How we rated the Irons


RandolphRandolph: Quite brilliant again – some tremendous stops to keep us alive 9

O’Brien: No better than adequate but thankfully that was enough 6

Reid: Not at his best but helped by a seriously off colour Benteke before going off with what looks like another hamstring 6

Ogbonna: An absolute rock at the back and THAT GOAL 8

Cresswell: Always on the case. Totally reliable 7

Noble: As energetic as ever but losing possession in dangerous positions remains a problem 6

Kouyate: Forced off with concussion in second half but top performance before that 7

Antonio: Outstanding all round performance and a goal of great technique 8

Obiang: Excellent again – surely he keeps his place ahead of Song 7

Payet: No mesmeric stuff but hit a post, some top lay off passes, and supplied the cross for the winner 7

Valencia: Not everything comes off but a great cross for goal and a real handful most of time 7

Subs: Collins 6 Moses 5 Carroll 5

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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


  • MerryMichaelW says:

    This won’t do, Hugh. You keep underrating Noble. You are not watching dispassionately. In passing terms, he is our second best, after Lanzini.

    He also tries to take responsibility – and he has that liability Collins directly behind him.

    • Don’t tell me such nonsense. I think he loses the ball in dangerous positions – one last night almost led to a goal. You won’t do either. If you don’t like it clear off. It’s a free service so don’t tell me what will and won’t do

      • MerryMichaelW says:

        Wowzers. OK. 😀

        • MerryMichaelW says:

          Noble, this Season:

          Pass Completion: 86.7%
          Pass Completion, Opponents Half: 86.4%
          Pass Completion, Final Third: 84%
          No. of Passes: 1257
          Successful Passes, Final Third: 216

          Next highest Hammer, leaving out Lanzini, is Zaraté – but Song is immediately after him, so here are his:

          Pass Completion: 85.1%
          Pass Completion, Opponents Half: 85.5%
          Pass Completion, Final Third: 74.6%
          No. of Passes: 383
          Successful Passes, Final Third: 50


          Pass Completion: 82%
          Pass Completion, Opponents Half: 78.4%
          Pass Completion, Final Third: 75.6%
          No. of Passes: 800
          Successful Passes, Final Third: 263

          Source: OPTA

          I hope that you will now agree that our captain is not doing too bad …

          Obiang is further DOWN the list …

          Noble is also one of our outstanding tacklers, more successful than Song, but just behind Tomkins.

    • spidergk says:

      Hmmmm I’m a big Nobes fan, but even I’ll admit some of his passing was shocking last night. Holding on to the ball for too long and getting robbed or passing into a heavily marked teammate who is immediately put under pressure and loses possession. I would love him to get an England cap, but it wont come playing like that. Yes his long range passing has improved but other aspects of his game have got worse IMO.

    • WHU647580 says:

      Liability that is Collins? WTF have you been watching the last 6 months?

  • bubs says:

    You won’t win Hugh I think Merrymike is a relative,I only listened yesterday but for most of the first half all I heard was Noble and JOB giving away the ball or giving free kicks,and when he does pass its side ways or backwards,
    Where do you buy these Noble goggles must be from the Hippo shop on the shelf with the
    Nolan,Carroll,JOB, Goggles,
    Obiang again with Kouyate was the outstanding midfielder and should be in from the start before Noble or Song,
    Antonio should be back up right back to Byram,
    Tomo when he returns should be tried with Ogbonna in the middle because Reid and Collins can’t play the ball out from the back and make to many mistakes
    6 for Noble is more then fair
    7 for valencia is my only dispute 6 would be more like it,
    We need Teddy back to the encourage our strikers to soot and not try and walk the ball in

    • MerryMichaelW says:

      Not a relative. Just a huge fan. 🙂

    • I will win mate. That’s the only certinty. Now had enough, reporting the match, commenting on the match, collecting quotes and he wants me to look at stats for each player before giving an assessment. Ridiculous person. First half – dispossed half way inside his own half and almost led to a goal. I’d like the stats on how many times that’s happened this season

      • MerryMichaelW says:

        It’s not a win/lose situation. I love your blog. I also think that it is the best Hammers material out here. So you might regard it as a win/win situation … 😉

        I do not want you to look up stats, just cut the man a bit of slack.

        I’m sorry that you got out of bed the wrong side, this morning. 😀

        • I did not get out of bed the wrong side and I am npt biased against Noble or need to cut him some slack. 6 in my view was a fair reflection of his contribution. Above average but not great The fact is you are a huge fan and perhaps I’m a tad more baanced. Many of the pass completions are over a few yards and the fact remains – as most balanced people can see – he makes errors in possession which can lead to desperately dangereous situations

          • MerryMichaelW says:

            I did not accuse you of bias against Noble. I respect your view, but I don’t agree with it. At all.

            As I have said, and would like to repeat, I love your blog, and enjoy it a great deal. I read it most days.

            I am sorry that you think that I am ridiculous, for holding a different view from yours. However, perhaps that is the nature of our passion for The Club, and the game. I still remain hopeful that I am balanced. 😉

            I am sorry if I have caused you upset or offence, which was certainly not my intention.

            More power to Claret & Hugh, so that we may continue to enjoy the fruits of your labours! 🙂

    • WHU647580 says:

      No JOB didn’t give the ball away very much at all, he made some decent blocks and clearances and was always available. Hes been out for months and his first stsrt. But that wouldn’t suit your agenda would it? Even before a ball was kicked you and another were almost willing him to make a mistake, yet you question other people and whether they’re “fans” based on their previous opinions or thoughts? You’re having a laugh.

      Valencia ran his nuts off.

      As you said, you didn’t see it.

  • LJ says:


    With Randolphs brilliant form in the cup, does anyone else but me think that surely he deserves to start in the PL too?

    • winslow says:

      If Adrians wife and new baby are back in Spain i can see that causing domestic problems that could possibly lead to a request to move back to home in the summer so giving Randolph some prem games would be seem a good idea, just in case…

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