In Defence of Feghouli

Sofine Feghouli has been inconsistent since joining the east London outfit in the summer, but his shown himself to be supremely talented. Dean Ammi gives his thoughts on the polarizing Algerian winger.

Sofiane Feghouli has been on the receiving end of a lot of abuse following his performance against Bournemouth. But are fans being too harsh?

Although he gave away a penalty, which was then subsequently saved, it is not beneficial to the Algerian to not have a natural right-back playing on that right wing with him. Kouyate is not a right-back, he cannot defend and he should not be expectedto defend; because he is a central midfielder.

As a result, Feghouli is often getting caught in two minds. He wants to attack the opposition, dribbling past them with his quick feet – but he’s hesitant because the gaps behind him are too big.

What many people appear to be disregarding though, is that less than a minute after conceding a penalty, Feghouli showed great character in getting an assist just 50 seconds after. A lot of players would have mentally and psychologically felt incapable to perform adequately enough after this sort of scenario.

The 26-year-old now has three assists in the Premier League, in nine starts. Only Dimitri Payet has more for the club this campaign, and he departed in January. Feghouli has more goals in the Champions League than the rest of the squad combined – he’s got that upper echelon experience that not many supporters are appreciating.

Sofiane joined on a free transfer in the summer, so the club have not lost any money in purchasing him. Perhaps fans are being too ignorant with the winger; let’s not forget West Ham were beating Bournemouth when Feghouli was on the field. He was subbed off, and the Hammers ended up losing the match.

He could have joined any club in the summer as he was out of contract; he could have taken the easy route to Turkey for the money. But no, he chose to play for West Ham in East London and fans should most definitely be getting behind him rather than getting on his back. Feghouli also has two goals this season in the league, and it would be no surprise for him to be on the score-sheet once again this weekend against Leicester City should he start.

He’s had such an unfortunate introduction to life in England, but he’s turning it around. Having been injured on the opening day, and then being dropped from Algeria’s Africa Cup of Nations squad, he hasn’t let this affect him and West Ham fans should praise him for contributing to five goals in his last nine games in the team.