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How we rated the Irons

sentoffkouyateClaretandHugh’s ratings man Niall McDonald rates the lads as they head into the next qualifying round of the Uefa Cup.

Randolph: Couple of decent saves spared any unnecessary tension on the opening night 5
Antonio: Sprinted 40 yards to keep a ball that everyone else had given up on in play, leading directly to the 2nd goal. Held his position reasonably although booked for a lazy foul 7
Reid: The Reid/Carroll tag team had no joy at set pieces. Comfortably untroubled at the back 5
Oxford: One of the easier 90 mins he’ll play in his career. Solid safety-first defending 6
Byram: Improving with every game in the first team. Assist for the opener 6
Nordtveit: Very impressive in the holding midfield role. Acts quickly without looking rushed. A real find 7
Noble: Really looked to be enjoying himself tonight. Passing was crisper than usual 7
Kouyate: First and second goal-scorer at the London Stadium and was clearly desperate for the hat-trick. Man of the match for me 8
Feghouli: Took his goal excellently. Looked to be harshly booked for lifting up his shirt! Better to come I feel 6
Carroll: One of those games where AC was very isolated. Stood up to some ‘aggressive’ defending throughout 5
Valencia: Whatever Bilic told him pre-match I’d love to know – Enner was superb on the left wing from start to finish, everything but a goal. An unbelievable 8
Subs: Obiang: Arrived a little too late to contribute 4
Fletcher: Forgive me, we’d left by the time he eventually came on. Fill in your own score here ___

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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

12 comments on “How we rated the Irons

  1. I’ve been saying it for ages, and finally we’ve seen it- Valencia on fire!
    I noticed a big smile on his face just before the start of the game; has he settled down?
    If he can re-produce that sort of form, we’d be nuts to let him go!
    What a great display by the boys!

  2. Personally Felt Valencia was once again the worse player on the pitch.

    All the others played well and get 7+. Valencia a 4.

  3. Valencia got through an immense amount of work, his end product was poor tonight and he had a comedy shot when clean through on goal but his pace stretched this average opponent as it does to better opponents, he was always available for the many crossfield passes a lot of which he received above chest height and all of which he controlled and either found his team mates or ran the channel forcing Domizale to put 2 or 3 players on him, if his end product was good tonight I would have given him 10 out of 10 which I would also have awarded Kouyate, as Max said he was playing with a smile on his face, the Domizale team were kicking lumps out of him but he kept on getting up and made them work tirelessly at least a couple of their defenders should have been red carded, the referee seemed to think he was reffing a subbuteo match any contact was an instant foul, his colleagues were equally poor they rarely ventured 20 yards from the centre line and they were also responsible for the ridiculous booking of Feghouli for pulling his top over his head… As for Fletcher you can give him a 7 out of 10 in the 4 minutes he was on he did at least as much as Carroll in 90 odd, he was sharp made an amazing backheel chance, won 3 headers which is probably as many as Carroll did but unlike Carroll his headers were controlled, on those 4 minutes he should be starting the next match in the place of Carroll, Randolph seemed to believe every time the ball was at his feet he should punt it aimlessly in the general direction of Carroll who would fail to do anything with it. I would give Carroll and Randolph 5 each, Oxford was excellent, very composed on the ball and cleared it row z (or the running track) where necessary, Byram deserves a 9 he was outstanding, he made only 1 missed tackle all night for which Reid bailed him out, Antonio when going forward was brilliant as always, he tried to stay back more and had a few last minute interventions but he is and never will be a proper right back, Byram is an excellent defender and also excellent going forward. Feghouli for me worked hard and found himself in a lot of good positions but I would say overall Antonio was a bigger threat with better end product tonight, I say that thinking this was the worst of his performances for us but I would still give him a 6 and a half and it was great to see him on the scoresheet, the other massive plus was Nordveit as a defensive midfielder, he made so many interceptions, won tackles, distributed the ball well and later on found himself in offensive positions where he looked equally at home, he gets a 9. I am overjoyed but I think these are fair scores based on the way we played compared to last week, enough of my rambling, bring on Juve COYI !!!

  4. I always find it fascinating how ratings vary between people watching the same game. Reid, Oxford, Nors and Kouyate deserve at least 7. Noble put in some great tackles and passes but had the odd lapse, so probably a 6.5. Feghouli was decent although he does like a little flick which is a bit predictable, so I’ll give him a 6. Randolph did little wrong so a 6 for him too. Enner ran all night but playing left when he has absolutely no left foot made him easy to keep on the outside and his shooting was terrible so a 5 from me. Carroll I thought was ok. Every header that Fletcher won when he came on gave away a free kick whereas Carroll won everything. His touch wasn’t great though but he is obviously our main man. He needed Feg and Enner to react quicker to his nod downs. I’m giving Carroll a 6. So that leaves our full backs. For me they were still our weak links and both get a 5. We all know about Antonio’s limitations at RB and although he put in some decent challenges he was still caught out of position too many times. Byram cannot play LB. he will be torn to shreds by a decent RW. He has absolutely no left foot whatsoever and therefore always has to cut in on his right. I would liked to have seen Page come on for the last 15 and seen what Byram could do on the right

    • Hi Surrey, yep we all have different opinions 🙂 Fletcher had free kicks awarded after every header but none of them were free kicks, the ref awarded them but I had clear view of all of them one of the times Fletcher was fouled and the others the only contact made was the normal when two players gpoup for a header, he also controlled the ball with his head unlike Carroll on the very few headers he won just glanced it forward, Fletcher also created a great chance with his back flick pass which was more or less his first chance of the game,be interesting to see what others thought not saying either of us is wrong just we saw things differently as you say 🙂

      • I think the issue was with nobody gambling on Carroll winning the headers, which we all know will happen more often than not

  5. great assist by Andy Carroll. Worth a point more alone. Clean sheet for winston. Worth a point alone. Let’s just upgrade all the low point scorers by one shall we. After all we won a historic game of football 3 nil. Anyone would think we lost.

