Felipe Anderson scored his first goal for West Ham against Manchester United on Saturday, in a match which arguably saw him as the best player on the pitch.
The Brazilian arrived from Lazio in the summer window, part of the Hammers big spending under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, and saw the side struggle with their start to the Premier League season.
That’s changed with recent results and things are looking up for both the club and Anderson himself.
Brazil’s Globo Esporte have spoken to the player following his weekend goal, and he’s said all the things West Ham fans will want to hear from someone who could go on to be their star player.
On the goal, Anderson said: “I think of the team first, I always think about winning, even when I don’t score. But for a player who plays at the front, goalscoring is very important… It’s good to get that anxiety out of the way with the first goal. When you are expecting, you end up getting there in the area, but anxiety interferes with decisions. It took a little bit, but it happened (laughs). And it was still a beautiful goal to give courage. Now, it’s to continue working.
“It’s my job to score more, but I intend to always help. As a game on the wing, I always cover the side, I come back to help in the marking. To score and help there is even better.
“Of course every coach likes a player who attacks and helps in defence. I really enjoy participating in the game.”
Globo Esporte couldn’t speak to Anderson without asking why West Ham started the season so poorly and what helped turn that around, and he explained: “We talked and we knew we had a lot of quality in the squad, that we could work in time, but we were hoping for a better start.
“Sometimes it does not go the way you want, but the experience of the older players gave tranquility to the young ones to be able to work and to obtain what everyone expects. We have to show good football besides the victories. We can attack a lot, even by the way the coach likes to play. Also for the big investments – myself included. We know we have to give more than the best.”
Should the former Lazio player excel in the Premier League then it’s inevitable he’ll be pushed forward for the Brazil national team, and that remains a big goal: “I learned a lot from the tactical part in Italy. England will add the intensity part. With a little time I got used to it. I want to be a complete player to play on the side or in the middle, be prepared to give my best.
“The biggest goal is to reach the Seleção, I hope for my opportunity. I’ll work very strongly, even to pay the trust West Ham has placed in me. Every player dreams of playing for the national team, and that dream is getting closer and closer.”