At last a sparkle from Diamanti!

WEST HAM fans have seen all sides of Alessandro Diamanti since he arrived from Livorno in August – not least a dazzling array of haircuts. The 26-year-old attacking midfielder has been frustrating at times, giving the ball away too often, deciding to shoo

WEST HAM fans have seen all sides of Alessandro Diamanti since he arrived from Livorno in August - not least a dazzling array of haircuts.

The 26-year-old attacking midfielder has been frustrating at times, giving the ball away too often, deciding to shoot when a pass may have been the better option, and he even suffered the ignominy of being dropped to the bench on Sunday for the visit of Arsenal.

But against the Gunners at Upton Park we saw the very best of the stocky Italian. He gave the whole team a huge kick up the backside when he came on after 56 minutes.

Manager Gianfranco Zola was the man who swung the axe on Diamanti after the Stoke City defeat, but he was delighted with the way he bounced back.

"Diamanti made a real difference," he said after Sunday's 2-2 draw. "I am pleased because Alessandro is someone who can give us something extra."

He certainly can. On 75 minutes his viciously swinging free kick had Vito Mannone in all sorts of trouble and his ineffective save allowed Carlton Cole to score.

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Then, with 10 minutes left, Cole won a penalty and it was Diamanti who confidently placed it on the spot, and kept his cool, despite some gamesmanship from Arsenal, to slot the penalty into the corner.

Zola was delighted, but had a word of warning about the consistency of both Diamanti and fellow midfielder Luis Jimenez, who was dropped on Sunday.

"Don't forget Diamanti and Luis Jimenez are coming from a different championship, one that is different and easier than this," said Zola. "They need some time to adapt, but they have qualities and they will be important for West Ham."

Looking at Diamanti on Sunday, he is already vital to West Ham's success.

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