Benrahma: From Hammers hero to zero


I couldn’t help but sympathise with Said Benrahma after the incident with his Algeria manager during a friendly match in Egypt. Given Algeria’s struggling form prior to the upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign in November, tensions were evidently high on the touchline.

When Benrahma ignored his manager Djamel Belmadi, the situation escalated. The former Marseille midfielder seemed to attempt a hand shake when Benni walked off the pitch. However, when Benrahma did not reciprocate, Belmadi grabbed the winger’s shirt.

Hammers hero? Benrahma has had a mixed relationship with David Moyes.

This led to an unsavoury face-off between Benrahma and his coach. This incident followed criticism from Benrahma’s teammate, Islam Slimani, who publicly called out Benrahma last week for attempting to take a penalty in the absence of the regular spot-kick taker, Riyad Mahrez. Slimani seemed deeply offended by Benrahma’s perceived disrespect, which quite frankly is ridiculous.

The reactions to both of these incidents were exaggerated. Belmadi should not have resorted to grabbing his player by the shirt and adopting a threatening posture. It was evident that the Algeria manager swiftly remembered the presence of cameras, and the situation was diffused before it could escalate further.


Belmadi squares up to Benrahma following his substitution.

From hero to zero

I feel for Benrahma, a player seemingly lacking appreciation both at club and international levels. It’s a swift fall from grace, considering he scored the opening goal in West Ham‘s Europa Conference triumph, ironically from a penalty. He has since transitioned from being the first-choice left winger to the third choice for the Hammers. It can’t have been easy for him.

Benrahma is a commendable individual, involved in charity work and always accessible to fans when approached. However, I can’t help but think that he needs to find a new club, ideally a place where he is valued and the style of play suits him.

Although he is a skilled footballer, at 28 years old, he should be more than just a substitute. Unfortunately, he will likely have to leave West Ham to secure regular playing time, as he has shown ineffectiveness far too often.

Clearly, he has reached a point where his footballing frustrations are manifesting as petulance. Witnessing a good person go from being a hero to zero is disheartening. I wish him the best in whatever the future holds.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose