West Ham United’s Team of the Decade (2009/10 to 2019/20)
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 29 November 2019 at 9:40pm
Written by: George M.
The end of the decade is near, which means it’s time to reflect back on 10 years of Football at West Ham. Some could say this time period has been a lengthy ‘Banter’ era for the club with plenty of ups and downs including a relegation, promotion, a seventh place finish and a couple of protests on and off the pitch. New owners, a new badge and a new stadium have made this a decade of change at the club. Also, we have seen seven new managers come in and out of the club which has caused huge changes in how our first 11 and squads have looked. There has been some real quality included in some of these squads and, it goes without mentioning, some real dodgy players. Now it’s time to select who deserves a spot in the team of the decade.
Goalkeeper: Łukasz Fabiański
Fabiański has only been at the club for 18 months and has been the only keeper this decade in which no fan has any bad opinions about. This was an easy choice,
Right Back: Joey O’Brien
Some could argue this is a strange choice. Fair Enough. However, when considering our right back options over the past decade, Joey O’Brien is the only right back that has managed to hold his position in the team for over two seasons and more. Perhaps Zabaleta could have made the team but he only ever had one solid season. Honestly, it was either Joey O’Brien or Carl Jenkinson…
Centre Back: Winston Reid
Reidy has been at West Ham for the majority of the decade. Although the past 2 or 3 seasons haven’t seen much play time for him, he was by far our best performing centre back from 2012 to 2017. During this time, he was constantly being linked with teams in the top 4 and top 6.
Centre Back: James Collins
Another player that spent the majority of the decade at the club. His exit from the club is seen in many fan’s eyes as a travesty. This only proves how much the fans respected him. Most of this respect came from consistent solid performances at centre back. Whenever he was dropped, Ginger Pele always found a way back into the team. It’s almost fair to say we could do with him coming out of retirement and sorting our leaky defence out this season.
Left Back: Aaron Cresswell
Albeit Cresser has dipped in from since the final season at the Boleyn but he definitely deserves a place in team of the decade. Hammer of the year in 2014/15 and performances that saw him called up to the England squad in 2015/16 – 2016/17, he has by far been the best left back at West Ham since Paul Konchesky, if not just for the last decade.
Right Midfield: Michail Antonio
Antonio was a genuine candidate for the right back spot. That’s how bad that position has been for us this decade. Originally signed as a backup player in 2015/16, Antonio has managed to become one of our most important players in the past 4 seasons. His absence from the team has usually been felt in our performances, especially this season.
Centre Midfield: Scott Parker
Parker only played for the club at the very beginning of this decade but won Hammer of the Year in all 3 of those seasons. Scott Parker always shone bright during these seasons in which we eventually got relegated and he left the club. What would it take to have a box-to-box midfielder like him in the squad now?
Centre Midfield: Mark Noble
Mr West Ham has been used as a scapegoat for our misfortunes many times in the last decade but a spot in this team could not have gone to anyone else. His loyalty goes without saying and on his day can be one of the best passers and all-round midfielders in the league.
Left Midfield: Dimitri Payet
There isn’t much point trying to think of an argument as to why Payet shouldn’t be in this team. He was world class. End of.
Striker: Marko Arnautović
(Muggo) Arnautović was one of the most troublesome players we have had in our history let alone the past decade, but he was also one of the best on his day. Without some of his goals we would have finished way lower than we did last season and the one before. Unfortunately his reputation will be forever soured by his exit from the club, but just like Payet, he often gave us moments of pure delight.
Striker: Carlton Cole
Not everyone’s favourite but his service to this club was impeccable. His inclusion in this team does tell us a lot about our striking options in recent memory but even so, he was definately one of our best in the past 10 years.
Adrian – Often made stupid mistakes when he was in goal but was quality in our last season at the Boleyn. A great servant to the club.
James Tomkins – Many fans were sad to see Tomkins exit the club for Crystal Palace. He could have arguably been named in the First XI as one of the centre backs. A tough choice but he defiantly deserves a space on the bench.
Declan Rice – Not many West Ham players have been called up to the England team this decade, so it makes sense to include Declan in this team. A slight drop in form this season has asked some questions of his ability but there is no doubt about his potential.
Cheikhou Kouyaté – His first 2 seasons at the club saw him draw comparisons to Yaya Touré at the time. He dropped off slightly towards the end of his time at West Ham but 147 games in 4 seasons at the club gives a good reason to include him in the team.
Kevin Nolan – Nolan was our best player in his first 2 seasons at the club which included scoring 10 goals from midfield in 2012/13. His inclusion in the team towards the end of his time at the club raised a few eyebrows but he did enough when he first signed to get a spot in the team.
Manuel Lanzini – If you watch any interview with a current West Ham player at the club, they will all say that Manu is the best player in the squad. Unfortunately, he is far too inconsistent to make it into the first XI.
Andy Carroll – In his 7 seasons at the club, Andy only managed 142 games for the Hammers. However, he scored 34 goals which surprisingly is the second highest amounts of goals by any player in the past decade (behind Carlton Cole)
It’s fair to say when looking at this team, the past decade hasn’t been too kind to West Ham. However, in the face of it, it has definitely been one to remember and look back on with a slight grin but ultimately one hand covering your eyes.