Given this week’s shocking turn of events in The Walking Dead, I thought we’d do player ratings to the tune of the dead characters on the Walking Dead. That’s right, we pay tribute to the maimed, devoured, and betrayed in what I’m calling; The Hammers Harrowing Halloween Habitat. Do note, there were way too many characters to pick from so I may have to do this theme again in the future.
Glenn – Six Hammers
One of the longest tenured characters on the show eventually joined the much larger pool of former cast mates. Was it a shock? According to gamblingsites.org, Glenn had the best shot at being killed at 2/1, followed by Rosita, Aaron, and Abraham at 3/1. It probably seems cruel to kill off a character they teased as dead at last year’s mid-season finale, but The Walking Dead has never been known to be kind to its viewer’s sentiments. You’ve come a long way since the delivery/radio boy in Season One, and for that, you will always been my MVP.
Winston Reid – Two weeks in a row as Man of the Match for Brace the Hammer. Again Reid was stalwart in defense but to be fair, it’s not like Sunderland put up that much of a fight. The problem seemed to be more that West Ham could not be clinical in that final third. However, with about 10 seconds left in extra time, Winston somehow navigated a ball through six defenders and past a diving Jordan Pickford. Luck? Nah mate, that’s just the West Ham way.
Dimitri Payet – Unlucky in a few of his finishes including one that hit the crossbar. Sunderland seemed to have someone tracking Payet at all times but that didn’t stop the Frenchman from creating havoc. West Ham seem one good attacking option away from being right back in this league. Partner anyone with an ounce of finishing ability with Payet and we’re looking at a team in the top half instead of the bottom.
Hershel – Five Hammers
Hershel might be the most important character in the whole series when it comes to Rick’s sanity. For a couple of seasons Rick was constantly pulled back from the edge by Hershel. It’s only when Hershel takes a machete to the neck from the Governor does Rick begin his true downward spiral. Also Hershel gave us Maggie, and that has to count for something.
Adrian – Once again Adrian stepped up when his team needed him keeping the score sheet clean at the half when he denied Wahbi Khazri. Two game saving saves in two weeks. I might have to change my mind about you sir!
Pedro Obiang – If there was ever the underrated hero of a team it’s Pedro. The man does the work even Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs wouldn’t attempt.
Cheikhou Kouyate – Another defender here in the top four. I can’t help but wonder how good this defense actually is. Sure, we weren’t playing Liverpool but we negated much of their attacking prowess early on and for the second week in a row looks at home in the more defensive role.
Abraham – Four Hammers
Maybe the shock of it all is still fresh in my mind and I’m ranking Abraham way higher than he should be. Sorry, not sorry. I loved Abraham. He looked like he jumped right out of a bad GI JOE comic and straight onto the cast of the Walking Dead. Gun totin’, cigar smokin’, red goatee rockin’, grade-A bad ass. gamblingsites.org gave him a 3/1 chance to live and on the Walking Dead, those odds aren’t that bad. I was so convinced the barb-wired end of Lucille would find Glenn’s head that I made indescribable audible sounds of horror (according to my wife) when the camera focused on may man Abraham.
Simone Zaza – Another solid effort from Zaza but got no love from social media. Many fans on Twitter and Facebook called for him to come off at the half saying he was largely ineffective. You know what? They weren’t totally wrong but there weren’t many other options for Bilic. What Zaza did give you was 110% work rate and a never quit attitude. I appreciate that when a player is having an off day.
Mark Noble – To West Ham fans it would be tough for to ever rank Mark Noble low. He was his usual reliable self – passing the ball with efficiency in the middle of the pitch and creating options.
Merle – Three Hammers
What a strange story arc Merle had. He went from nonredeemable racist and group terrorizer to someone who could be counted on to save the day when it was most needed. Whether you loved him or hated him (most hated) he was a wild card that many people tuned in to watch Sunday nights.
Manuel Lanzini – We’re still wondering if Lanzini played? Can anyone get us a confirmation? Like, I know the lineup says he was there but…? Sure, the boy was invisible for a large part of the match but not for a lack of effort.
Edimilson Fernandes – It was tough grading this kid. His first half performance was wonderful but he just seemed to lose the pace of the game in the second half. I look forward to watching him grow.
T-Dog – Two Hammers
Poor T-Dog. He was far more popular as an internet meme than as a character on the show. There from the beginning, he did save Carol at the end of Season 3 to help her realize there is hope. Plus, who doesn’t miss that T-Dog/Dale combination? I bet you people don’t even remember the Winnebago breaking down every other episode! Speaking of forgettable…
Angelo Ogbonna – Friends say I need to patient with the Italian midfielder. I say he’s the first to go when we finally get our injured players back. Remember, we have a plethora of talent returning in the next few weeks. Andre Ayew, Andy Carrol, Diafra Sakho, Gohkan Tore, Sam Byram, Arthur Masuaku, and more. Each of these players can make a case for the starting XI. Bye, Felicia.
Shane – One Hammer
Shane was the epitome of how people can change for the worse in a post-apocalyptic world. I mean look. It made sense, right? Let’s pretend you’re Lori and your husband Sheriff Rick is considered zombie dinner back at the bumkin hospital where you left him. Here comes the handsome, muscular, deputy sheriff who will protect you and your future psychopath boy in this harsh new reality. You think you found a sliver of happiness in this crappy new existence only to be unearthed by the revelation your formerly dead husband is alive and well. Worse off, the deputy sheriff is in love with you and he’s also Rick’s best friend. Shane eventually loses his mind over jealousy and plots to kill Rick on several occasions. Sheriff Rick, still being the kind man before he goes into super saiyan mode, ties him up in the forest and leaves him for dead. And he does eventually die – but it’s their son Carl who shoots him. #popcorn
Michail Antonio – I’m sure I’m being harsh but it’s like Antonio expended all of his energy in the first 15 minutes and then just looked tired. He stopped pressing as he did earlier in the game and seemed to let the frustration take over. I’m positive this is just a blip in what can be a very good season.