Is this the Hammers first team?


BilicI sat down to complete what I thought would be a relatively simple task this morning – selecting the Hammers starting line up for next season – err wrong…it’s actually a tough old call.

I started from the premise that everybody is fit although in the Hammers world that would represent something of  a major miracle.

However one of my new mottoes for the season is #trustlewin!

It was also necessary to ensure that no allowances are made for a player’s position – so sorry Mark Noble, the captaincy role doesn’t guarantee you of a place in my team.

Obviously game conditions will dictate the manager’s choices but mine are very personal choices based on what I believe is a team that looks safe at the back strong in midfield and can cause damage up front with a bench of real strength.

So here we go and please send your teams – looking forward to seeing them:

WE ARE PLAYING 4-5-1: Hart; Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Masuaku; Obiang, Kouyate; Antonio, Lanzini, Arnautovic; Hernandez.

Bench: Adrian, Byram, Rice, Cresswell, Noble, Fernandes, Sakho

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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


  • Daboiflip says:

    My team would be a 3 5 2 which consists of
    Hart; Zabaleta, Reid, Masuaku; Obiang, Kouyate; Antonio, Lanzini, Arnautovic, Hernandez and Sakho or mixing it up to a 4 5 1 depending on the match

    • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

      🙂 🙂 🙂 do for me !!!!!

      John , stick to you’re Sunday morning seven a side Mc donalds management 🙂 🙂

  • Gaz says:

    I know in some quarters it will be frowned upon but i woukd like to see Zabaleta be given the captains armband.
    I wouldn’t have my team much more different than yours in that formation Hugh and the swaps i would make are a toss of a coin so i will go with yours.

  • John says:

    Dangerous territory picking teams, given the stick we give out to those that do but ok I’m in! I wouldn’t know a formation if it bit me on the bum so I’ll not offer one;

    Hart; Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate; Antonio, Lanzini, Arnautovic; Hernandez.

    Bench: Adrian, Byram, Fonte, Obaing, Fernandes, Carroll and Ayew

    Can’t believe these don’t get a place on the bench;

    Massa, Collins, Rice, Fegouli, Snodgrass (ok ok!) , Quina, Burke, Martinez, Sakho, Samuelson.

    Have I missed anyone? Probably.

    I still think there will be 2 more coming in.


    • sleepswithdafishes says:

      fine bit of team picking ! totally agree.

      • John says:

        Thank you Sleepyfishes you can be my no. 2. Laz, you can put the cones out with Dabo 😂😂

        • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

          Haha , yes john I could also oil group captain Hobble ( Bader ) joint’s and coach cress well in the art of defending , but I need to be paid in burger king 🙂 theyr’e in a different league to maccydees 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • jaybs says:

    Never pick teams, I put my trust in Our Manager, yes we then express opinions as the teams settles down, whoever Slav selects we have to give them a chance, back them fully. What does shock me is how our talented youth still do not get an opportunity, it will have to happen sometime like many others let them sadly leave!

  • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

    Not an Ayew fan then Hugh 🙂 ditto 🙂

  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    Mine is

    Zab, Collins, Reid, Masuaku
    Antonio, Lanzini, Obiang, Arnautovic
    Sakho, Hernandez

    Hart, Ogbonna, Byram, Ayew, Kouyate, Fernandes, Feghouli, Carroll

    For me Collins is the best right sided centre back we have, neither Reid, nor Fonte look comfortable there in a flat back four. Ogbonna can cover left back and CB, Hart has to prove himself and Carroll should only be used when necessary as plan B, Lanzini will play at the point of a diamond, with Obiang at its base Antonio on the right and Arnie on the left.

    • John says:

      Love 2 up front but it won’t happen. Ohhher missus.

      • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

        Probably not John tbh I think your team is the most likely based on Slav’s previous teams but the above is the team I would pick, Noble not even on the bench he would be club captain, not sure who would be Captain on the pitch previously it has been Reid but depending on how the players have taken to him would be inclined to give it to Zab it is also another reason I would not have Noble on the bench a clean break is required to establish the new captains status.

  • tugboatpete says:

    masuarka reid ogbonna zabaletta
    amautovic kouyatte lanzini Antonio
    subs ayew-noble- Fernandez-cresswell-byram-obiang-adrian

  • Radai Lama says:

    Sorry Hugh i just cant bring myself to do it.If i do it once i might get addicted & need to do it every day. 😂

    • John says:

      You’d need polish up on your 442 and 351 and 38-22-38s Rads. I sued to play for The Cubs and we played 1-10. That always worked well with lots of ball action.

  • James says:

    I have come up with so many different permutations i gave up…
    But sorry Noble no place for you in any of them…Dont take it personally…

    • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

      Watch out James , the bearded nobletts will be baying for blood 🙂 🙂

  • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

    Rad’s !!! How could you even pamper the thought 🙂 I’m in deep shock 🙂 🙂

  • John says:

    How about;

    Antonio Kouyate Adrian Byram
    Fonte Noble Billic
    Collins Hart Reid

    That would work. Carroll would be great in goal. Adrian to take pens. Your thinking not Noble in CM right?

  • Radai Lama says:

    You seem to have sued on the brain John,now you want to sue some cubs.You aint a lawyer are you or work in a PPI claim call centre in Delhi 😂
    Ok lads i will say if all are fit we will have Reid,Fonte,Ogbonna/Collins as a back 3 at Manure.The rest you lot fight over 😉

    • John says:

      Sued/Used whatever. FatfingersRus 😂😂

      Where has Stanley gone? I liked Stanley.

      • Radai Lama says:

        Yeah he’s a good guy Stanley.I think he posted a few days ago but he had a couple of run ins on here.Maybe at 70 or whatever he is he thought i dont need this grief 😁

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