KUMB Player Rater 2008/09

West Ham United
Website KUMB looks back at the first team squad’s performances over the last nine months…

1. Rob Green (Goalkeeper)

Ever present (when selected) and a shoe-in for the vacant England spot now that David James is injured, it’s been a fine season for the former Norwich man. Bar one game (Bolton at home) he’s been in great form for practically the entire season and enhanced his stock further with yet more penalty saves (even if Steven Gerrard managed to convert one on the rebound).

Appearances: 43
Yellow/red cards: 0/0
Goals: 0
Man of the Match: Man City (a); Macclesfield (h); Blackburn (h); Portsmouth (h); Middlesbrough (a); WBA (h)
Overall Rating: 9/10

2. Lucas Neill (Defender)

The club captain’s future has been the source of much speculation with his current deal set to expire this summer – but that has not prevented him from finding the kind of form that persuaded Alan Curbishley to bring him to West Ham two-and-a-half years ago. A reasonable first half of the season has been followed by an excellent final half and many are now calling for his contract to be extended – none more so than Gianfranco Zola who recognises the imortant contribution his captain has made this term.

Appearances: 37
Yellow/red cards: 8/0
Goals: 1
Man of the Match: None
Overall Rating: 7/10

3. Herita Ilunga (Defender)

With George McCartney sent to Sunderland the Hammers had to act fast to find a replacement before the summer transfer window closed – but Gianluca Nani managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat with the signing, on loan, of Ilunga. After a tricky start in which he sometimes looked a yard off the pace the full-back went on to become one of Zola’s most consistent players. His attacking forays on the left flank were, at times, a joy to behold – and he managed to grab the headlines for himself on the rare occasion with a couple of goals. Popular with supporters thanks mainly to his willingness to engage (there’s a lesson to be learned there Radoslav) he signed a permanent deal back in January.

Appearances: 39
Yellow/red cards: 3/0
Goals: 2
Man of the Match: Bolton (h)
Overall Rating: 8/10

4. Danny Gabbidon (Defender)

It’s now getting on for two years since the Welshman last featured for the Hammers – but he expects to be back in contention next season having finally recovered from injury.

Appearances: 0
Yellow/red cards: 0/0
Goals: 0
Man of the Match: None
Overall Rating: 0/10

5. Walter Lopez (Defender)

A curious case – having been rejected by Alan Curbishley the club (Nani) ressurected the deal to sign Lopez in order to provide cover for Herita Ilunga (the club’s only left back following the sale of George McCartney). A lovely fella but his appearances have been few and far between with his only start coming in that ill-fated fixture Carling Cup against Watford – something that lends weight to the suggestion that Curbishley may have called this one right.

Appearances: 6
Yellow/red cards: 0/0
Goals: 0
Man of the Match: None
Overall Rating: 2/10

7. Kieron Dyer (Midfielder)

With more comebacks behind him than The Who, the former Ipswich winger managed to make just eight fleeting appeances for United this term. The broken ankle suffered nearly two years ago led to a series of minor niggles from which Dyer still doesn’t appear to have fully recovered. However Hammers fans should get the opportunity to see him try again next term as he still has two years remaining on his current (lucrative) contract.

Appearances: 8
Yellow/red cards: 0/0
Goals: 0
Man of the Match: None
Overall Rating: 3/10

8. Scott Parker (Midfielder)

Previously written off by many as an expensive waste of money, Parker was enjoying just about the best season of his career before it was cut short by injury in March – something that kept him out for the remainder of the season. Gianfranco Zola had seen enough however to offer Parker a new five-year deal which he signed despite some strong interest from Manchester City. At 28 he is entering the peak years of his career – now all he needs to do is stay fit.

Appearances: 32
Yellow/red cards: 8/0
Goals: 1
Man of the Match: Everton (h); Newcastle (a); Hartlepool (a); Hull (h); Arsenal (a); Man Utd (h); Bolton (a); Man City (h)
Overall Rating: 8/10

9. Dean Ashton (Striker)

The season started so promisingly for Ashton with a cracking goal in the 2-1 win over Wigan, and hopes were high amngst fans that he could once again become the force that he had hinted at for so long. However those dreams were shattered just weeks into the season when it was announced that his long-standing ankle issue was causing problems again, and nobody was that surprised when it was (eventually) announcd that he would not play again this year.

