CandH’s top six West Ham managers


And now the final part of our look at West Ham captains during the Premier league era…..

6 Nigel Reo-Coker

Tricky one, this.

For a time, Reo-Coker was the perfect leader for Alan Pardew’s West Ham. Brash, Bold and full of confidence, Reo-Coker lifted the Championship play-off trophy in 2005 and led West Ham to the FA Cup final a year later.

Then the wheels came off. Form dipped, Pardew was sacked and the midfielder became the public face of what successor Alan Curbishley called the ‘Baby Bentley brigade’.

This image was hardly helped when, after scoring the winner against Manchester United, Reo-Coker cupped his ears to the celebrating West Ham fans.

His contribution to the Great Escape was overshadowed by others and it was no surprise when the England U21 international joined Aston Villa that summer.

Reo-Coker was successful, but not particularly loved by West Ham supporters.

  1.  Steve Lomas                

Months after making the move from second-tier Manchester City in 1997, Lomas was appointed captain of Redknapp’s West Ham and remained in the role for four years.

And the Hammers became an established presence in the top half of the Premier League for the first time in a generation, playing some brilliant attacking football along the way.

“When I came to West Ham, we had a good team and a dressing room full of great characters,” Lomas told the club’s official website. “I was very proud to be chosen as club captain and yes, you do try and lead by example on the pitch.

“We had lively characters like John Moncur, Neil Ruddock and, later, Ian Wright – all wanted to go out there and give it a go.

“We played good football and went out to do our jobs as best we could on the pitch, but had a laugh together as well.”

  1. Julian Dicks                 

The legendary Dicks was only captain for a single season but helped West Ham avoid relegation in 1997 with his tough-tackling and underrated ability as a footballer.

The full-back won Hammer of the Year on four separate occasions and few have won the hearts of demanding West Ham support like the Bristolian managed.

Plus, he hit one of the greatest penalties of all time during the 4-3 win over Tottenham.

No further questions, Your Honour.

  1. Steve Potts             

West Ham had to fight hard to establish themselves in the Premier League during the 1990s.

Lacking the resources of their rivals, both Bonds and Redknapp had to rely on a tight-knit group that would eek out results when most needed and nobody personified that more than Potts.

The right-back, captain between 1993 and 1996, was the backbone of the West Ham defence and he was duly rewarded with two Hammer of the Year awards and two runner up trophies to boot.

West Ham have been blessed with some fine players down the years but few served with the distinction that Potts managed during his 505 club appearances.

  1. Kevin Nolan             

Sam Allardyce walked into Upton Park in the summer of 2011, with West Ham smarting from relegation, took one look around and decided to ring Nolan. He needed him.

It was a masterstroke. The midfielder scored 23 goals in his first two seasons as the club won promotion and stabilised back in the Premier League.

But, more than that, Nolan gave West Ham its backbone back. Sure, there were better teams around but they’d rarely surrender in the manner all West Ham fans had become accustomed to seeing from their side.

He stayed slightly too long but, like a round of antibiotics, Nolan was exactly what West Ham needed at the time.

  1. Mark Noble                      

Was there any doubt in the choice for our number one slot than Mr West Ham himself?

After making his debut in 2004, Noble truly established himself as a first-teamer during the Great Escape of 2007 and has only just given up his place in the starting XI.

Noble took over as captain after Nolan’s departure and his form in the 2015-16 season led to cries for the midfielder to be picked in Roy Hodgson’s England squad.

Perhaps Noble was perhaps slightly under international class, but he has been a tremendous servant to the club and a much-underrated player by the wider footballing public.

The way things are going, I wonder if we could persuade him to put his boots on again?

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