It was brutal for most of the game but despite an early hole West Ham United managed to make a game of it against arch-rival Tottenham. Losing at home is never fun and when it comes at the hands of Spurs it’s all the worse.
So who won and who lost?
Winner: Michail Antonio
While he was on the field he was our most valuable player. His hard charging runs helped keep Spurs on their toes. Sure he might not be the most technically gifted winger to ever play but outside Chicharito he is our best player. Upon getting hurt it was apparent how important he is to this team. We lost all sense of our shape and our offense sputtered immensely without Antonio out there. Hopefully he can heal quickly and get back in our starting XI.
Playing as the lone striker he looked confident and was a constant threat to be in the right spot at the right time. However, Michail Antoino’s injury and Slaven Bilic’s decision to bring Andy Carroll on pushed Chichartio to the right wing. This is the third position he’s had to play since joining West Ham. Poor Chichartio is working his tail off in positions he doesn’t want to play, and for a team he’s much too good to play for. I feel bad for the Mexico striker because he doesn’t deserve this. He is our best player and Slaven Bilic is not putting him in position to do what he does best. Chicharito is a great professional and has taken it in stride but how much longer is he going to toil on the wing before he’s had enough and leaves us?
Loser: Slaven Bilic
I love the guy I really do, but he continues to make absolutely baffling decisions. When Antonio got hurt he brought on Carroll and moved Chicharito to the right wing. To me it makes more sense to bring on Ayew who actually plays right wing and to have kept the shape that worked so well with Antonio out there. Carroll is an excellent striker but is far to inconsistent to be the lone striker all the time. As an impact sub to come on in the last half hour I think is his place now. His size and strength would be a nightmare for tired defenders to go against.
I have to give Bilic credit though the team fought through the adversity and was able to make a game of it. Bringing on Masuaku at left winger was a risky but successful gamble. Lets see if Bilic can get this team ready to play Swansea on Saturday, if they’re not we might finally see Bilic’s end.
Winner: Cheikhou Kouyate
He scored an excellent goal to help bring us back into the game. He was disrupting Spurs and he never stopped running. After a number of below average performances Kouyate played well. Sure, his passing isn’t great but he does enough other things well to make up for it (most of the time). He gets a W this week.
Winner: Mark Noble
Cue the abuse. Was he the best player on the pitch? No. Was he the worst player on the pitch? No again. The captain had a good game by his recent standards, the type of game that can hopefully propel him into his 15-16 form. He was active on defense breaking up plays and was active on offense creating chances. He had one dribble that was fantastic in the second half where he tip-toed the end line and made the Spurs defender look silly. His usual fire and passion were there and likely helped this team pull though the adversity of being down.
Loser: Aaron Cresswell
He wasn’t bad but he wasn’t exactly good either. However, the introduction of Arthur Masuaku and Massy’s subsequent assist put into contrast the crosses Cresswell was providing during the match. We all knew it was a battle for the LB spot this season but it looks like Masuaku is quickly catching up to Cresswell and may surpass him soon.
Loser: Marko Arnautovic
After looking so good against Bolton (but remember it’s Bolton) he looked very average against Spurs. His crosses were not good nor were his set pieces. This is part of the reason I was lukewarm on this signing to begin with. Arnautovic has and always will be a streaky player but after Spur’s he’s getting close to Andre Ayew’s level of invisibility. Arnie needs to step it up if he wants to live up to his club record signing fee.
Agree? Disagree? Did I miss someone? Let me know in the comments!