Appearances: 5
Yellow/red cards: 0/0
Goals: 2
Man of the Match: Wigan (h)
Overall Rating: 3/10

10. Savio Nsereko (Midfielder)

The Ugandan-born German’s capture has probably caused more controversy than any Hammers signing in recent years – not because of his obvious talent, but because of the circumstances in which he arrived. Billed by Jason Burt of the Independent as West Ham’s record signing (something later denied by the club as fans wondered ‘just where did West Ham get £9million from?’) Hammers fans were looking forward to watching this huge talent strut his stuff at the Boleyn. In the end we we treated to a handful of cameo appearances as our Euro hopes faded. Next season should be a different story entirely.

Appearances: 5
Yellow/red cards: 0/0
Goals: 0
Man of the Match: None
Overall Rating: 4/10

12. Carlton Cole (Striker)

What a season it’s been for the big striker. Featuring a new-found confidence attributed to his new boss, a player whose career has stuttered along for years finally found the form that most of his many managers believed he was capable of. A goal tally of 12 would no doubt have been increased had he not been forced to endure spells on the sideline as the result of injury and suspension; a call-up and first cap for England was the icing on the cake. Another who is entering the peak years of his career and a potential huge asset to the club.

Appearances: 32
Yellow/red cards: 3/2
Goals: 12
Man of the Match: WBA (a); Newcastle (h); Barnsley (h)
Overall Rating: 9/10

13. Luis Boa Morte (Midfielder)

It looked as if Boa Morte’s spell at West Ham was over back in January when it was announced that the club had given him permission to speak to Hull. But with the deal breaking down over personal terms (the Portugeezer apparently asking for far more than Hull could reasonably offer) he returned to East London where he performed a fairly astonishing u-turn in form – so much so that those very same fans who had previously booed him from the terraces ended the season doffing their caps. Whether he gets another opportunity to impress next term remains to be seen.

Appearances: 32
Yellow/red cards: 8/0
Goals: 0
Man of the Match: Chelsea (h)
Overall Rating: 6/10

14. Radoslav Kovac (Midfielder)

Brought in on loan due mainly to his arial ability and experience the Czech midfielder appeared to have a propensity to pass to anyone not in claret and blue during his short spell at the club. Passing ability aside however he put in some good shifts in the heart of midfield mainly as cover for the injured Scott Parker. Whether or not Zola and Clarke feel he is worth the £4million permanent deal the Hammers insisted upon as a condition of his loan deal remains to be seen.

Appearances: 10
Yellow/red cards: 2/0
Goals: 1
Man of the Match: None
Overall Rating: 6/10

15. Matthew Upson (Defender)

The big centre-half has grown in stature this season and has been at the heart of West Ham’s mean defence whilst having forced himself into England manager Fabio Capello’s thinking. No doubt there will be plenty of potential suitors this summer with him thus far having failed to agree an extension to his current contract (which has two years left to run).

Appearances: 41
Yellow/red cards: 2/0
Goals: 0
Man of the Match: None
Overall Rating: 9/10

16. Mark Noble (Midfielder)

A up and down season for the home grown Noble – something that is becoming symptomatic of his early career. Whilst he has performed admirable in many games consistency appears to be the issue for the England under 21, who is still some way short of nailing a first team spot when everyone is fit.

Appearances: 34
Yellow/red cards: 8/1
Goals: 5
Man of the Match: Fulham (a); Liverpool (h)
Overall Rating: 6/10

18. Jonathan Spector (Defender)

The American utility man saw the first half of his season written off through injury (the long-standing hip problem that threatened to end his career) but as per last season, Specs filled in ably when called upon thereafter. Having featured at right-back, centre half and centre midfield it seems that the super-sub role is where Zola and Clarke currently see him.

Appearances: 9
Yellow/red cards: 1/0
Goals: 0
Man of the Match: None
Overall Rating: 5/10

19. James Collins (Defender)

With the start of his season curtailed by serious injury (knee ligaments) it took the Ginger Pele a awhile to get going but he was a rock at the heart of a mean Hammers defence throughout January and February. Sadly his season was to end as it had finished, with Collins yet again back on the treatment table – which seems to be the story of career at the club so far.

