Arthur Masuaku: Assists, clean sheets and working with Felipe Anderson
Arthur Masuaku believes both he and West Ham United are getting closer to fulfilling their full potential.
The left-back was in dazzling form in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Norwich City at London Stadium, setting up Sebastien Haller’s opening goal, combining superbly with winger Felipe Anderson and both attacking and defending effectively all afternoon.
That victory took the Hammers onto seven points from four Premier League matches, but the 25-year-old told West Ham TV there is much more to come from Manuel Pellegrini’s talented squad.
Arthur, that was some performance against Norwich!
“It was a very good performance from everyone. Everyone was on it, everyone was focused and this is what happens. We wanted to have seven points before the international break and now we have seven, so everyone is happy with this solid performance.”
Save for the opening and closing few minutes, Norwich didn’t create any serious chances to score. Why was that?
“I think we were very compact. In the first 15 minutes we didn’t have the ball, but I think that as soon as we stepped up, they didn’t create anything. We were good with the ball and confident with the ball and solid defensively, so this is the way we need to play in every game.”
How important was it to keep a first Premier League clean sheet of the season?
“A clean sheet is so important because, if you don’t concede you have more chance to win. On Saturday, we kept a clean sheet and scored two goals. We should have scored more, but we have the win and it’s always nice to win in front of our fans.”
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And in addition to the clean sheet, you also got your first assist since December 2018, which must have been satisfying?
“Every time the gaffer tells me to pass and go because I’m quick. This is what I’ve done and I’m just happy that I have an assist and Seb scored as well, so it’s good. Seb can keep the ball and he’s good with the ball as well. He’s got quick feet and is very good in front of the goal, so this is what we need and what we need for the future as well.”
Your interplay with Felipe Anderson down the left wing was a joy to watch…
“We enjoyed it, especially because we weren’t happy in the last game [against Watford] because we didn’t defend as well as we wanted. We spoke a lot in training in the week leading up to the game to try to make things better and help him understand more how I want him to defend and help me, and how we can attack well together.”
So, we go into the first international break with seven points out of 12, which is important for confidence…
“It’s so important that everyone is happy, especially compared to last year because we lost the first four games. To compare with last year, it’s very positive, so hopefully we can play as well as we did against Norwich in the next game at Aston Villa.”
Just finally, you’re looking sharp and fit. Are you close to 100 per cent?
“I’m near to 100 per cent now. I’ll keep working as the coach wants me to work and just give my best to the team. I didn’t have preparation (a full pre-season) as I was at the Africa Cup of Nations, so I’m getting closer and the more games I play, the better I will feel.”