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Mission Impossible – name the Hammer of Year!


By CandH’s top blogger Allen Cummings


With 13 games still to go in the season, is it too early to start thinking about choosing this season’s Hammer of the Year?

Declan Rice made a reference to the award on talkSPORT recently when singing the praises of Tomas Soucek.

After Tomas was revealed as having run 17k during the recent Manchester United FA Cup game, Declan admitted all his team mates teased him saying: “That’s not normal Tom.”

He added: “Honestly he’s unbelievable. This season he’s going to be our player of the year.” So that’s settled then – or is it?

On Sky Sports Super Sunday last weekend top pundit Micha Richards threw another name into the ring. “(Aaron) Cresswell has been my Hammer of the Year,” said Richards.

“ He might not have the pace of an (Andy) Robertson or a (Kieran) Tierney. But his positional sense. His delivery of free kicks. He really is a joy to watch.” Cressa was being written off a year ago!

Despite the impressive endorsements, those two players aren’t the only contenders this year. Declan wouldn’t nominate himself of course, but last year’s winner has to be in with a shout again.

He’s rarely had a day off – or an off day for that matter. Rice is our Mr Consistency, taking on the role of team captain, when Mark Noble isn’t in the side, accepting the responsibility and providing the inspiration of a top skipper.

Angelo Ogbonna, last season’s runner-up, has to be in with a shout, too. An ever present prior to his recent injury – Oggy was a rock at the back for us – and will no doubt be again when he’s back.

Should we also make a case for Craig Dawson? The ‘loanee’ was seen by most people as just a filler to make up the numbers, Craig has stepped up to the plate in a way no-one could have imagined.

Vladimir Coufal cannot be discounted either. The bargain buy who has become a huge favourite with the fans for his defensive qualities, attacking ability – and that famous ice-cold stare. Agree Mr Grealish?

There hasn’t even been a mention here of Michail Antonio or new kid-on-the-block Jesse Lingard – who will no doubt have his supporters if he continues to knock in the goals and turn in the performances we’ve seen in his short time with us.

Of course, Managers don’t qualify, otherwise surely David Moyes would have earned the biggest shout of all!

It’s difficult to remember a year when so many players have had genuine claims to our top award. Despite some massive names in our line-ups in the past, there’s usually been just one stand-out performer to take the title.

This year it’s very different – for differing reasons. The picture may change of course in the next 13 games, but judging by what we have seen so far, when it comes to the vote, placing that all-important cross could take an awful lot of soul-searching.

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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

5 comments on “Mission Impossible – name the Hammer of Year!

  1. With so many candidates I think you have to then determine who would we miss from the squad the most? Ogbonna has been injured and other players have slotted right in, no offense to him because I’d prefer him above all others. Antonio has missed so much time and Moyes’ tactics have evolved to deal with that, to the point where whether Antonio starts or not I feel like we can win. Dec is Dec, he is such a calming influence and surely one of the best and certainly most consistent tacklers in the PL but he is still improving and has days where he’s not quite at his best, he’s still so young. So for me, it has to be Soucek, he does his job so well, he’s barely noticeable, and the goals, he is so dangerous going forward late, and his timing is impeccable for scoring. When he went off against Spuds with the big cut I suddenly felt this fear that we were in really trouble for the first time this season – thankfully he was back in minutes, but clearly from that point on Spuds took control of the game, it was no coincidence. So Tomas edges it for me but he could easily share it with Dec as a dynamic duo – we really need to find one or two understudies for them, we can’t ride them if we get into Europe next season.

  2. how about a break from the norm?

    David Moyse?

  3. sorry for the typo!


  4. I can’t even pick signing of the season. Does Soucek count this year as he signed permanently. Dawson has been unbelievable and Jesse is proving world class. But Coufal turned our defence into a formidable force and hasn’t put a foot wrong with so many top players put in his pocket

  5. Imho deserves it not only for this season but also for last. Definitely a tough choice though Dec, Antonio, Soucek and Coufal others may argue Cresswell or Fabianski etc a lot of the players have been great.

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