Hitting the right spots

Thomas Hitzlsperger is relishing his role as a central figure in West Ham United's recent renaissance.

The Hammers' No11 has hit the ground running since returning from six months out with a thigh injury, playing a starring role in storming Barclays Premier League wins over Liverpool and Stoke City and a 5-1 FA Cup sponsored by EON fifth-round victory over Barnsley.

Hitzlsperger's powerful left-foot shot is the stuff of legend, and the German's two storming strikes against the Reds and the Clarets have shown just what West Ham fans have been missing.

The player himself is just delighted to be fit and playing his part.


"I'm enjoying being back playing again. That's three games and three wins, so what more could I ask for?" he asked West Ham TV.

"I've scored again on Saturday and it's a pure joy being out there. The fans are behind us and there is a very good atmosphere. We're in a difficult phase at the moment, but we seem to be handling the pressure very well.

"The business is not finished yet, though. There is a long way to go and we're looking forward to it."

Aside from his eye-catching goals, Hitzlsperger has also settled in seemlessly to a three-man midfield that also contains Hammer of the Year Scott Parker and the in-form Mark Noble.

The trio have played together just three times this season, but look like they have been in the same lineup for years, such is the evident understanding between them on the field. The movement and passing are fluent, while the three midfielders interchange positions with an apparent ease that makes it difficult for their opponents to cope.

"I think there is a very good understanding, even though we haven't played many games with each other. All three of us in midfield like to have many touches of the ball and to change our positions and be creative."

That recipe for success is working just fine so far, and Hitzlsperger and his team-mates will hope it continues from now until the end of the season.

To hear Thomas Hitzlsperger's views on the victory over Stoke City and this weekend's FA Cup sponsored by EON sixth-round trip to the Britannia Stadium, log on to West Ham TV now.