Friday, May 26

Calleri, Arbeloa and Tore released

A good start to clearing out some of the squad players. West Ham will save a lot in big wages for Arbeloa and Tore, both of whom hardly played, while Calleri never looked like a Premier League striker. Now the question is what do we do with that money?

Thursday, May 25

End-of-season West Ham player ratings

Regrets we've had a few, but not too few to mention…

ADRIAN: 6/10 Some erratic form saw him dropped for five months but returned looking solid and played a big part in survival.

DARREN RANDOLPH: 5/10 showed some good form after being given the number one spot but his confidence went after a number of unforced errors.

SAM BYRAM: 5/10 Still suspect defensively but dug in and looked more solid at the end, while always threatening on the overlap. Will benefit from this season’s experience.

ALVARO ARBELOA: 1/10. Always injured bar a disastrous appearance as a sub against Arsenal. We expected much more from a World Cup winner.

AARON CRESSWELL: 5/10 Lost half a season through injury and then a worrying dip in form.  Started to improve and get some trademark crosses in towards the end.

ARTHUR MASUAKU: 6/10 Had a ’mare at WBA but upon his return from injury looked really assured going forward and briefly kept Cresswell out of the side.

JAMES COLLINS: 6/10 His pace has faded but still inspired the side with his leadership qualities late on. And some impressive shirt-giving away at the end of games.

WINSTON REID: 6/10 Injury disrupted his season, but always committed and hopefully his operation will clear up a long-standing problem with his knee.

ANGELO OGBONNA: 6/10 Long-term injury curtailed his season and needs to play in a settled formation, but still a quality player.

JOSE FONTE: 5/10 Started poorly, but in a five-man defence looked much more solid and made some great blocks.

MARK NOBLE: 6/10 Not a great season, but played through the pain barrier with a hernia and produced when it mattered against Spurs and netted those vital pens against Hull and Burnley. Still Mr West Ham.

PEDRO OBIANG: 7/10 Made the defensive shield position his own before injury, won lots of tackles, made some goals and even scored at the Saints.

CHEIKHOU KOUYATE: 7/10 Played out of position most season but did a job wherever he was asked to play. Vital goals against Chelsea and Swansea.

HAVARD NORDTVEIT: 3/10 Not a right back, but looked better in his defensive midfield role at the end of the season. Still a major disappointment though.

MIKHAIL ANTONIO: 8/10 Was never a right-back either, but shone in a poor side and always gives maximum effort. Our top scorer, his highlight was making all three goals against Palace.

EDIMILSON FERNANDES: 6/10 Did well at wing-back and though at times bypassed against the bigger teams, looks promising in midfield.

DIMITRI PAYET: 0/10 Scored a superb goal against Boro and still made the most chances for WHU despite leaving in January. But can’t be forgiven for going on strike and playing at 80 per cent.

MANUEL LANZINI: 8/10 Made the playmaker position his own after Payet left. Scored some vital goals and always a pleasure to watch. Though if he gets injured we’re really stuck.

SOFIANE FEGHOULI: 6/10 His four goals suggest there’s something to build on. Still erratic, but on his day can make a difference with his crossing.

ROBERT SNODGRASS: 4/10 Hasn’t got going, despite impressing with Hull. Hopefully a good pre-season might help him thrive with the Hammers.

GOKHAN TORE: 1/10 Did make the first ever league goal at the London Stadium, but generally looked poor and then injured for the whole season.

ANDY CARROLL: 6/10 Great when he played, and scored an unbelievable goal against Palace. But as ever, he’s hardly ever fit. After four seasons of injuries we can’t rely on him anymore.

ANDRE AYEW: 6/10 Bad injury early doors, but now started to bag some goals though he still misses a lot of easy chances. Do we know what his best position is?

SIMONE ZAZA: 3/10 Not helped by that silly buy-after-14 games clause, but never looked like scoring. Then left and scored a worldie against Real Madrid.

DIAFRA SAKHO: 2/10 Scored at Man United but apart from that missed the whole season with his back problem. Will he ever be the same player again? Our best striker when fit.

JONATHAN CALLERI: 3/10 Impressed with his work rate late on and played well against Spurs, but generally just doesn’t look like a natural finisher or a Premier League striker.

ASHLEY FLETCHER: 3/10 Signs of promise and scored at Man United in the League Cup. But only ever gets a few minutes here and there and has to get a goal during his cameos if he is to compete.

THE POST: 10/10 Had an amazing game against Hull and looked solid throughout the season.

Wednesday, May 24

Stop! Hammer Time

Appeared on the Stop! Hammer Time podcast last night with hosts Phil Whelans and Jim Grant and Wagner and Hammers blogger (possibly a niche market that) Don The Hammer. Click on the link to listen to our exclusive ramblings on Andy Carroll's groin, the Burnley Cricket Club invasion, Ayew's tribute to our player of the season The Post, Zabaleta, possible new strikers, Enner Valenica, Gary Breen and much more.

Big Sam drops out

So Big Sam is retiring from management to "savour life" and go travelling. Wonder if when he hits the hippy trail he'll come across the West Ham Way?

Sunday, May 21

We're top of the bottom half!

Burnley 1 West Ham 2

A welcome win at Turf Moor — and a surprising one given the eight players West Ham had out — which takes the Irons to 11th in the league, top of the bottom half. That's a fairly credible finish given the problems we've had this season. 

The side was down to Harry Redknapp's 'bare bones' and showed some character to bounce back from going behind to a softish Vokes goal. Feghouli will get some confidence from scoring the equaliser from Ayew's clever flick and Ayew could hardly miss his free header after Fernandes's shot was palmed on to the bar by Heaton. Andre now has six goals which is quite respectable from an injury-ravaged season, even if he has tended to miss as many as he scores. Nice to see Ogbonna return and Declan Rice get his debut in added time too. 

At the end of the season West Ham have only lost one in seven and it's that form that has kept us out of the relegation scrap — though interestingly there's only six points separating eighth to 17th places. It's been emotional. And now we go again next August…

West Ham fans' verdict in the Observer

My Fans' Verdict on West Ham is in the Observer today, gave them five out of ten. And apologies for the wildly optimistic pre-season prediction that West Ham would finish sixth… written at the height of Payet-mania post Euros. We had a genius midfielder and a new world-class striker in Zaza. What could possibly go wrong? Click on the link to read. Now all we have to do is win at Burnley without Antonio, Carroll, Obiang, Kouyate, Reid, Noble and Sakho.

Saturday, May 20

Ricardo Vaz Te — he scores when he wants!

Hard to believe that yesterday was five years since West Ham beat Blackpool in the Play-off Final to secure promotion. Back in the days when we always believed in Carlton Cole, Kevin Nolan was hitting thumping volleys against the bar, Ricardo Vaz Te was the scoring sensation of the Championship and Nigel got to dance to Hi Ho Silver Lining