Let’s take an in-depth look at player performance after the home defeat to Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United in Stratford, as David Moyes’ Hammers ended a run of three consecutive Premier League matches unbeaten.
Adrian San-Miguel: 6/10
After three League clean sheets on the bounce, it would be a shaky afternoon for the Spaniard, who, rather unjustly for many, was on the end of most pointing fingers after the Magpies equalised early on.
Adrian was criticised for being in the wrong position as Henri Saivet struck a free-kick that buried in the near post, but the form Real Betis shot-stopper was not at fault for any of the other goals for the away side, he should keep his place at Bournemouth on Boxing Day.
Pablo Zabaleta: 5/10
Featuring on the right side of defence, the veteran had a tough afternoon in dealing with the pace of the likes of Christian Atsu and Matt Ritchie on the wings as his side was constantly exposed to rains of opposition attack.
But, Zabaleta will surely be remembered most in the game for one incident which came in the first period when Arthur Masuaku got in the way of his clearance, gifting the visitors the ball with Atsu going onto net, he will be looking for rapid improvement.
Winston Reid: 5/10
Another defender who took more than his fair share of criticism after the game was the Kiwi as he followed his poor performance in midweek with yet another one.
Reid was slow to react for Newcastle’s second and third goals, most notably the latter, he was seen to be jogging back from attack further up the pitch, he certainly must fight to win fans back over once more, showing that he is worthy of the Captaincy during a very busy upcoming period.
Angelo Ogbonna: 6/10
Partnering the Skipper in central defence of the five was the Italian International as he was perhaps a shining light in what was a very dark afternoon indeed at the back.
Ogbonna won most headers in the air and even brought the ball out of the defence or more than one occasion to contribute towards attack, whilst stopping many going in the other direction also, he continues to improve under Moyes.
Aaron Cresswell: 5/10
Being asked to play slightly out of position as a centre-back once more, the England man wasn’t the worst performer, but it surely wasn’t his best showing in West Ham colours by a long stretch.
Although Cresswell offered quality on the ball in defence, his side was exploited time and time again, leaking chances and eventually goals, there is little doubt that some Hammers fans will call for him to return to a more natural position on Boxing Day.
Arthur Masuaku: 6/10
The DR Congo star was a player chosen to play in his preferred left side place, despite being a little further back than usual and prevailed in the attacking sense, looking to struggle when it came to defensive duties yet again.
Masuaku got in on the left on a number of occasions with his trademark style, however, lacking the final ball more often than not and was the contributing factor to a mix up between him and Zabaleta that allowed the visitors to double their advantage, a rare off week for the man known as “King Arthur”.
Cheikhou Kouyate: 5/10
Making his return from injury in the centre of the park, the Senegal Skipper looked a little off the pace of the match at times and bore the brunt of post-match finger-pointing by home supporters.
This could be blamed on Kouyate’s fitness levels, however, the man who has just turned 28 years-old will need to get his act together in a hurry with the busy period that lays ahead, or he may fall even further out of form at a key time.
Pedro Obiang: 6/10
Partnering Kouyate just behind the front three, the Spaniard did his best to outshine him and manage to achieve that, although his own performance wasn’t much to marvel at itself at all.
Obiang was a little sluggish in getting back on occasion and gave the ball away a few too many times, despite looking strong on the ball and picking out a limited number of promising passes, he has been uncharacteristically unpredictable this campaign.
Andre Ayew: 7/10
It would be a very mixed afternoon indeed for the Ghana International as he got himself on the scoresheet but there was a more significant incident earlier in the game that overshadowed his strike somewhat.
This was, of course, Ayew’s penalty miss early in the second-half when his rather poor penalty kick was saved with relative ease by Magpies keeper Rob Elliot, had he scored the scores would have been level and there is no doubting the importance of that moment.
Michail Antonio: 5/10
As the centre point of the attacking three, his Manager was among those to comment negatively on his level of performance after the game and agree that he needs to improve after hauling him off on 59 minutes.
Antonio looked threatening on a number of occasions in attack but looked absent at other times, adding to the poor form that he has put on show this season, the Three Lions winger will certainly be hoping to confound critics against Eddie Howe’s men on Monday afternoon.
Marko Arnautovic: 8/10
Earning the home side’s Man of the Match, the Austrian winger continued his fine form by putting in an all-energy, hard-working display at both ends of the field.
In addition to this, Arnautovic managed to net something of a wonder goal just six minutes into the match when he picked up the ball on the break, ran from his own half bearing Ciaran Clark and slotting the ball home for his third goal in four matches, he is on the very top of his game at the present.
Andy Carroll: 6/10
Replacing Antonio on 59 minutes to appear against his former club, the ex-Magpie was influential in the final third but not quite as commanding in the air as he usually manages to be.
Carroll did provide the assist to Ayew’s stroke, however, having his header palmed away by Elliot into the path of the Ghanaian, back to fitness somewhat, the former National Team striker will be hoping to get back in the goals in the games ahead.
Javier Hernandez: 6/10
Being introduced a little later in the affair after many people had tipped him for a first start under Moyes, the forward endured a fairly uneventful ten or so minutes.
Hernandez will, without doubt, be hoping that he can get back into the team soon as well as many members of the Claret & Blue Army, it has now been an injury-hampered two or so months since he last scored.
So, now that every single featuring Squad member has been rated in the wake of an afternoon to forget in Stratford, will the Claret & Blue stars be able to rack up higher numbers in just two days’ time? When they travel to the Vitality Stadium to face off with AFC Bournemouth.