  6. Must have watched a different game as I rate Valencia a max 4
    He ran up his own back side all night,was woeful in front of goal,produce no assistance to anyone else,and if energy and no production give you a big score the you don’t need football skills just be fit,
    Antonio was still taken apart by there best player but lucky enough Oxford and Novedt had him covered ,
    The best player on the pitch and he definitely gets 10 for energy was Kouyate,
    Noble started as he did last season giving the ball away to much and can not tackle like Novedt and when everyone is fit will struggle to push Kouyate and Novedt out of the team,
    They looked a very poor side and we looked a couple of weeks away from full fitness,
    The real great thing about last night showed Oxford should play right side central defender,if Slav has the cojones to play him.
    Byram looks the real deal and should start at RB,
    But good even viewing and the crowd sounded brilliant would have loved to have been there,

    • Agree with your assessment of Enner. Effort and Produce are two different things. He opened up their RB often but as he has no left foot he had to cut in every time and then lost it. I have to say I’m struggling to see everyone’s positive viewpoint on Byram. I am far from convinced by him, but I seem to be alone in my views

  7. Your not alone Surrey quite a few have not liked him since we were showing interest,
    Played well on tour and the last 2 weeks playing out of position he has done well and playing full back on the wrong side is a hard thing to do,I would have liked to see him play against the best play last night and I think he would have done the job,
    Antonio learnt nothing from last week and was caught out of position and when One on one the other lad had the upper hand but Oxford this week had him covered,
    My view on Valencia is he is not a winger and can’t play alongside AC,with Payet,Lanzini Tore much better players and Feggolui and Antonio on the right with Samulsun wait I for a chance Enner must go when Ayew arrives,
    But if Byram fails I will be the first to hold my hands up but as I spend most of the time with a glass or bottle in my hands I don’t like putting them out of use so I think I am on a winner

  8. Randolph 7 – a couple of good saves,distribution was a bit poor especially his kicking.

    Antonio 6 for defending 7 for attacking, lost and gave the ball away cheaply,silly yellow. Great going forward as we all know. Always a threat.

    Reid 6 – not confident bringing the ball out, strong defensive.

    Oxford 8 – some great challenges and better distribution than Reid,won several important challenges in the air,not worried by the occasion.

    Byram 7 – did what he had to do, stopped crosses from coming in from the right. Poor distribution but got better in the 2nd half.

    Nordtveit 6 – decent performance thought we might see a power blast,didn’t get forward enough. Unlike some wasn’t hugely impressed considering who we were playing. Don’t like this midfield 3 concept.

    Kouyate 8 – two great goals,a bit quiet defensively in the first half,maybe a bit confused with this midfield 3. Some brilliant second half lung busting runs that almost led to a couple of goals

    Noble 7 – some neat touches,but seemed a bit confused with this midfield 3,calmed things down and a captains role. Didn’t get forward enough. Great ball for Ferghouli’s goal

    Ferghouli 7 – great pace,not able to create much down the flank. Had a couple of easier chances to score before he put away the hardest one. Will stand him in good sted.

    Valencia 6 – showed some great skill and pace but should of scored with several chances.Early distribution and thinking was poor. Great effort though on many occasions .

    Carroll 6 – great touch for Kouyate’s goal.Had a bit of a ding dong with the Domzale defenders. Had a decent effort with his right peg which if it had been his left would of hit the target

    Overall the win we needed.
    Byram needs time on the right flank as Antonio is not good enough defensively with him there. We miss Antonio’s edge when heisn’t further forward.
    The 3 in central midfield doesn’t work as our attacking guile is less formidable.
    Who Bilic picks is going to be a tough call.
    Would of liked to have seen Page and Fletcher once the third went in.

    • I wanted to see Fletcher on much earlier too – Carroll was getting nowhere up front and it warranted a change for someone who could get into the box more quickly

      3 defensively-minded midfielders is too many; my feeling is it’ll be back to 2 once Payet, and Tore are back, plus whoever this mythical 20-goal a season man is arrives

      Byram looks more disciplined than when we first signed him. needs a decent run in the first team, which he may get at LB now with Cresswell’s injury. he’s clearly solid defensively when you compare his positional sense with Antonio’s!!

      Antonio was caught upfield far less than last week. there was one 80-yard run I’ll forgive him for not tracking back after! what I did notice in the first half was the amount of times he ended up in the centre of defence, leaving the RB position vacant. this wasn’t as a result of being caught miles up the pitch, it was just loss of possession or attacks breaking down and him tracking back into the wrong place. admittedly one time he blocked a shot coming in, but he should never have been there in the first place!! still a work in progress.. Slav must really trust his ability to turn the guy into a right-back!!

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