Last night’s first victory of the season over Cheltenham Town in The Carabao Cup Second Round was certainly a night to remember in comparison to recent results, but which players out performed the rest? And who got the highest ranking? As we take a look at how each featuring squad member rated out of ten at Whaddon Road.
Adrian San-Miguel: 8/10
The Spanish shot-stopper was largely untroubled by The Robin’s attack during the tie, but when he was called on, he was ever reliant and sharp to deal with the danger.
The only real save that the former Real Betis man was forced into was from Mohamed Eisa, whose dipping shot fell right into the arms of Adrian in the second-half. Overall, a solid clean sheet for the Spaniard whose only chance of first-team action this season may come In Cup Competitions.
Sam Byram: 7/10
An impressive display from the right-back who is unluckily being currently relieved of Premier League duties by new-signing Pablo Zabaleta.
The youngster was able to advance down the right flank on several occasions and get into some good positions, providing support for Edimilson Fernandes. Defensively, he had little to worry about and he will be asking questions of Slaven Bilic for Saturday.
Angelo Ogbonna: 8/10
It has been a good start to the season for the Italian and that continued last night with a solid clean sheet and a positive performance.
However, the former Juve man came closest to stealing the headlines at the other end, as his first-half header was somehow cleared off the line by Robins skipper Kyle Storer.
James Collins: 9/10
A Man of the Match display on a real night to remember for “Ginge” as he made his 200th West Ham United appearance on his 34th birthday.
The veteran showed fantastic aerial prowess to keep the hosts at bay and like Ogbonna could have scored a memorable goal several times in the opposition’s box. However, Collins’ tale is the same of that of Adrian’s as the Welshman will undoubtedly be overlooked for selection at the weekend.
Arthur Masuaku: 7/10
After the disappointment of a woeful opening day performance at Old Trafford, the Frenchman lacked his usual sharpness at The LCI Rail Stadium and was caught off guard in defence a number of times.
Nevertheless, the youngster did show his usual amount of promise in attacking situations, prompting many Hammers fans to question why he isn’t being played as a winger.
Declan Rice: 9/10
Second in the running for Man of the Match was surely 18-year-old Declan Rice, as he made his second ever start in Claret & Blue. The starlet has impressed wildly in recent weeks and attracted the attention of the Football World in doing so and it is not hard to see why.
Rice was the model of consistency and looked wise beyond his years in the centre of the park, breaking up many a Cheltenham attacks and contributing to our attacks frequently. The Ireland International will just be hoping that this run continues and he manages to keep his starting place.
Mark Noble: 8/10
The skipper drew some criticism last season for his performances in Claret & Blue but has started this campaign well and put in a usual gritty performance last night.
Noble protected the back-four nicely throughout the game and even contributed an assist to Diafra Sakho’s opener, an all-round successful outing for the No16.
Pedro Obiang: 7/10
Having been dropped by Slaven Bilic for last weekend’s defeat to Southampton, the Spaniard put in an improved display, but still looked a little rusty at stages.
However, he can be forgiven by many Hammers as he has not long returned from injury and still managed to play a vital role in Andre Ayew’s goal to double our advantage in Gloucestershire.
Edimilson Fernandes: 8/10
The Swiss International excelled in his experimental fifth different position played in a West Ham shirt, right-forward. Fernandes provided superb support for both Ayew and Sakho and continuously made inroads down the right flank and into the home side’s defence.
After suffering the same fate as his teammate Obiang last Saturday, the youngster will be hoping that he has done enough to force his way back into Bilic’s plans.
Diafra Sakho: 9/10
The former Senegalese International put in a performance that the Legendary on-looking Geoff Hurst would have been proud of in Cheltenham. Sakho popped up with magnificent footwork and finish to match to put us one to the good after 40 minutes and then provided the assist to Ayew on the break to give us some breathing space.
The forward finally now looks to have regained the form and fitness that has eluded him for the last two years of his West Ham career.
Andre Ayew: 9/10
With potential rivals to his position returning from injury all the time for Slaven Bilic, the Ghana International needed to put in a good display against Gary Johnson’s men and that is exactly what he did.
Ayew looked fitter and sharper, bringing down a reign of terror on the League Two defence for most of the encounter. His pace and power alone allowed us to double our advantage just before the break, as he made a superb run to finish past Johnathan Flatt and give us a comfortable cushion against the stern hosts.
Javier Hernandez: 7/10
Despite being introduced as early as the 62nd minute, Chicharito came on too late to have any real effect on the game as we dug our heels in for the victory at Whaddon Road.
However, the Mexican did show little bursts of the magic that he can create, but was left isolated and was always going to struggle to live up to his brace on The South Coast last weekend.
Cheikhou Kouyate: 8/10
Cheikhou Kouyate was a surprise name on the squad sheet for many Hammers who had not expected him to be back so soon from a “freak” knee injury sustained in pre-season. But, he is back and firing in Claret & Blue with a solid cameo sitting in front of the defence.
The Senegal captain was also unlucky not to have scored our third, as a late cross did well not to ricochet into his direction for a tap in. However, Kouyate will surely get more of a chance to score when he returns to League action on Saturday in The North East.
Domingos Quina: 7/10
The Portugal U19 star was brought on in replacement of Fernandes with just two minutes of normal time remaining but did showcase a taste of his abilities with a few good touches and runs.
Quina was reportedly given the game time in order to lure him into staying, with offers from the likes of PSG and Arsenal on the table.
So, with a much-improved team performance by a much-changed Hammers side guiding us to a spot in the Fourth Round, how will we fare on Saturday when we return to League action? As the big boys return to their rightful first-team places.