Four West Ham players that must start against Arsenal

West Ham won their first game of the season in an impressive display against Charlton and four players staked their claim to start against Arsenal.

The side that played Charlton was very different from the one that lost 2-0 against Newcastle. David Moyes named ten changes and saw lively performances from a lot of the players that have found themselves on the fringes at West Ham recently.

Sebastien Haller

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Sebastien Haller of West Ham United scores his team’s second goal during the Carabao Cup Second Round Match between West Ham United and Charlton Athletic at London Stadium on September 15, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Davy – Pool/Getty Images)

It may only have been against a League One side, but two goals are still two goals. Now West Ham’s top scorer for the season so far, Haller must lead the line against the Gunners. Haller has struggled at times for the Hammers, but he showed against Charlton that there is still a capable goalscorer there.

The Frenchman’s goals showed two important striker attributes. The first was smart running to make himself available for Andriy Yarmolenko to pass to him for a simple tap in. The second was a brilliant header past the goalkeeper.

Haller may not be as mobile as Michial Antonio or former Hammer Marko Arnautovic, but with the right service, the 26-year-old can become the talisman West Ham need.

Arthur Masuaku

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 29: Arthur Masuaku of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool FC at London Stadium on January 29, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Masuaku may not have had too much defending to do against the Addicks, but did what was required of him. The 26-year-old showed real promise going forward and made a lot of positive moves happen from the left with his link-up with Felipe Anderson.

The DR Congo international comes into his own when he has the ball at his feet, and he is taking on defenders. This is something Masuaku did a lot against Charlton if he carries on playing like that he could make the left-back spot his own for the foreseeable future.

To be honest, Masuaku did not need to do a lot to impress at left-back when taking into consideration the poor form Cresswell is currently suffering from.

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Josh Cullen

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 05: Josh Cullen of West Ham United during the Pre-Season Friendly between West Ham United and AFC Bournemouth at London Stadium on September 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Cullen oozed class last night in the central midfield role. The Irishman was composed on and off the ball. The academy product made three tackles, one interception and won four ground duals in the match as he bossed the midfield, making life very difficult for Charlton.

On the ball Cullen was equally impressive, the 24-year-old completed 92% of his passes. Cullen’s passes were not one dimensional either; he was accurate with 5/7 long balls, one of which was key to the Hammers opening goal.

Cullen must start in a midfield three alongside Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek against Arsenal. The two regulars would allow Cullen more freedom, which should allow him to create even more.

Felipe Anderson

West Ham United’s Brazilian midfielder Felipe Anderson (C) celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English League Cup second round football match between West Ham United and Charlton Athletic at The London Stadium in east London on September 15, 2020. (Photo by Clive Rose / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Maybe not back to his best yet, but seeing Anderson grab a goal was great to see, it was an excellent finish too. After some tidy footwork from Manuel Lanzini, the Brazilian fired in the lay-off form eighteen yards out neatly into the corner of the goal.

Last season the Brazilian had to wait until January for his first goal of the season, this year it has taken two games. Anderson seems to rely on confidence, and now this must be as high as it would have been for a while, Moyes needs to back the winger and allow him to carry on.

It was not just the goal though, Anderson’s all-round game looked sharper and quicker. The winger was taking on players and looked far more comfortable with Masuaku behind them than he does with Cresswell.

Of course, it was only League one side, Charlton, that these players impressed against, but they can only play against the opposition that they are up against.