Robert Snodgrass: I am 31 now, but I feel 21!
Robert Snodgrass says he feels ten years younger heading into West Ham United’s Premier League Asia Trophy opener with Manchester City.
The Hammers’ Scotland international enjoyed a superb comeback season in Claret and Blue last term and was rewarded with a one-year contract extension this summer.
Now, with competition in his attacking midfield position fiercer than ever following the returns to fitness of Manuel Lanzini, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko, plus the signing of Pablo Fornals, the No11 is determined to get himself in the best possible condition to perform.
I feel fit, I feel strong, I feel mentally and physically ready, so I’m using this preseason time to get myself ready for the first game of the season
“For me, this season I want to get more assists and more goals, being an attack-minded player, and I want to play as much as I can,” he told Chinese journalists at a Premier League Premier Skills tournament in Nanjing.
“I am 31 now, but I feel 21! I feel fit, I feel strong, I feel mentally and physically ready, so I’m using this preseason time to get myself ready for the first game of the season.”
Snodgrass, who attended Tuesday’s tournament alongside Lukasz Fabianski and Winston Reid, will get his next opportunity to stake a claim to be in Manuel Pellegrini’s starting XI when the Irons take on the Premier League champions on Wednesday evening.
There, as well as hot and humid conditions, the manager has told his players to expect a warm reception from local football supporters.
“One thing the manager touched on was the people in China, saying they are really nice people, and we’ve been greeted in that way and in that manner,” the No11 confirmed. “He also touched on the heat and that we’d need to be ready for that as well, and he was right.“
He has given us a few pointers, but the main one was that the fans were great, so we can’t wait to get started and play in front of them.”
While support is always welcome, for Snodgrass and his teammates, this preseason tournament is all about preparation for the big Premier League kick-off, also against Manchester City, at London Stadium on Saturday 10 August.
With that in mind, the Hammers have spent the last two-and-a-half weeks working hard in testing conditions, gaining fitness and form ahead of the visit of the champions.
“Training has been really good and we’re really looking forward to the first game,” Snodgrass continued. “Obviously, we’ve been taking a little bit longer rest in between the high-intensity sessions, because with the temperature and humidity the way it is here, we are losing a lot of body fluids.
“We’re really happy to be here and we just want to get the first game underway.
“It’s been a bit different, but once we acclimatised to the new time zone, we have adapted as normal. The preparation for the lads behind the scenes just gets you right, wherever you are.”
*West Ham United's Premier League Asia Trophy semi-final with Manchester City will be broadcast live in the UK by Sky Sports, with kick-off at 1.30pm BST.