Pretty much every West Ham United player came out of Monday night’s excellent win over Burnley with huge credit.

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Except perhaps for Issa Diop.

The West Ham centre back continues to divide opinion among supporters and pundits.

He was immense in his first season after signing for £22.5m from Toulouse.

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Diop’s topsy turvy West Ham career

So much so he was publicly praised by rival managers such as Jose Mourinho. At one stage he was even valued at a staggering £75m by West Ham (Telegraph).

His star faded badly thereafter as inconsistency and woeful decision-making saw errors creep into his game.

Diop had rarely featured this season under David Moyes until Angelo Ogbonna was ruled out through injury in February.

Despite some decent performances from Diop in certain games, West Ham have not been the same defensively with him in the side.

And while all around him were putting on hugely impressive performances in the 2-1 win over the Clarets, Diop was nervy and at fault for the opening goal.

Burnley v West Ham United - Premier League
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Some West Ham fans shocked after Diop is announced in Premier League team of the week but it can only do his fragile confidence the world of good

In fairness to the 24-year-old, he composed himself and stood strong in the second half against an aerial bombardment.

But West Ham fans were shocked when football data experts WhoScored – formerly Opta – announced Diop had made it into the Premier League team of the week.


Diop received a WhoScored match rating of 7.73 putting him in the best Prem XI of the week alongside two-goal Hammers teammate Michail Antonio.

Many were surprised to see the West Ham man’s name included.

Not just West Ham fans but supporters of other clubs who had watched the exciting performance from David Moyes’s side.

West Ham United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
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Second half display shows Diop can get back to his imperious best for Hammers

Perhaps Diop’s mistake for the first goal coloured people’s judgment of the rest of his performance?

His second half display – where he won a host of crucial headers to clear West Ham’s lines – was immense.

Some feel Diop can rediscover his best form and become a top defender.

But if Moyes and Stuart Pearce – two former defenders with reputations for being top class defensive coaches – can’t get the best out of Diop over the next few seasons then that will be a damning indictment on the player.

There is no doubt he has all the attributes to be a top class performer for West Ham.

And the stats don’t lie in terms of his defensive numbers against a beligerent Burnley.

Let’ hope making the team of the week can give Diop confidence for the rest of the season as West Ham push to secure European football.

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