Issa Diop: Everyone knows the quality of Andriy Yarmolenko
Issa Diop hailed West Ham United’s goalscorers Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell following Saturday’s 2-2 draw at AFC Bournemouth.
Yarmolenko and Cresswell were both on target for the second Premier League game in succession, helping the Hammers extend their unbeaten run to six top-flight matches following a competitive, intense 90 minutes at Vitality Stadium.
And Diop was happy with the contribution of the two left-footers to the Irons’ cause.
“Everyone knows the quality of Yarmo,” the centre-back confirmed. “He had a long injury but now he is back 100 per cent and he helps the team a lot. We are big fans of him.
“It’s good for Cress, too. That’s two goals in two games for him and I hope he’s going to score again in the next game!”
West Ham’s draw took them up to third in the table – their highest position since October 2015 – but the ever-ambitious Diop said Manuel Pellegrini’s side have achieved nothing yet.
“We need to maintain this level for all the season, not just the first few games,” he said, before reflecting on the challenge of trying to stop Bournemouth’s triple strikeforce of Callum Wilson, Joshua King and Dominic Solanke.
“It was an intense game because Bournemouth always play like this!” he observed. “They run the channels and they play offensive football, so that’s why the game was like this.
“It’s always difficult because they have good strikers. They run and they are good with the ball, so it’s a good team.”
Diop’s overall feeling towards Saturday’s draw was positive, with the team showing admirable spirit to bounce back from the midweek Carabao Cup defeat at Oxford United and falling behind less than 30 seconds after half-time at Bournemouth.
However, the 22-year-old was also disappointed to see goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski helped off with a hip injury and wished the Hammer of the Year a speedy recovery.
“It’s a good result because away games are always difficult, even more so at Bournemouth,” he said. “It was a good game, but we lost Lukasz which is bad news, so I hope they are going to recover well and quickly.
“It’s a good thing that we showed the character to get a draw. Last season, we lost here and this year we drew. It’s not the best result but it’s a good result, so I hope we are going to do better next week.
“It’s true we showed some character. We lost to Oxford in a very bad game, but we showed character and hopefully next week we’re going to win.”