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Ratings 2 v Leicester

Hugh hands out his marks

Randolph: Looks a snip at £4 million given the quality saves tonight. No chance with the goals 7.5

Zaba: Third game on the trot at 35 and despite the natural slow down did no worse than any of the others 6

Diop: Not the player he was a year ago but then which of them are? 5.5

Ogbonna: Gave away the pen but beyond that the usual high quality performance 7

Cresswell: Outstanding at times – all over the place making vital interventions 7.5

Rice: I begin to worry about his positional sense at times as he often fails to cut out ital balls to the player in the hole trying to put the striker in. As a DM he needs help with that from the manager 6.5

Noble: Often over-run and just can’t get around fast enough.  5

Masuaku: Offered next to nothing 2

Snodgrass: Certainly not one of his better nights – plenty of effort, little result 4

Lanzini: What on earth has happened to him  1

Haller: Won the penalty and more impression when marvelous Mikey appeared 4.5

Subs

Antonio: Talk about leading from the front by example – target man, power, strength, passion, total handful and such a performance after injury has to be rewarded with a maximum 10

Fornals: I like the boy and can’t understand – like most others – why Lanzini gets the shout over him 6

Manager: 

He has some injuries to cope with but they appeared to be as ill prepared first half as they had been in so many slow starting games under Pellegrini. Had he not been able to call on Antonio you wonder what might have happened. 5

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The Moyes vedict …and no excuses

David Moyes delivered his verdict on the game soon after the end and made it plain and siple declaring: “The big thing was Leicester played well and we didn’t – we can’t dress it up in any other way

“I’m disappointed with the performance, although I wasn’t disappointed with the fact we improved in the second half and gave ourselves a chance.

“In the end we were slightly chasing the game and a bit of bad defending for the third goal really put the game to bed.

“I felt as if we’d got ourselves right back in it, but in a way went chasing it a little bit when we should probably have waited to try and get it. We got picked off once or twice, but as I said I thought Leicester played well today.

“We have been doing okay, so tonight was disappointing.”

However, he was delighted with the performance of returning Michail Anonio declaring: “Antonio gives us something, he allowed us to play the ball forward and maybe get in behind a bit more.

“We hadn’t had that in the first half at all – we struggled to get out and struggled to make enough good passes.

“In the second half we got the ball forward a bit more which gave us the opportunity to get up the pitch. It was good to get Michail back because he is so important to us.

“We won’t make any excuses [over the result], we’ll get back on the training pitch and work to be better. We’ve been good – tonight was probably the worst I’ve seen us defensively at different times, but overall we just need to do much better.”

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How we rated the Irons at Leicester

 

NIall McDonold hands out his marks

 

Randolph: Positioning for the first debatable but no chance with the 2nd or 4th. Fine save from Perez and magnificent save from Maddison – that’s why we signed him (twice) 7
Diop: Looked a little ragged at times, at other moments ball-watched 5
Ogbonna: Headed balls away, stuck legs out, hoofed it clear – did very well before conceding the spot kick 7

Cresswell must return

Cresswell: Defended manfully against the blue tide, taking on corner duty after the break 8
Zabaleta: Got into the Leicester area once in the first-half; effectively played fullback for the full 90 mins 5
Rice: Tough going against the movement of Leicester tonight 5
Noble: A vital penalty stuck away very calmly – really stretched in open play though  5
Masuaku: Slow to track back for the first and miles out of position for the 2nd. Really poor 3
Lanzini: Really struggling at the moment. Tried to support Haller early-on but just missing the buzz of a season or two ago 4
Snodgrass: Completed the first half after taking a knock to the left knee. A few corners swung in too close to Schemichel 5
Haller: Did everything in his power to win the penalty and the contribution seemed to give him a lift, so much so he fouled an opponent on 68 mins 6

Subs
Antonio: Won an aerial challenge, picked up the return and blazed over in the first seconds after his introduction – all action stuff and dear me it was needed 8
Fornals: Spirited 2nd half appearance 5

Manager:
No surprises with the starting formation but the first-half display was shocking. Positive substitutions and presumably a real rollicking at the interval provoked a positive reaction. Really got his work cut out this time round 6

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Irons bang in trouble but Antonio’s the great hope

Leicester City 4 Hammers 1

By Hugh Southon

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

So now David Moyes knows just what he has inherited – a squad of players without pace and power until Michail Antonio appears and gives them some brief hope.

The first half of this latest defeat was the embarrassment of embarrassments as an outstanding Foxes team – who will make waves in the Champions league next season – took us apart.

Frankly we were disgustingly bad as they went two up!

The second half was a different affair entirely as we stormed forward after Moyes had quite clearly given them the sort of rollocking they haven’t received in a very long time

Mark Noble gave us hope with a pen after Haller had been fouled and Michail was onto everything causing problem after problem – he remains our great hope for the remainder of the season.

You can blame Pellegrini, you can blame the board for appointing him, but in that first 45 minutes – given what followed in the second half – you simply have to blame 11 players who were entirely useless as the Foxes made fools of them.

Now we really are bang in trouble but as the eternal optimist I take hope from that second half display when with Antonio leading, Haller looked a better player by far as we took 50 per cent of possession at one stage.

We need Antonio to remain fit and we need the team to show exactly what they managed in the second 45 minutes over the rest of the season.

We had more than our moments against a very classy side, back to its best, and had one goalmouth scramble resulted in a goal from Antonio it might have been very different,

In the end a game we had written off anyway was lost so it could be argued there was nothing much lost – other of course than Burnley winning at Old Trafford.

Now the biggest thing on the agenda is a powerful and pacey midfielder and whether it’s a case of Moyes not being able to find one or the board not wanting to dig up the dough THAT HAS TO CHANGE.

The upsides? Some great saves from Randolph, a brilliant Antonio display, a fine Ogbonna performance and honourable mentions for Rice and Cresswell.

But we need more – MUCH MORE!

 

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Please give us your West Ham player ratings against Leicester

Please vote with your personal ratings for West Ham players who played for ten minutes or more in the  Leicester City v West Ham Premier League game. We also ask for ratings for David Moyes, VAR and the match officials.

Please only vote if you watched the game yourself or watched extended highlights and select a numerical score between one and ten where one is low and ten is high. Please leave scores blank for any players who didn’t play or played under ten minutes.

Any entries containing players who didn’t play will be deleted as will any entries with all tens or all ones.

Once we have collated all the entries we will reveal the results by publishing the number of valid responses together with the mean average of each West Ham player who played ten minutes or more.

Thank you for taking part in the Claret and Hugh West Ham player ratings. Please enter your scores on the link below:

https://surveyhero.com/c/f550edc0

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Moyes reckons the squad has been “brilliant”

David Moyes believes his squad has improved since his return and things are looking up!

Tonight’s game and the next few will prove whether he’s right or not but it’s hard to argue there has not been more commitment and organisation.

Commenting before tonight’s game in the midlands against Leicester he said: “I’ve really enjoyed my period coming back. It’s been busy. I came in just before new year and the games we’ve got means it’s still busy.

“The biggest thing I’d say is the players have been brilliant. They’ve given me 100 per cent in all the games. I think you saw it in the Everton game.

The commitment’s been really, really good, every one of them, and I can only praise them for it because they’ve knuckled down.

“I was pleased, after the first game, with the amount of goals we scored. It was a record for a league game at [London] Stadium.

After that, we’ve got a few clean sheets. Prior to me coming in, I think the team had lost several goals in several games. I need to make sure we’re not conceding. We’ve done that a bit.”

