How the lads performed at Liverpool – here’s the marks


CandH’s tough guy ratings man Niall McDonald hands out the marks following the match at Anfield and, as they demonstrate, it really was a very hard day at the office.


Fabianski: Like Adrian, Hart and Randolph before him made a couple of important saves but let in four 5
Fredericks: Won’t have come up against quality like this in the Championship. Let Sturridge in for the 4th 5
Ogbonna: Never looks entirely reliable in a back-four 4
Balbuena: Tough debut! Booked and arguably could have seen red 4
Masuaku: Presumably included for his pace rather than defensive acumen. Exposed in both areas 4
Rice: Some crisp one-touch passes. Found it tough going against the Liverpool press and hooked at half-time 4
Noble: Same as Rice but with fewer crisp passes 4
Wilshere: Looked full of running. Too far forward to affect the game in the first half. Better playing deeper in the second 6
Antonio: Drew some fouls to buy us some time in the first half. Got closest to the Liverpool goal at start of the second before tiring 4
Anderson: Impressed. Decent touch and covered a lot of ground tracking back 6
Arnautovic: May have hoped for more company up front in this new era. Subbed on 66 mins before he combusted with frustration 5


Snodgrass: On at the break in a number 10 role then moved wide right 3
Hernandez: I’d have to watch a rerun to confirm if he actually touched the ball 2
Yarmolenko: Given a run out with the game well gone. Brief glimpses of attacking intent 3

About Hugh5outhon1895

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

8 comments on “How the lads performed at Liverpool – here’s the marks

  1. Hugh, I am sorry to challenge your ratings but to give Fredericks the highest rating of the back 4 is just not what I saw. Fredericks was terrible and to be honest he is not a “footballer”. I think I would prefer either Jenkinson or Byran than this guy. I cant believe for one second this was Pelle’s buy. Now we are stuck with paying this guy a huge salary. I actually thought Balbuena and Ogbanna did fine considering they were basically covering 4 positions and they had no protection from midfield. I thought the decision to play Wilshere and Noble in midfield was a terrible decision. Both were awful today with only Fredericks any worse. Neither have any pace and to be honest I am seriously worried that the manager has not seen this prior to the transfer window closing. A lot of us could see it all throughout the friendlies. He has a major problem in midfield and he has no 10. I would seriously start both Sanchez and Obiang as our defensive two for the next game with Adrian in goals and Zaba at RB. The positives for me were Balbuena, Anderson, and Yarmolenko (in a brief appearance). I thought Antonio tried hard and I do like him but he needs to get fitter. I was also happy with Snodgrass – he looked quite bright.

  2. Masuaku is not a left back we all know that.Position that should have been strengthened this Summer.Why on earth did we not sign a quality ball winning/distributor in midfield.( Sanchez not sure)Bournemouth will be a better guage of where we are, as not many are going to come away from here with any points.Expect some changes on Saturday though.

    • I think you are right h64, I didn’t think Masuaku was terrible our biggest problem is that glaring one in that we don’t have a quality CDM, hopefully Sanchez will surprise us when he is fit enough to play, Bournemouth will tell us where we are against the mid and lower table teams and perhaps the baptism of fire the new signings faced will drive them to get up to speed even faster, the central defenders and central midfielders have to be able to close the gaps, I think DS and DG should dig deep again in January to fill that central midfield slot. I would be tempted to go for a bit more experience at RB against Bournemouth just to get some points and would play Yarmo if he is fit ahead of Antonio, I would also drop Wilshere to CDM alongside Noble in a 4 4 2 with Perez or Hernandez filling the no10, I said to some Leicester supporters I was drinking with in the pub, in a glass half full approach at least this resets our expectations early in the season haha

  3. West hams best player was Antonio , and to think , we almost sold him ! .
    Antonio 6 . Fabianski 5 and the rest 3 . Admittedly it was away to Liverpool with a new team but it was nevertheless awful . But we must be patient , not much else we ‘ Can do ‘ . If it takes more than half a dozen games for this squad to sort things out we are going to be in deep trouble . The only consolation is that not many teams will get anything at Anfield this season .

    • And the rest includes the manager as he made some terrible decisions today. I lay the complete blame with him for not recognising the deficits in midfield. If he is this top manager he needs to be ruthless with his team selection for the next game. If he retains Fredericks, if he persists with both Noble and Wilshere and if he continues to play 3 basically non attacking midfielders I will begin to get worried. I actually believe the formation that suits this group of players best is a 3-5-2 and my team would be Adrian, Zaba, Diop, Balbuena, Ogbanna, Masuaka, Sanchez, Obiang, Anderson (as 10), Arnie, Antonio. I hope we do not have a manager set in his own ways but is flexible..

      • I disagree Johnham, we were playing against the second best in the league away, we have gone from defensive which 352 is as a formation to offensive which 442 / 433 are, even Guardiola made loads of mistakes at City when he took over, as did Klopp, as has Unai Emery at Arsenal, Poch at Spuds, when you establish a new style mistakes will happen, the team is a work in progress and sure it looked horrible today and it might do for the next few months but once all the players get it I think we will fly or I hope so COYI !!!

  4. This morning on Goals on Sunday, BFS made the most valid point in ages: The majority of today’s so-called wing backs cannot defend and defenders, generally, spend most of the time ball-watching.
    The sentiment was totally borne out by West Ham today.
    My point, previously, was we should never be getting a thug like Fredericks, a free from a newly promoted club. If he was worth keeping, Fulham would have fought tooth and nail to do just that.
    He, Noble and Antonio were exposed, due to being out of their depth
    Formation aside, we have to assume that this was a suck it and see selection that played pretty much as well as they were able, given the line they were playing.
    Perhaps we should also assume they are capable of learning only one new tactic at a time and that not to ball-watch will come next.
    Against an evidently superior and mobile side, watching the man rather than the ball is far easier said than done.
    Also, with the newly even more inflated prices, the fact the owners suddenly put their hand in their pocket, spending what for West Ham was a small fortune, in reality means we have acquired nothing more than average.
    In context, Liverpool spent considerably more than West Ham, on just 4 players.
    In theory, the only way is up!

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