Sunday, 6 January 2019

Player Ratings: West Ham 2-0 Birmingham City

Adrian: Captain for the day and reminded us that he’s a great keeper. You’ve gotta feel sorry for him that he’s got Fabianski to compete with. Vital save towards the end when he went down bravely on the Birmingham striker who was through one on one. 7/10

M. Antonio: Had a good game and looks back to full fitness. He needs that pace to have confidence as his first touch is a bit muddy. We should be reported for a human rights violation for continually abusing his good will by forcing him to play at right back when he just is not suited to that role. Chequebooks out Messers Gold and Sullivan and buy a right back asap and lets free Michail to do what he is good at up the right flank before Yarmolenko returns and displaces him. 7/10

I. Diop: Looked steady all day and handled the physicality of Birmingham’s physical frontline. Appears to be missing Balbuene more than we expected but equally, Zabaleta has been absent for much of that period which doubles the deficit at the back. 7/10

A. Ogbonna: Solid. A great back up centre back to have in the ranks but you suspect that the General will slip straight back into his usual position once he is fit – which may be next week from reports. 6/10

A. Masuaku: Typical Arthur – tasty going forward and tenacious with the ball but another lapse could have cost us dearly. He manages to slip up at least once every game. 6/10

S. Nasri: Nothing too extraordinary but fitted in nicely and looked very fluid in midfield. Early days but looks like a good piece of business and if still near his best he can bring some creativity to our midfield that we have been lacking. Imagine the day when we field Nasri, Anderson, Lanzini and Rice in midfield  - with Yarmolenko hovering on the sidelines! 7/10

D. Rice: A huge presence (as always) and didn’t put a foot wrong. He has the confidence of a young Roy Keane or Billy Bonds. If we were to indulge one minor aspect that he might work on - maybe could shoot a bit more?  8/10

P. Obiang: As Sleaford Mods would say ‘mediocre’. Works hard and has a non-glamorous role. 6/10

G. Diangana: Lively all day and constantly giving the opposition something to think about. Still needs to work on his end product and defensive contribution. You really wish for him that he scores soon as one suspects that will push him to another level in terms of confidence and give the fans a chance to single him out for celebration.. 7.5/10

X. Silva: Looks sharp and was unlucky that things didn’t quite connect for him yesterday. Lots of good link play and has an abrasive edge. Certainly worth more game time and raises the question whether we really need Perez at all. 7/10

M. Arnautovic: His presence, even only for a run about for 20 minutes, changes the atmosphere on and off the pitch. He has an unusual charisma. Love to see the passion when he was taken off to keep him fit for Arsenal – we really need to beat them to get that awful defeat hoodoo off of our backs and we need Marko fully fit  to do that. 7/10

Substitutes
Carroll: Great to see him galloping about the pitch. Should’ve had a hat trick but did get the killer goal. As always, if only he can stay fit……7/10

Snodgrass: Decent contribution and definitely in good form. 6/10

Anderson: Interesting substityution – when most would’ve brought on a more defensive player, Pelle chose to bolster the attack and we almost scored on a number of occasions when Felipe came on. He created a  gilt-edged chance for Big Andy that was wasted. 6/10

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