behind him. It appears Snodgrass would need to impress on a massive scale to surpass both Feghouli and Antonio. Given that he will get play time, he should benefit from the addition of Pablo Zabaletta at right back, which should add experience and depth to the right side of the pitch to support the midfield. With preseason and season games, FA Cup and EFL Cup action, Snodgrass should be able to get on the pitch to impress, as he has promised to do. 

So, can Snodgrass be successful given his renewed commitment to the team? Yes, and let me explain. It is clear that the raw talent is there. Snodgrass noted that he had “scored nine goals for Hull and a hat-trick for Scotland in the first half of the season, you don’t do that and then become an average player overnight, so I know I can contribute to West Ham.” Fair point. He has not forgotten how to play football. What is clear is that he was mashed into a position he did not play and expected to get the same results. Snodgrass joined West Ham at the most volatile point in their season, and because he was not a savior (or a right back) his addition was seen as bad business. The goat horns were forcefully placed on his head and he was forced to take a chunk of the blame for the rocky season that it was.

What needs to happen now is that Snodgrass impresses for Scotland in international duty, stays focused and motivated on earning a position in the team, and have the right attitude entering the preseason. He does not have the luxury of being on a depleted Hull side anymore. West Ham is not a walk-on squad and Snodgrass needs to earn his spot within the side. If he shows desire, ambition, and has success, the fans will have nothing left to do but back him. And if he fails he will most likely be a moved at Christmas to a lower club. The consequences are real for Snodgrass not who sits at a crossroads in his career, it is up to him to add value to his promises.

Adam Smith
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Adam Smith

West Ham United Writer at The Runner Sports
Proud supporter of the Claret and Blue, West Ham United!
Actively interested in transfer news, match reports, developing story lines, and all things West Ham United!
Adam Smith
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