Hammers top men this season so far


It seems that every Premier League campaign seems to have one surprise package – a team who, against expectations, start strong and somehow manage to sustain their early-season form to grind out an admirably decent finish. This year, it would appear that the mighty Irons are very much in the running to be that club.



Domestically-speaking, we really had a rubbish season with a final position of 14th, just six points clear of the relegation zone, and if it was not for our Europa Conference League triumph, you could imagine all that gloom and doom descending upon the London Stadium

But, after a late summer splurge and an unbeaten run in their first four matches, optimism continues to bubbling at the London Stadium. With that in mind, and with the first international break upon us, CandH have taken a look at every player to have featured for 90 minutes or more in the Premier League this season to see how West Ham’s squad is shaping up so far…

Alphonse Areola – 8/10

Unexpectedly parachuted in as the first choice goalkeeper this season, the Frenchman has more than vindicated David Moyes’s  decision. He brings some confidence to the back line and has only conceded four goals in four games.

Vladimir Coufal – 7/10

Dependable and not flashy, much like a Swiss watch, he does what he does with the minimum of fuss. An important member of the side, bearing in mind the alarm bells going off at the prospect of him missing the game on Saturday against Manchester City.

Emerson Palmieri – 7/10

With the best will in the  world, he is never going to be a player that is easy on the eye but he has started the season well, Emerson has established himself as West Ham’s undisputed left-sided defender and looks set to remain in that position for the time being. Somewhat reckless still, as he has already had three bookings-  but you have to admire his resolve.

Kurt Zouma – 7/10

Mr Reliable – Arguably West Ham’s best defender so far this season, his presence at the back is going to be important for the Hammers if we are serious about sustaining this promising start to the campaign.

Angelo Ogbonna – 6/10

Dear old Oggy never disappoints, despite only playing 111 minutes so far this season. He continues to look dependable when called upon .

Nayef Aguerd – 6/10

Perhaps not the start he wanted to the season for the Moroccan international, who has looked good in flashes, and not quite at his best in other moments. Take the 3-1 win over Chelsea, for example, where Naguerd both found the back of the net and was shown a red card in the second half which led to a spell on the naughty step.

Tomas Soucek – 7/10

Rangy and powerful, Soucek’s appeal has always been housed largely in the strength that could offer to a midfield engine room. Now adjusting to life without Declan Rice, the Czech seems to have found a decent foil in James Ward-Prowse.

Edson Alvarez – 7/10

Introduced slowly, Alvarez looks to be steadily finding his feet in east London after arriving from Ajax over the summer. The Mexican international has the potential to be a real asset to David Moyes’ squad, but still needs a little more time to properly reach his potential.

James Ward-Prowse – 9/10

When Rice left for Arsenal over the summer, the immediate question was how we would ever be able to adequately replace him. Ward-Prowse’s impact in claret and blue has, however, gone a long, long way towards allaying those fears. One goal and a trio of assists in his first three outings would suggest that the England international has settled right in at the London Stadium, and if he keeps up his current form, he could prove to be one of the signings of the summer.

Pablo Fornals – 5/10

Things haven’t quite clicked for Pablo so far this season. Minutes have been at a relative premium, and his cameos have yielded little in the way of meaningful creativity. He hasn’t done much wrong, but he hasn’t done a great deal right either.

Lucas Paqueta – 9/10

The Brazilian is looking every inch the sort of player the West Ham faithful have always wanted to see, both creative and composed in the centre of the park, he continues to pull strings for the Irons, and the longer we can keep him at the club and in this kind of form, the better for our prospects this season.

Jarrod Bowen – 9/10

West Ham’s most dangerous player so far this term, with three goals and an assist in his first four outings, Bowen continues to go from strength to strength at the London Stadium. The attacker has been so good, in fact, that his absence from Gareth Southgate’s most recent England squad felt like a real injustice.

Said Benrahma – 6/10

Decent enough, but the Algerian will know that he can offer more. If we can get the best out of Benrahma , we will be even more potent in attack.

Michail Antonio – 8/10

Very nearly off to make sand castles in Saudi over the summer, Antonio has proven over the early part of the season that he still has plenty to offer. A massive pain in the backside  for opposition defences the 33-year-old has already scored twice in four games, and is likely to remain the Hammers’ first choice striker going forward.

With Mohammed Kudus yet to get into top gear – we are looking in good shape

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon