Exam Results – how our players made the grade

Author: . Published: at 6:23pm

Written By : Dennis Watling

Note: Recently I have seen a player ratings article on the site, this had been in the works for far too long but due to coming of furlough and has only been completed, apologies to the author for any unintended infringement.

As this author works in the exams industry, only fair we turn this into a report card instead.

Goalkeepers

Lukasz Fabianski: C+

Last season’s Hammer of the year started as he finished when the season begun, but his injury ultimately derailed our seasons. The reason for his lower grade is not because of his injury, but because of the errors he made upon his return. Because of Roberto’s horror shows he will have appeared much better than he was, but in truth he was nowhere the form we signed him in. He was at fault for two goals against Liverpool, costing us a win which would have silenced the unbearables in their own home. Still a solid keeper in my eyes.

Roberto: F

As useful as a handbrake on a canoe. Bottom of the class. Detrimental effect his teammates. Expelled.

David Martin: B+

I so wanted to give him an A, but he ultimately is not a Premier League goalkeeper, as much as we all love him. Two clean sheets in five. Heroic displays against Chelsea and Southampton are balanced out by errors at home to Arsenal (albeit at 2-1 down) and Sheffield United away. A* for personality and effort though. Will recommend for a tacky end of year certificate in assembly.

Darren Randolph: C

Same with Fabianski really. He appeared more solid due to taking over from the butterfingers but never looked solid. Did an ok job during a bad run, he is never going to be a top keeper but from his last spell with us we know he has some great saves in him, but clangers to spare. Solid backup.

Defenders

Winston Reid: U

Didn’t play so cannot give a grade, really miss the guy but his time with us appears to be over.

Angelo Ogbonna: A

Meraviglioso diesa. What a turnaround. Two seasons back I would have sold him to the highest bidder and had Fonte ahead of him in the pecking order even after we had sold the bloke to China. A leader at the back, he won us points for us on his own. Very much the leader at the back we have missed since Winston did his knee in away at Swansea in 2018. Unlucky not to get Hammer of the Year. Superbo.

Fabio Balbuena: D+

Second season syndrome hit The General hard. A bargain last season at £3.5Million he never quite hit his stride. After a calamitous own goal on the opening day he was forced out by Ogbonna’s metamorphosis into Maldini 2.0. He still put in some cracking defensive displays, Chelsea away springs to mind. Moyes preferred Rice at CB to him during project restart it is make or break for him at the start of the new season.

Issa Diop: C+

Much like Balbuena, Diop did not hit the heights he did last season that had Mourinho rueing not moving for him sooner. He was still a regular starter and scored some valuable goals. Lots of rumblings about selling him and buying three defenders with the money. We’re not naïve enough to think all that will be spent. If we sell Diop we’ll get Duffy on loan, Craig Dawson for more than he is worth and a Sullivan special on loan from Macedonia.

Ryan Fredricks: C

Injuries have hampered his season again, just as he looked to be kicking on towards the end of the last campaign. Frustrating at times but reasonably solid, ousted up by two academy prospects over the season which is typically a good problem for us to have as a club.

Pablo Zabaletta: E

This may be harsh on the bloke. For the record I love Zabaletta, a shrewd bit of business in 2017 and I’ve long been a defender of his against the “his legs have gone” brigade on Twitter that popped up about 3 months after he signed. Sadly, his legs did go this season and his performances showed. If he were taller (Ironic coming from a 5 ft 6 bloke) he would have made a quality ball playing CB. He’s now retired and will hopefully return as a coach. God’s speed Pablo.

Jeremy Ngakia: B+

This may irk some people. Whatever the truth was in the contract negotiations (Personally think it was 6 of one half a dozen of the other) he played out of his skin for us. Nobody rated him, in fact I wrote an article about how alarming it was he slipped through the radar. But on the pitch, he’s a had a solid run and deserves his grade and deserved a similar deal to Ben Johnson. I wish him well at Watford.

Ben Johnson: B-

Highly rated and thankfully given a contract earlier in his time. Played exceptionally well in the last 3 games, but I am not going to give a high grade off the back of such little game time. Injury problems hopefully behind him, I look forward to giving him an A next year (touch wood). Good lad.

Aaron Cresswell: C-

Where has it all gone wrong for Cress. Spoken about as the most underrated full back in the prem in his first 2 seasons, has not been the same since his knee injury in 2016 but this season was a poor showing. Free kick against Man United and a great goal against Chelsea aside, defensively has been very poor. With our lack of funds, expect him in the line-up regardless. A good presence in the locker room no doubt, but I hope he steps up on the pitch.

Arthur Masuaka: E

*Groans* THE single most frustrating player we have in our squad. Ability? Check. Experience? Check. Appears to lack a footballing brain and consistency it would seem. With the form Cresswell has been inm the fact he hasn’t been dropped is not the fault of Pellegrini or Moyes, rather that Masuaku is inherently worse. Except for Norwich at home I do not recall him doing anything positive this season. Please correct me if I am wrong. Changing him to a winger could be the only way to save his West Ham career.

Midfielders:

Mark Noble: C+

This is the toughest one for me. It could be easy for me to let my heart rule my head, but he has had an average season. A few great performances, and I am not having the “His legs have gone” brigade take away from his work rate. But we have better midfielders now (or for now?) and he was turned into a number 10 towards the end of the season. A great leader? Absolutely. A poor season? I’d say not. But, although time is marching on, you don’t get 500+ appearances for nothing. He still has a lot to offer, but in a reduced capacity.

Carlos Sanchez: F

HAHAHAHAHA Get out. No seriously, get out. Removed from class, phone call home (To Pellegrini)

Declan Rice: A*

Top boy. Twice the player he was last season despite what people who only see him play for England or play FIFA say. To be able to marshal a midfield AND defence at his age is remarkable, and according to reports is very grounded and mature off the pitch, despite his dopy nature on the West Ham youtube videos. Sit him down and pay him as much as he wants on a contract for many years to come. Selling him would be the beginning of a downwards spiral.

Jack Wilshire: F (And on report for truanting)

The kid who isn’t expelled because his dad is on the board of governors. That being said, he is a human being who has had a great career snatched from him through injury and we need to remember that when we criticise him. So I will leave it at that. Everything crossed for one injury free season

Tomas Soucek: A

This guy transformed our season. Honestly even in his first game against Brighton he was unreal. A battering ram in the box and legitimately looks elated every time we score. A breath of fresh air. Sullivan, this is what happens when you sign a top midfielder. They are out there and some actually want to play for us. A top scouting job from Pellegrini’s team that the board take the credit for.

Pablo Fornals: B

Classing him as a midfield as he isn’t a winger (I’m looking at you David Moyes). Initially signed as a silky b-tech version of David Silva, the young Spaniard has a lot of fight about him, leading to my Italian friend to compare him, spiritually at least, to Gennaro Gattuso. Wasted out left, lets hope Moyes sees the light, whilst at the same time he doesn’t got full Gattuso and two foot someone on the opening day. Another hungry player that wants to be here scouted by Pellegini’s team. Almost as if they knew what they were doing?

Wingers

Filipe Anderson: D-

Again, I could be being harsh here. But despite a great start he was shocking. Poor attitude? Maybe, maybe not. Poor form? absolutely. A lot has been said and I don’t have anything new to offer. My views are pretty well summed up by @danwoff98 in his analysis.

Manuel Lanzini: F

It breaks my heart. Lanzini had so much potential. I am convinced he would have lit up the 2018 world cup for a lacklustre Argentine team. He cannot be excused for a lack of fitness this season. With the exception of the first half of Watford away he has been terrible all season. It isn’t entirely his fault, but a distinct lack of effort has also been there. I’d sell for the best off we get.

Robert Snodgrass: C

Snodders gets a C as he’s bagged a few goals, almost saved the day at Bramall Lane before VAR robbed us again and put great effort in all season long. Grafter. That being said we have much more ability out wide these days and he is a squad player, but a damn good one at that. Also, he’s hilarious on West Ham social media.

Andrij Yarmolenko: B

Another tough year for the man many regarded as our most underrated player. Scored some vital goals in the grand scheme of things and was brilliant after the restart. Not getting any younger but thoroughly deserves this grade despite losing form after a great start. An injury free season is what he deserves. Top bloke.

Jarrod Bowen: A-

Another rare good bit of business. An electric start would have no doubt continued if it wasn’t for lockdown. A workhorse on the wing and was very, very good for us during the restart, just needs to improve his goalscoring record to get that A. Will be a major player for us in the new season.

Micky Antonio: A

If this was based on just after the restart, he would be the second A* grade of the season. An up and down season which had been disrupted by injury, he pulled goals out of the bag when it mattered, even when many (including myself) wrote him off playing as a lone striker. His four goals vs Norwich etched him into the record books. I raise a glass to you Micky.

Strikers

Sebastian Haller: B

Now, hear me out. I will freely admit I am a mark for the lad, and YES, you would expect more goals for the money we paid. But ultimately he needed more support and chances. He hadn’t played as a lone striker before from my memory. Was unreal alongside Antonio against Southampton home and away. A strike partnership could be the way forward. He clearly has the ability.

Albian Ajeti: U

Not enough game time to grade, good scoring record. Watch him smash it in the SPL and be sold back to Europe for £20mill.

Xande Silva: U

Also no game time. Why he wasn’t given a chance is beyond me. Needs to be loaned out if he isn’t going to feature next season.

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