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Since the Turn of the Century: Defenders

The Kiwi Hammer looks at some of our best defenders since 2000 in order to create our All-Time West Ham United XI

AFC Bournemouth v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Defenders. We’ve had some absolutely brilliant defenders in our history, none more so than Bobby Moore, the legend. However, since 2000, we’ve had some absolutely brilliant defenders who’ve pulled the Claret and Blue on for West Ham United.

In the next few articles we publish, we’re going to look at Defenders, Goalkeepers, Midfielders and Strikers who have been pure class for West Ham since the year 2000. Our formation for this will be the popular 3-4-3 formation.

Anton (bottom) and Rio (Top) Ferdinand playing in Tony Carr’s testimonial match in 2010

The Ferdinand Boys - Center Backs

Rio and Anton Ferdinand both played for West Ham United as center-backs but at separate times. Rio joined West Ham United’s academy in 1992 and continued to play right through until 2000 where he was signed by Leeds United, having made a total of 127 appearances and scoring two goals for the club.

Anton joined the Youth Academy in 2002, where he graduated a year later, playing for the senior team until 2008 where he went on to join Sunderland AFC in 2008. Anton made 138 appearances for West Ham, and scored five goals for the club.

Left-back Paul Konchesky playing for Leicester City in 2014

Paul Konchesky - Left Back

Paul Konchesky stared for West Ham United over 2 seasons, between 2005 and 2007. Making just 59 appearances for West Ham United, he gained two goals for the club and became a favourite for many West Ham fans.

He left West Ham United after claiming then manager Alan Curbishley made the players feel ‘unhappy’, then ultimately signed with fellow London-club Fulham in July 2007

Manchester United v West Ham United - Premier League
Winston Reid passes the ball under pressure from Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United in the 2017/18 Premier League opener at Old Trafford
Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Winston Reid - Center Back

The first of our current defenders, Winston Reid joined West Ham United back in August 2010 from FC Midtjylland in Denmark for an undisclosed fee. The New Zealand international has been the mainstay defender (when not injured) for the last couple of seasons and has recently signed a new contract keeping him at West Ham until the summer of 2023.

Since joining the club, he’s made 176 appearances for the Hammers, scoring nine goals including the last ever goal at Upton Park against Manchester United in 2016.

Burnley v West Ham United - Premier League
James Collins (R) with Adrian (L) in the final game of the 2016/17 Season at Burnley’s Turf Moor
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

James “Ginger Pele” Collins - Center Back

It’s easy to see why Ginge features on this list as he is one of our best defenders at the club. Another current member, he currently enjoys his second spell at the club since rejoining from Aston Villa in 2012.

During his first stint with West Ham, he joined in 2005 making 54 appearances and bagging two goals, before shifting off to Aston Villa. His current spell at the Club has seen him appear 121 times with three goals coming from those appearances. I, for one, hope he sticks around this time!

West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace - Premier League
James Collins celebrates Andros Townsend’s goal against West Brom at The Hawthorns on 4 March, 2017
Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

James Tomkins - Center Back/Right Back

James Tomkins is another product of the West Ham United Academy of Football as he joined the Academy in 1997, continuing to grow until 2008 where he made his senior debut for the club.

He remained witht he club until 2016 where he joined fellow Premier League side Crystal Palace in the summer of 2016, having made 206 appearances, scoring eight goals for the club. Since joining Palace, he’s continued to appear for the Eagles, bagging three goals last season.

Lucas Neill playing for West Ham United against Stoke City

Lucas Neill - Full Back/Center Back

Having joined the club in 2007, Neill began his West Ham time against Watford in February, where he ended up picking up a knee injury. His only goal for the club came in September 2008 in a 3-2 away defeat against West Bromwich Albion.

He rejected a contract extension at the end of the 2008/09 season, becoming a free agent, before ultimately joining Everton in 2009. During his time at the club, he made 79 appearances, scoring just one goal.

George McCartney warming-up for West Ham before the game at London Road against Peterborough United, March 2012

George McCartney - Left Back/Center Back

McCartney technically had three spells with the Hammers throughout his illustrious career. His first spell was from 2006-2008 where he made 61 appearances, scoring one goal, before making a return back to Sunderland AFC in 2008.

During the 2011/12 season, still with Sunderland, McCartney joined West Ham on-loan where he continued to make appearances for the club, appearing 38 times, scoring another goal), before being signed permanently from Sunderland following the 2011/12 season.

For another two seasons, McCartney continued to make appearances for the club, only appearing 34 times, before becoming a free-agent. At 36 years old, it’s unlikely we’ll see McCartney make any more club appearances, although stranger things have happened...

So there we have it. That is our list of players we think are pure class. Now, it’s up to you. Let us know who’d you like to see make the back three in our 3-4-3 formation by making your vote in the comments section down below!

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