West ham have endured a difficult season to date. since moving to their new home at the Olympic Stadium they have found managing the increased space of the bigger pitch a real challenge. Central to their difficulties has been the absence of a specialist right full back, with a variety of midfielders (Edimilisen Fernandes, Havard Nordtveit) and forwards (Michail Antonio) filling in with limited success.
However, yesterday's torrid encounter, which saw them given the proper run around by lowly Hull City, finally clarified the way forward for SuperSlav's side as, amidst all the chaos, the ideal solution to their defensive woes emerged as the hero in maintaining a clean sheet and seizing a vital 1-0 win.
Full back Al Uminium demonstrated his considerable talents with three crucial interceptions. First up, Aaron Cresswell's short back pass looked to be a real howler as Hull's Mbokani closed in on goal - only for Al to get back and prevent a goal in dramatic fashion! Then, early in the second half, Mark Noble flicks a header towards his own net but Uminium is there again to save the day with a solid clearance. finally, just as Hull looked to have finally netted courtesy of a screamer from Andrew Robertson, Big Al intervened once again by throwing his body in front of the torpedo-like strike!
Uminium may lack the attacking prowess of Michail Antonio but, unlike the Hammers top scorer, has decent defensive positioning sense and always stays goal side of his man. Meanwhile, in contrast to Havard Nordtveit, Big Al is unlikely to dive needlessly into challenges - especially against your neighbours in the final seconds of a crucial derby!
However, the signing has run into problems around the paperwork as some observers have suggested that a third party might be involved and that the player is in fact ex-Hammer Guy Demel. Apart from the incredible physical likeness, Demel's determination to stick to his defensive duties were evidenced by just a single goal during his four years at Upton Park - something that harks back to traditional defensive mindset where defenders primarily focus upon stopping the opposition score rather than flouncing up and down the wing pretending to be David Ginola or the likes.
In contrast, some other observers have suggested that Uminium may in fact be Alvara Arbeloa - a natural right back who has mysteriously fallen out of favour at West Ham despite no obvious poor performances!
Either way, it looks like the Hammers have finally found the solution to their defensive woes!