Appearances: 21
Yellow/red cards: 4/0
Goals: 0
Man of the Match: Arsenal (a)
Overall Rating: 6/10

21. Valon Behrami (Midfielder)

Thw Swiss midfielder was linked with a number of clubs before finding his way to East London last summer in a deal said to be worth around £5million. After a fairly quiet start Behrami soon found his feet and was considered one of the first names on Zola’s team sheet before the unfortunate injury which wrecked his season at the beginning of March. Had it not done so the chances are he would be vying for Hammer of the Year.

Appearances: 27
Yellow/red cards: 5/0
Goals: 2
Man of the Match: Stoke (h); Man Utd (h)
Overall Rating: 7/10

24. Jan Lastuvka (Goalkeeper)

The former Fulham ‘keeper made only made one appearance during his season-long loan spell – that being in the Carling Cup defeat at Watford where he made a ricket for the only goal of the game. Now on his way back to Shaktar having been told he has no future at the club.

Appearances: 1
Yellow/red cards: 0/0
Goals: 0
Man of the Match: None
Overall Rating: 1/10

25. Diego Tristan (Striker)

Drafted in an emergency back-up to Cole and Ashton, even the veteran Tristan would have been surprised to have featured so often. A nice goal at Stoke aside, the most notable episode of his stay in London was when his car piled into the side of a taxi during the early hours with Tristan over the limit. Unless things are really desperate, the Spaniard is unlikely to be here next term.

Appearances: 17
Yellow/red cards: 0/0
Goals: 3
Man of the Match: None
Overall Rating: 4/10

30. James Tomkins (Defender)

Drafted into the side in February following the injury to James Collins, the youngster has performed well in the final third of season having began it on loan at Derby. Some mature performances at the heart of the Hammers defence have led to a timely call-up for the England under 21s.

Appearances: 15 (plus 8 for Derby)
Yellow/red cards: 1/1
Goals: 1
Man of the Match: WBA (h); Sunderland (h); Blackburn (a); Stoke (a)
Overall Rating: 7/10

31. Jack Collison (Midfielder)

A real ray of sunshine and proof once more than the fabled Academy is back to producing the very best. Collison had featured under Alan Curbishley but offered not a glimpse of the kind of form he has enjoyed this season. That form to led to a full international debut for Wales and he finished the season rejecting overtures to switch allegiances to England. Sadly the end of Collison’s season was ruined by a freak injury at Wigan although he came back to feature in the final couple of games.

Appearances: 24
Yellow/red cards: 2/0
Goals: 3
Man of the Match: Fulham (h)
Overall Rating: 8/10

32. David Di Michele (Striker)

The diminutive Italian couldn’t have got off to a better start than when hitting a brace against Newcastle in fellow Italian Zola’s first home game. Sadly that was as good as it got for the veteran striker who went on to miss a fair few howlers thereafter, and he will probably be remembered more for tying his shoelaces up in the opposing penalty area than some decent link-up play in and around the box.

Appearances: 34
Yellow/red cards: 5/0
Goals: 4
Man of the Match: Newcastle (h)
Overall Rating: 5/10

33. Freddie Sears (Striker)

Possibly the biggest disappointment of the season. Sears burst onto the scene at the tail end of last year kicking off his first team career with a debut goal against Blackburn before hitting the woodwork at Everton the following week. Sadly, despite having featured on 22 occasions this term (although mostly only for a few minutes here and there) he hasn’t been as close since and is set for a loan spell, presumably to the Championship, next season in an attempt to recapture the kind of form that once saw him billed as the country’s brightest young prospect.

Appearances: 22
Yellow/red cards: 0/0
Goals: 0
Man of the Match: None
Overall Rating: 4/10

46. Junior Stanislas (Midfielder)

Another bright spark, Stanislas’ name is no secret to those who keep a keen eye cast on the reserve and youth teams even if it was at Southend where he first began to capture attention with a sterling display against Chelsea in the Cup. Having returned to West Ham at the conclusion of his loan spell a series of injuries saw him thrust into the limelight – where he has never looked out of place. A couple of goals will no doubt have helped his confidence; he is another of whom much is expected next season.

Appearances: 9 (plus 9 for Southend)
Yellow/red cards: 1/0
Goals: 5 (2 for West Ham, 3 for Southend)
Man of the Match: None
Overall Rating: 6/10

For full first team squad click -> here !

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