Half Year Report Card Part 2

Revealing part two of the report card on player performance.

Report CardYesterday we published Part 1 of our Half Year Report Card exposing who were the workers and who were the shirkers in a somewhat disappointing season to date.  Now we put aside the Eat Me Dates and Chocolate Brazil Nuts for just a few minutes to bring you Part 2.  We can now finish the wrapping to settle down and enjoy the festivities.

As shown in our recent article the assertion that West Ham come down with the Christmas decorations is something of a myth and we can hope for a much improved second half to the campaign.

Subject

Remarks

Grade

Manuel Lanzini

Manuel always tries to bring energy and incisiveness into the midfield areas.  He shows good movement, makes great runs and is often involved for what has passed for quick interplay in our team this year.  As an end product he has often flattered to deceive and has a tendency to fade (and be substituted) in the majority of games.

 

 

B-

Arthur Masuaku

An emergency signing as cover for the injured Cresswell, Arthur has demonstrated extremes of confident attacking play and comedy defending.  The dual handball sequence which led to the floodgates opening away to West Brom was unfathomable.  Also a victim of the injury curse he looks to have useful attributes and may still be able to build a future at the club.

 

 

C-

Mark Noble

Affectionately known as ‘Mr West Ham’, Mark has had a tough first half to the term.  Still cannot be faulted for effort and his grass blade covering exertions but his technical limitations have become very apparent.  His lack of pace cause him to by bypassed in midfield when the opposition have the ball (most of the time) and he also slows the game down too much when in possession.  On the evidence so far he looks to be well past his best before date.

 

 

C

Havard Nordtveit

Havrad has endured a difficult start to his time at the club.  Seen as the potential answer to our long time defensive midfielder problem he has failed to impress either in that role or when he has been asked to cover elsewhere.  For someone who came with a strong reputation from his time in the Bundesliga he has been a huge disappointment so far culminating in his disastrous cameo in the late capitulation to Spurs.

 

 

D

Pedro Obiang

Overlooked and apparently out of favour for most of last year Pedro has been the undoubted success of the season to date.  An excellent work rate has added to his ball-winning ability and he has demonstrated an economy and a good eye for direct and telling passes.  Showed a lot of patience and has made the most of his chance once it came along; it is just a little worrying why it took so long to arrive now that we have seen how well he has filled on of the side’s problem positions.

 

 

 

A+

Angelo Ogbonna

A strong left sided centre back Angelo earned a place in West Ham folklore with his last minute headed winner against Liverpool in last season’s FA Cup.  For the most part a competent defender he is prone to occasional losses of concentration and causal play with costly consequences.  His love of a grapple at set pieces is also a concern.

 

 

C+

Dimitri Payet

Last season’s magician of the free kick and maestro of the assist, Dimi has been a shadow of his former self (at least in impact if not in stature) this time around.  He remains our greatest attacking threat but the enthusiasm and gusto is missing from his game.  Is he lacking fitness, would he rather be elsewhere, have other teams learned how to nullify him, has the non-performance of the team as a unit stifled him? Who knows the enigma of this season’s Payet. 

 

 

B-

Darren Randolph

A long time understudy Darren was called to centre stage following a string of eccentric displays by El Adrian.  His presence hasn’t prevented the goals against continuing to click over but that was not all down to him apart from high profile gaffes away at Spurs and Liverpool.  An excellent shot stopper but never convincing in the air.

 

 

C+

Winston Reid

Winston continues to be a stalwart of the Hammer’s defence even if this is far from impregnable this year.  Demonstrates excellent commitment to cause, has solid defensive qualities and never afraid to put himself on the line for the team.  Not the greatest in using the ball but not as bad as some suggest and would be perfectly competent if more options were available.  Rarely makes critical gaffes a la Collins and Ogbonna.

 

 

A-

Diafra Sakho

The most complete striker at the club, Diafra is also a regular in the treatment room having made just 2 appearances this term.  An early return from his latest injury will probably see him off on international duty to the African Cup of Nations.  Almost sold in the summer after a fallout with the management it would be foolish to let him go in the current predicament.   

 

 

C

Simone Zaza

Dear oh dear…….

 

E

 

Slaven Bilic

In a complete reversal of fortune (as they used to say on TV) Slaven has gone from being the strongest link last season to being the weakest link this time around.  Maybe the new stadium and confidence play a part but poor player recruitment, an unbalanced squad, unimaginative tactics, unmotivated and unfit players, a lack of organisation and no clear style of play all rest firmly at the manager’s door.  Two lucky wins have fortunately given him a stay of execution.

 

 

D+