They say records are there to be broken, but seldom are they broken in football. Diafra Sakho made a vow when he joined the club that he would score in every Premier League home game and, although he failed to hit the net against Aston Villa, eight games into his West Ham career he hasn’t let himself down with seven goals.
His headed goal against Manchester City also made him the first West Ham player to ever score in six consecutive Premier League games – not bad for player signed from Ligue 2 side FC Metz. I felt he came to the club under the radar with many West Ham fans far more excited by his current strike partner Enner Valencia, but Sakho is now the man on most betting slips in the Boleyn Ground
When he made his bold claim at the start of the season, it wasn’t a surprise to me that many scoffed but after he glanced home against Sheffield United and then slotted home again Hull, people started to stand up and take notice. He then delightfully chipped over Simon Mignolet to double West Ham’s lead over Liverpool to continue his fine run, before nodding home expertly against Manchester United.
He then popped up at the back stick to head past former Hammer Robert Green to make it five goals in five Hammers starts and followed that up with brilliant headers against Burnley and Manchester City. I doubt that any player has had such an immediate impact on a team than Diafra has had in any sport.
Records are broken regularly in time-based events, like athletics and racing, but no one recently has quite had such a consistent level of performance than our Senegalese man. Whilst it is unlikely the former Metz man will break the record for the most goals in a debut season, set by Kevin Phillips in 2000 scoring 30 goals in his first season for Sunderland, six in his first six starts proves he is capable of scoring 20 this season.
This form is in no small part thanks to his coach, and fellow record holder, Teddy Sheringham who is the oldest Premier League goal scorer, which he achieved by scoring for the Hammers against Portsmouth in 2006 on Boxing Day. There is no doubt in my mind that Teddy has played a huge role in Diafra’s immediate impact at the club, alongside Enner who has also played a huge role in Sakho’s development.
The speed of his adaption to English football puts poor Modibo Maiga to shame, and his attributes reminds many a Hammers fan of Tony Cottee. Whilst I don’t wish to put too much pressure on Sakho, if the 24-yearold can keep up his excellent form that is more than fine by me. It would just be nice one day to see his name listed amongst legends of the game like Shearer, Henry and Sheringham.