From the Terraces - Ollie Hirst

90min writer Ollie Hirst lauds Hammer of the Year Aaron Cresswell

90min writer Ollie Hirst lauds Hammer of the Year Aaron Cresswell...

Hammer of the Year, Players' Player of the Year and Signing of the Season; it's hard to argue against Aaron Cresswell walking away with all three at Wednesday night's awards ceremony.
The Scouser has been a revelation since arriving from Ipswich Town almost a year ago, not missing a single minute of league action and is perhaps Big Sam's best ever Hammers acquisition - at least since he got Kevin Nolan to come and play for us in the Championship. Unlike Nolan though, Cresswell, at 25 years young, was always a long-term acquisition for us - certainly no quick-fix to get us back on our feet having fallen on hard times.
So this season's two goals and four assists (so far) in the Premier League are only the starting point as far as I'm concerned - provided we don't sell him to Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea or whoever.
We all talk about his attacking contributions, but that's an added bonus with full-backs. Primarily you want to know they can defend first and there are certainly no concerns in that department. Remember the crunching challenge he stunned Diego Costa with during March's encounter with Chelsea at Upton Park? It was a fair one too - always an endearing quality to supporters of West Ham United. It's no coincidence only six teams in the entire top flight have conceded fewer league goals than we have this season.
His teammates certainly approve of the dirty work he's done for them. Two games stand out for me in particular: Burnley away and Newcastle at home. At Turf Moor, a trademark pin-point cross allowed Diafra Sakho to break the deadlock in what was shaping up to be a tight encounter. But notably, he seemed to enjoy the physical battle against a side he will have been familiar with from his time in the second tier. I appreciated that just as much, really.
He was a real menace against Newcastle. Not only did he get his goal, using his brain to continue his run and get amongst the danger, he was constantly on guard to put in the tackles down at the other end, when required.
It's a shame that Cresswell has so many competitors for an England place, though a call-up is surely not too far away? Even then, you wouldn't bet against him grasping his chance with both hands should it arrive - he should look to Aston Villa's Fabian Delph for inspiration. That would complete a dream season for him.
In the meantime, we'll need a few more like Aaron Cresswell if we want to break into Europe next season. He is living proof that bargains are to be had in that Championship.
Who knows, perhaps there's someone at Brentford, Wolves or Blackburn Rovers whose name awaits next season's Hammer of the Year trophy?
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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United