A 3-0 win over Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night was a welcome piece of positive news for West Ham United, with a changed side swatting aside their lower-league opposition to progress to the next round of the Carabao Cup.
A number of fringe players held their hands up for inclusion against Arsenal, giving manager David Moyes some difficult selection dilemmas.
However, the most positive thing from the win over Charlton was the performance of West Ham’s midfield duo Josh Cullen and Robert Snodgrass.
The Hammers have been too reliant on Declan Rice and Mark Noble in the centre of the park over the last 12 months and it is good for the club to have added options in the boiler room.
The acquisition of Tomas Soucek has added physicality and stature in the West Ham midfield but both Cullen and Snodgrass have cases to present for possible inclusion this weekend.
Youth-team product Cullen has been talked about in Hammers circles as the next big thing for some time, but despite being 24 and a full Republic of Ireland international, has made precious few appearances in the Irons first team.
His energy and range of passing against Charlton was impressive and the fringe man certainly provides something unique to all of West Ham’s other options.
Snodgrass has proven that his work-rate and quality on the ball make him an important player for the Hammers and Moyes will be delighted to have his compatriot back fit after injury.
All of a sudden, instead of Rice and Noble being sure to be given the nod to play, other credible alternatives are available for West Ham in the Premier League.