As our guy Jonathan Liebling is out for his usual player ratings due to personal matters, yours’ truly will fill in with my ratings from Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to London rivals Tottenham
Joe Hart - 6.5
You can’t blame him for any of Spurs’ three goals, and he didn’t make a big blunder on Saturday. Did well to deny Dele Alli before Harry Kane got his second goal. After a so-so start, he has become one of West Ham’s dependable players in the month of September.
Aaron Cresswell - 6
He didn’t have major defensive issues outside of letting Alli go too easily on setting up Kane for opening goal, but his crossing and deliveries were once again not good. It’s an up and down nature to his game that the England left back has to get consistency on, especially when Andy Carroll is on the field. One week, his service is solid. The next, it is in shambles.
Angelo Ogbonna - 6
The Italian had his good moments of stepping up and taking the ball away to end Spurs’ attacks, and in trying to help in the offense end. But after a solid start, he and Jose Fonte couldn’t cope with the movement of Alli and Kane, especially on the first goal.
Jose Fonte - 6
Just like Ogbonna, the Portuguese centerhalf was badly caught out on the second goal, as he was too far to recover to stop Kane’s rebound finish. It’s a shame, since Fonte started off the match well and has provided a needed sweeper/makeshift holding midfielder role as the middle of the three centerback the last few weeks. But he represented fully how the team lost its way for that crucial four minute period when Michail Antonio exited. His header at least was an assist for Chicharito’s goal.
Winston Reid - 6
Though he again was the best of the three centerbacks, Reid certainly wasn’t without his glaring mistakes. He was caught too far out himself on Kane’s first goal, and was then out of place due to Fonte being forward on the Spurs superstar’s second tally. The Kiwi man has to be protected better by those around him, but he will have to watch the film and not come up the field too much vs Swansea. He still provided many great recovery tackles, including one to prevent Alli from having a clear shot on Hart in the second half.
Pablo Zabaleta - 7
He again showed a great motor and willingness to be ubiquitous as possible, as he always does. Only on the second Spurs goal could you say he was once again far too up the field to help out on Jan Vertonghen’s ambitious run. But other than that, it was another solid, assured performance from the Argentine right back ace, keeping his firm hold on the spot. Sam Byram has to settle for cup games for the time being.
Cheikhou Kouyate - 6.5
His passing will always be pedestrian at best. But Kouyate still has some value with all-around box to box ability. Besides another goal - a fine header to have the Hammers believe they could complete the three goal comeback - he provided some decent moments of play breakups on Spurs’ attacks. For all of his critics and his limitations, you won’t find many better backups at the holding midfield position in the Premier League than him. And if Pedro Obiang returns next week, Bilic will have to think which one of the three he leaves out: Kouyate, Obiang or Noble. The latter two still are the favorites to start.
Mark Noble - 5.5
He was active as usual, but the captain didn’t truly make an impact of note despite being better at passing and touches than Kouyate will ever be. He was in no position to stop the creation of any of Spurs goals (close to Christian Eriksen’s fine hit but nowhere near enough to prevent it), and did not provide one moment of significance on the offensive end. If all midfielders are healthy, Noble simply just isn’t a lock starter.
Marko Arnautovic - 5
He thankfully didn’t get himself sent off stupidly again, so that is a good thing. But it was a frustrating day for the Austrian uber-talent. Arnautovic was given several chances in the first half to make star plays, only for him to not produce with moments of unselfishness instead of taking direct shots at goal. He truly has to match his usual confidence and directness when it comes to those opportunities to shine instead of the hesitation he displayed too much on Saturday. Especially when the former Twente FC prodigy doesn’t provide anything on the defensive side of the ball other than being a presence on set pieces.
Michail Antonio - 7
Simply put, his injury changed the game. Before he was subbed off, the Hammers were keeping Tottenham under the control and were the better side. The versatile winger was not only providing his usual effective play on the offensive end, but was doing terrific track backing to help negate Spurs going forward. And then his injury happened, the last for Slaven Bilic to ask himself, “Why am I so cursed the last two seasons with injuries?”
Javier Chicharito Hernandez - 6.5
As always, the Mexican magician stays with it, no matter how frustrated he can be throughout a match. Given back his focal point line leading role, Hernandez had to abdicate it again for Carroll due to Antonio’s unfortunate injury. It once again rendered Hernandez having to do more track back defending than he wants, but the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star kept at it and scored his first London Stadium goal. He will hope that he can at least have a large part of the match up front by himself vs Swansea.
Andy Carroll - 5.5
He again made a notable impact, but more in the bad way as in the good. His poor pass in the middle of the field lead to Spurs first goal. From then on, he just couldn’t get the right service throughout the match to have one real chance on goal, despite making his presence known to young Davinson Sanchez.
In an ideal situation on Saturday, Carroll would have come off the bench after the half hour mark at least. But with Antonio’s injury, he had to come on early, and it messed the team’s shape up the second he turned over the ball so badly in the midfield before Kane’s opener. The tall star didn’t do anything to stay in the lineup next week if Antonio is healthy. But if Magic Mickey is unavailable, you could see Carroll out top and Chicharito outwide again.
Andre Ayew - 5
It was yet another unmemorable outing for Ayew, coming on for the ineffective Arnautovic and not doing much better. Despite again failing to impress, the Ghanian could have an opportunity to salvage playing time in October if Antonio is out on Saturday vs Swansea.
Arthur Masuaku - 7
Completing a fine week with play almost as good as his stunning goal vs Bolton in the EFL Cup, Masuaku produced the pass of the match with his perfect cross that found Kouyate’s head for the Hammers second goal. Although he is still firmly Cresswell’s backup, Masuaku reminded West Ham fans the last few days of how very talented he is, and how not many Premier League teams are truly two-deep at the left back spot as Bilic’s side is.