Player Ratings: West Ham United vs Huddersfield Town: Premier League Match Day Four 12th September 2017
Let’s take a look at how each featuring squad member performed in last night’s 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town, as goals from Pedro Obiang and Andre Ayew restored harmony in East London.
Joe Hart: 7/10
There is no doubting that yesterday evening’s encounter was the England No1’s easiest game in Claret & Blue so far, as he kept his first clean sheet for the club and his second in three games.
Hart had very little to do over the course of the 90 minutes but was tested once with a low drive from Philip Billing and proving to be up to the task of stopping it with relative ease.
Pablo Zabaleta: 8/10
Another outstanding performance from our Argentine full-back, whose role as a wing-back was slightly different to the norm against The Terriers.
Zabaleta offered plenty going forward and was solid in his very few defensive duties, chasing every loose ball and putting 100% effort into his display. Many pundits and fans even went as far as suggesting that it was his best showing in a West Ham United Shirt.
Jose Fonte: 7/10
Many fans were mortified to see the name of Jose Fonte on the team sheet, but to the surprise of many, he performed very well as one of three centre-backs.
The system allowed the No4 to advance up and down the right side at free will, as he showed composure both in a defensive and attacking capacity. Could Slaven Bilic have finally found a suitable position for Fonte?
Winston Reid: 7/10
Making his return to first-team action after being stretchered off in the warm-up at the St Mary’s Stadium, Reid was strong and robust as ever in dealing with David Wagner’s attack.
The Kiwi showed no signs of weariness from his recovery during the International Break and will be aiming to stay fully fit for the remainder of the season.
James Collins: 7/10
Another typically brutish and bullish showing from “Ginger Pele” as he kept his starting place from the dismal defeat at St James’ Park.
The Welshman helped to hold the defence together on the left side of the trio as his presence proved valuable to the keeping of our first league clean sheet this season.
Aaron Cresswell: 6/10
It would prove to be an uncharacteristically quiet 90 minutes for the England International yesterday evening, as he struggled to see as much of the ball as his teammates.
However, Cresswell did provide the delivery to the corner that eventually led to Jose Fonte’s shot being deflected into the path of Andre Ayew for our second but, will undoubtedly be looking for a more consistent and influential performance at The Hawthorns next Saturday.
Pedro Obiang: 6/10
Despite providing our opener on 72 minutes, Obiang was again sloppy in possession and decision making yesterday, prompting many fans to ponder why he was starting over Declan Rice.
Nevertheless, the midfielder did show quick reactions to fire a powerful shot that was deflected high and into the bottom corner by Mathias Jorgensen for the crucial breaking of the deadlock. However, it must be noted that the Spaniard is far from top form and will need to find some inspiration soon.
Cheikhou Kouyate: 7/10
Although outplaying his midfield partner, Cheikhou Kouyate was another example of a player that was slightly off the pace in Stratford last night on his return from a knee injury.
The Senegal Captain regularly lost the ball in the middle of the park and was slow to react a number of times, including for an early golden opportunity to put us ahead.
Javier Hernandez: 7/10
After being bizarrely substituted by Bilic in the 64th minute for Ayew, it’s fair to say that we didn’t get the opportunity to see a full showcase of what Chicharito is capable of against Wagner’s men.
However, the Mexican did come very close to scoring in the opening exchanges, as he struck the bar from close range from a Michail Antonio delivery. While Hernandez would have been upset with such an early substitution, perhaps Bilic has something up his sleeve for next weekend.
Michail Antonio: 9/10
An absolutely outstanding Man of the Match showing from Antonio, as his unstoppable runs and in-roads into the visitors’ defence proved unplayable at times.
The barnstorming display will be sure to give Gareth Southgate ideas about recalling him and better still, was a massive help in securing our first points of the campaign.
Andy Carroll: 8/10
As ever, it was to be a superb return from his latest injury façade for Carroll last night, as he set up Hernandez and Antonio many a time.
However, his comeback performance was not without its faults with the No9 constantly having to drift out wide to receive the ball, a place where he could not manipulate the game with his heading ability. Despite this, he is still on the road to recovery and will be sure to keep getting stronger and stronger each week.
Andre Ayew: 8/10
Ayew or “Super Sub”, as he is being known after yesterday evening’s cameo, would prove to be the unlikely hero of our victory from the bench in E20.
While many fans booed his arrival to the pitch after replacing Chicharito on the hour mark, the Ghanaian was keen to make up for his slow start to the season and prove a point. In doing so, he set up Obiang for the opening goal and then got in on the act himself by poking home to secure the three points on 77 minutes. But, one would feel that the former club-record signing may have to prove a lot more to earn himself a regular starting place at The London Stadium.
Diafra Sakho: 6/10
With one of the most fruitful transfer sagas of the summer coming to an end with Sakho staying in East London at the back end of August, the forward was met with selective jeers after replacing Carroll in the final ten minutes.
He barely had a role to play in the closing stages as we dug in for the win, but will focus on falling back into favor with everyone involved in the West Ham United Family in the upcoming weeks.
Declan Rice: N/A
Harshly not being introduced until the third minute of added time, Rice was dropped after his goal-costing mistake away at Newcastle United.
A decision that was ridiculed by many, who believe that the starlet has been one of our players of the season so far. But, the Irishman will expectedly find it hard to ween his way back into Bilic’s plans and may face another spot on the bench on Saturday.
So, with our most positive Player Ratings of the season now safely secured in your brain, how will our Claret & Blue heroes rate out of ten next week as we make the trip to The Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon?