Zabaleta has skipper written all over him!

zabIt may be too early to be making too many serious observations about the new season but one thing is crystal clear, Pablo Zabaleta looks the most inspirational character we have had on a Hammers squad for some considerable time.

There was a moment during the game against Werder Bremen when he was the victim of a wild tackle and his response was immediate – he confronted the ‘perp’ in no uncertain manner and Β was a frightening sight.

But beyond that his poise, experience, wonderful defensive and attacking abilities and constant availability at the back, Β we can mark him out as a real captaincy challenger in my book.

Now, I don’t think Slav is going to take the armband off his favoured Mark Noble but even at this stage some are questioning the midfielder’s regular presence in the team this season.

When everybody is fit Mark will be under as much pressure as anybody else with the exception of such as Β Zaba, Chicharito andΒ Lanzini.

Cheik Kouyate and Pedro Obiang will be very hard to keep out and Josh Cullen is another very potent threat to Mark’s position.

Zaba is under no such threat from Sam Byram who, whilst looking to have grown up this summer, cannot get ahead of the Argentine on a regular basis.

In my book that makes Zaba a serious contender for the armband and I’d be surprised if at the very least the thought hasn’t crossed the manager’s mind.

He looks a real leader, his experience is vast and I can’t imagine his attitude on the pitch isn’t being replicated off it.




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

26 comments on “Zabaleta has skipper written all over him!

  1. Yep , captain slow with the dodgy toe is on his last legs 😎 I’m afraid bilic has to see the light
    On this one , great servant but he will hold us back 😒

  2. Should have made him captain when he signed and let him give a bollocking to those that can’t be arsed πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

  3. I said when we signed him he should be made captain..it only proved to me what little some of the expert fans we have know when they proclaimed he was an old man whos legs had gone…their silence is deafening now..

    • James there are 2 rules that must always be obeyed to some. 1. Never question Captain Slow his captaincy or his place in the side. 2. Never question the unplayable one as he saves us from disappearing out of the league altogether. Asking for Zabaleta to be captain will be seen as treason πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

      • Being injured would I suppose , make you Unplayable . Just an observation!!.
        I wouldn’t be so ready to write Noble off . He was carrying several knocks last season but carried on giving everything . He will start the new season fit and ready . You don’t need to be ” Fast ” to be effective . Speed is relative .
        No news on Carroll is concerning though I must admit .
        Zabaleta does indeed look like Captain material but , it’s too early to call the shot .
        Let’s see what Premiership competition does before everyone jumps on the band wagon . More worrying though is the news that Everton are showing an interest in Reid . Sakho back in training is good news , so , maybe we’ll see him in action by October . Earlier would be better . Don’t bet against Carroll making a return . The club is keeping a very low profile on AC news . I personally still rate him and I know there are a lot of you with an alternative opinion . Being injured doesn’t mean a player is useless , it just means unavailable . Yes , and before the digs start he has been injured forever .

        • Well it does make them useless to the club cause Kevin..though i know saying anything about Noble or Carroll seems to be tantamount to high treason in your book..funny though when you find it so easy to dismiss many other players..lol

          • Seems that we have a lot of useless players in your book , James .
            Reid was useless , Antonio was useless , kouyati was useless , Obiang was useless , Byram was useless , Sakho was useless , Ayew was useless and of course Lanzini will be useless if he gets injured ., not to mention Hernandez . Again ; being injured doesn’t mean useless , it means unavailable .

          • Ffs keV , group captain bader,s legs have gone 🐌 the emoji is quicker πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
            He has been the same for 3 seasons now and getting slower 🐌🐌 I must have a word in the ear of you’re councilor mate πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ sometimes you worry me πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰ he had an hernia not a 6,000,000 dollar revamp πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ the spitfire gives it away in his drive πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      • No Carroll being injured over a sustained period of time makes him useless to both the team and fans and yes if other players are out as often as him then they are useless to the club as well.Hence the need too buy replacements

        He is taking the **** out of us and you cant see it.Either that or you like being cantankerous!

  4. I think the way his teammates see him will determine whether or not he is captain, the reality is he is older than Noble so he is still only a short term fix, personally if he is as inspirational as has been mooted then I would be very happy to see him as captain, we have been missing that inspirational character since Nolan left and we all know Nolan wasn’t capable of delivering on the pitch in the last 18 months of his stay, for me Noble should be club captain but not team captain, he lacks the proper level of respect from his team and referees in my opinion, Zaba can hopefully elevate the players and make them more competitive.

  5. Nice to get such a valued reply from such an ” Expert ” , James .

  6. I was just stating a fact Kevin…but if you wish to be child like in your response then feel free..i know you dont like to be challenged by a reply because you declare anyone who does a bully or troll…but yes i would consider myself an expert in comparison to your usual unintelligible gibberish on most occasions…

    • No James , not just anyone , only you . As for declaring trolls and bullies you’ll have to show me that from some where .
      Thanks for your Expert advice on gibberish and unintelligible .
      There is no ” Fact ” , as you have fondly said with all the Literacy you find hard to muster .
      When injured players come back after recovery and score that all important winning goal I suppose I’m talking gibberish , your words , not mine when everyone cheers the goal .
      I hope Carroll scores a few because being a West Ham I want to see the ball in the back of the net .
      You only seem to agree with people who agree with you .
      I remember when this was a Gentleman’s forum .
      I don’t expect everyone to agree with me , that would be arrogant but , my opinions are my own . And I stand by them , apparently alone . But I don’t insult people who don’t insult me .
      Childish I suppose to have a different slant on things .

      • It’s good that we all see things differently, none of us are experts we just have opinions and that is what keeps the site going, personal insults shouldn’t be on the site imho, it’s a platform for people to share opinions some will agree and some will disagree, over time we have a better idea what was right or wrong because the season will play out and at the end of the season we will know where we have finished.

  7. I agree Carroll is a very good player but a manager has to build a team that can play match in match out and adjust the formation that is best against the opposition. Unfortunately you cannot do that with Carroll so that makes him, with his injury record, a good squad player but not a good team player.

  8. We have spent too long hanging on to the faint hope he will remain injury free.Fortunately it now seems the hierachy at the club realise we are flogging a dead horse.

    We will never completely move on all the time he is with us.A clean break from him is the ideal but no one will buy him so we have to make do with what we have.A player who really doesnt project the image of someone who gives two hoots as long as the dosh goes in the bank account.

    I used to be one of his staunchest defenders but these days,nope i am sick of the whole circus that seems to revolve around him.He would be better as a star on Love Island than a footballer as limelight and the good life seems to be his main concern.

    • Well , Doug Iron I remain staunch . I don’t see him trying to grab the limelight .
      I just wish some fans would stop hammering him and trying to force West Ham’s hand .
      All the expert football fans that know so much . I don’t proclaim to be any kind of expert on football but , a player like Carroll when fit must surely be appreciated .

      • Sorry Kevin but the must be appreciated when fit cuts no ice with me anymore.Theres loyalty and stupidity.There is no Brucie bonus for being Mr.Loyal when you are being taken for a mug by someone who you are ment too put your footballing faith and trust in.He couldnt care less and i have no intention of defending him anymore.
        My only regret is that i didnt bite the bullet earlier and admit he is a waste of space.

      • With regard to AC, I couldn’t disagree with you more Kevin. The blokes had ample time to at least attempt to get himself fit, but appears to lack the willpower (IF the latest reports of him being on the lash are true).
        However I do agree with you that your entitled to your opinion. The site would be pretty Shyte if we all thought the sameπŸ‘

      • Kev me and you have always had some banter mate and your entitled to your opinion like anyone and I know you’ve got this unrequited love in going on with the porcelain princess but you’ve got to draw a line under this infatuation one day pal it will make you ill πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

  9. Think we’re paying a disservice to Poppodom’s now Rads at least they give you a bit of enjoyment πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

  10. I don’t think it will make a jot of difference if Zab has the arm band or not, he will ball out anyone that don’t do his stuff be that Noble or Reid. I reckon Hart will do the same.

  11. AC we have had for _5 seasons hr has played on average around 25% or less a season and his best return was 2015/2016 w 9 goals. And instead of trying to get fit he is in Holiday getting tossed.
    If he had more of a work ethic in his day he is great but he inky has a few days a year. If we could get Β£2-Β£3m for him I would take it to get him if wages. And if Newcastle really wanted him I’d have mitrovic over him. But think Perez would be good replacement for him on cheap.
    As for Zab he is a leader but making him captain could cause some issues.
    Maybe vice give him the band when Noble doesn’t play although I think Noble is slowing down faster then Zab. Wouldn’t hate to see Collins with the arm Band

  12. Yeah, that was a naughty tackle on Zabs Hugh. I think he should have nutted the geezer, he may not have gone on to score their equaliser with a busted hooter😊 and yet more silverware in our rickety Ikea trophy cabinet.
    On a side note, I don’t know if anyone’s seen the video of Zab and a select few Citeh fans giving their opinion of him. Worth a look, as I think the bloke’s absolute quality and seems really genuineπŸ‘πŸ‘

  13. I live in Loughton and like a night out, AC been on the lash since we signed him… nothing new.

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