 

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Obiang was counting on staying in the Premier League

Former Hammer Pedro Obiang has revealed he planned on staying in the Premier League for another two years before he was sold by West Ham

Talking to Italian website  www.ilsecoloxix.it  Obiang said: “I was counting on staying in the Premier for another couple of years. But then came this proposal from Sassuolo who strongly believed in me and their trust in me gratified me a lot”

Asked how close it was on returning to Sampdoria he added “I had also concretely demonstrated my will. I tried to move then nothing was done. Maybe I was too old for the team”

The former Hammer moved to Italy in 2018 for a £7 million fee with add-ons based on appearances.  Obiang and his wife whose wife was expecting a child  reportedly told West Ham they were desperate to move back to Italy despite him having three years left on his contract.

The 27-year-old midfielder spent four years in east London, joining the club in summer 2015 from fellow Serie A team Sampdoria.  He played 116 times in claret and blue, scoring three times – including the club’s goal of the season in 2017/18 with an unstoppable 30-yard drive against Spurs at Wembley Stadium.

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Hammers linked with another four names

West Ham have become the latest club to be linked for a potential move Nottingham Forest’s Matty Cash, before the end of the transfer window, according to the Daily Mail.

Cash has already been linked with a £15m move to Southampton and AC Milan as Forest face a battle to keep hold of the 22-year-old during the last few days of the window.

The versatile 22-year-old midfielder has excelled this season in an unfamiliar right-back role, with Sabri Lamouchi having moved Cash back into that position following Tendayi Darikwa’s injury.

Three other names have been reported this week after being linked to the Hammers

ITK @EXWHUEmployee discussed three new names on his West Ham Way podcast this week claiming that the Hammers were interested Cagliari midfielder Nahitan Nández, CSKA striker Fyodor Chalov and Samdoria midfielder Ronaldo Viera. 

With eight days remaining in the transfer window David Moyes he hopes to complete one more signing or two at a push before next Friday.

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West Ham starting XI: The peoples choice

Claret and Hugh readers have been voting on their West Ham starting lineup ahead of tonight’s game against Leicester City.

With Fabianski still injured Darren Randolph is the natural replacement with 95 votes.

Aaron Cresswell retains left back on 83 votes with Arthur Masuaku scoring 38 votes.

As the only fit right back Pablo Zabaleta has no competition picking up 83 votes.

In the centre of defense is Angelo Ogbonna with 98 votes and Issa Diop with 97 votes while Fabian Balbuena could only manage 29.

Declan Rice gets the perfect 100 votes with Mark Noble 74 votes

Meanwhile Pablo Fornals picks up 92 votes and Robert Snodgrass picking up 89 votes with Sebastian Haller on 97 votes and Ablian on 47 votes.

Manuel Lanzini on 28 votes and Michail Antonio on 25 votes miss out with supporters assuming he will not be fit enough to start after his recent injury.

That would make the Peoples Choice starting West Ham XI like this: Randolph, Cresswell, Diop, Ogbonna, Zabaleta, Rice, Noble, Fornals, Snodgrass, Haller, Ajeti 

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Confidence is low in Leicester City result

West Ham supporters are not expecting too much from this evening’s away game against Leicester City which kicks off at 7.30 tonight.
Nearly 60% of over 1,100 Claret and Hugh readers taking part in a poll believe the Foxes will win. Nearly 27% think can scrape a draw while just 13% say the Hammers can take all three points tonight.
Leicester have only lost one of their last 10 Premier League games against West Ham (W5, D4), a 2-0 home defeat in May 2018.  West Ham have won only twice in 10 Premier League away meetings (D4, L4).

This will be David Moyes’ 50th Premier League away game against a top-four team. He’s won just one of the previous 49 (D15, L33), a 2-1 victory with Everton at third-placed Manchester City in 2010.

West Ham have won only three of their 14 Premier League away fixtures under Moyes (D3, L8).

Sebastien Haller scored with three of his first seven shots in the Premier League but has been successful with just three of his subsequent 40 attempts.