West Ham boss hails Diamanti

Diamanti has scored six goals in 19 Premier League appearances and has become a key player for the Hammers.

“Although I have very good players, I keep him playing all the time because I know he can do something special for us at any moment and it is important to have players like that,” said Zola.

“You have to be on your toes when you play against him because he can score at any moment.

“That is a big thing, confidence wise, for the whole team. It is a big thing for me knowing that on the pitch I have a player who can score at any time.

“He is probably the only one crazy enough to try and score from his own half. Sometimes he does the unpredictable things. He also does unpredictable mistakes as I used to. That is the kind of player he is.

“But what is surprising me about him is that his work-rate is fantastic. He is also playing in a position where he has never played before. In Italy, he used to play second striker or maybe behind the two strikers in the hole.

“He didn’t work very hard defensively, but now he works very hard for us and is massive for the team.”