|Bobby Bubbles Ponders Our Performance|
There can be no doubt that West ham have developed increasingly lofty ambitions over the course of the season and are now seriously contemplating European football. However, during an underwhelming showing last night ex-Liverpool star Jim Beglin nailed it when he commented that it would be a big step up to Champions league standard.
And so it was as the Hammers dug deep hoping for a counterpunch that never came and then Man Utds 65% possession delivered a messy own goal, but in truth four of the five best chances of the game fell to the Red Devils and the Hammers simply didn't deserve even a point.
Lukasz Fabianski (9): Absolutely top class - kept us in the game with a series of fabulous saves.
Vladimir Coufal (8): Solid performance without as much of his usual attacking bluster.
Craig Dawson (7) - Played well and scored another winning goal! Sadly it was an OG on this occasion. Didn't let it phsse him. Had probably our best chance from a header but alas mistimed.
Issa Diop (8) - Solid again. Occasionally gets caught out but that's because he is willing to push out and play the ball. He really has a bright future ahead but needs to improve his concentration.
Aaron Cresswell (7.5) - Kept quiet offensively but did pretty well in a back three without anything spectacular. Probably edged out by Shaw in the battle of the LBs!
Ben Johnson (6) Looked tense in possession and a bit out of his depth at times. Still has much to learn but these games will stand him in good stead for the future.
Declan Rice (8) Solid but asked to sit so deep in a frustrating performance where we really shoukd have gone toe to toe like true Champions League contenders should. He will undoubtedly be disappointed by our lack of ambition on the night.
Tomas Soucek (8) A big presence but unable to make the impact he so often does going forward because we didn't get forward enough.
Jarrod Bowen (8) Looked our liveliest attacker and didn't lose possession as much as he sometimes can. Might have topped off a decent performance with a goal but lost focus at the key moment.
Mark Noble (6) Off the pace and had limited impact in a rare start. Brilliant servant but in all honesty he is well into the Autumn of his career now. Hopefully will stay on as a coach and ? Future manager.
Michail Antonio (7) Not much to write home about. Huffed and puffed but needs better service and more support. Was a frustrated and mostly lone figure up front.
Manny Lanzini (7) Still a quality player and certainly offered more than Noble when he came on but it didn't click for him.
Said Benrahma (8) Really tried hard to create a chance for an equaliser and was our best player during his time on the pitch. Should he play a role further forward alongside Antonio - that would be much closer to his freescoring role at Brentford. Really needs a goal to open the floodgates.