West Ham Squad - Keep or Chuck? Pt 2

Mark Noble - Looked over the hill last season, but with Big Dec Energy now beside him he’s looking more like his old influential self.

While there’s no denying that Nobes is even slower than he used to be, one-footed as ever and only scores penalties – there’s also no denying we play like chicken nuggets when he’s absent.

Personally, I believe that the day Mr West Ham leaves the London Stadium it will usher in the apocalypse, so there’s only one thing for it: give him a 42,000-year contract.

When he leaves this mortal realm, pickle his corpse in jellied eels so we can wheel him on at half time every time the lads forget the West Ham Way. KEEP UNTIL THE SUN EXPLODES

Manuel expertly guiding his captain through a particularly nasty case of heartburn.

Felipe Anderson - Started off looking like a luxury winger with a luxury left-back behind him, as West Ham lost four on the bounce at the start of the season. Responded by scoring more goals and making more tackles than any other Hammers player. Needs to hit the target more often, but currently the only squad member in possession of the sauce known round these parts as “different gravy.” KEEP

Jack Wilshere - After Andy Carroll, he represents the third incarnation of Kieron Dyer. Whichever joker signed off his medical* deserves a regular spot on Mock The Week. CHUCK, INCREDIBLY GENTLY

*Same guy who signed Nasri’s presumably

Robert Snodgrass - Scrappy Bob found his level at Hull and Villa and hasn’t quite made the grade at West Ham. The Irons would miss his bare-knuckle bite in a relegation dogfight, but there are plenty of better midfielders in the top half of the table. CHUCK

Michail Antonio - Whereas most players have a preferred position, Micky mucks in wherever you need somebody bruising and fast who dances like your uncle.

While his athleticism has always been obvious, there is a suspicion that intellectually he’s a few fries short of a Happy Meal. Perhaps if he just got his preferred position nailed down he wouldn’t seem so confused all the time.

Took donkeys’ years to remember how to kick after an ankle knock, but now he’s shaken that off he’s arguably our best forward. KEEP

Marko Arnautovic - One of football’s great dilemmas: the Man-Child Prodigy.

Weirdest thing about his mid-season attempt to pull a Payet was that if he’d done it last term it would have been perfectly understandable. Under the Moysiah, Arnie had to play every single forward position on his tod, as the rest of the team soaked up artillery fire in a 9-0-1 formation.

Another coded 'come and get me' plea to the far East, the brilliant swine.

But just when he was starting to get a little help from Anderson, Antonio and co, he publicly declared he didn’t have enough Chow Mein in his life. Promptly spent the next few games blubbering like he’d dropped his ice-cream, he’s probably more to blame than anyone for another bottom-half finish.

Unlikely to be worth even a third of what Shanghai were offering for the 29-year-old, it looks like we’re stuck with him now that he’s on a strict diet of humble pie. Which is great, paradoxically, cos he’s mint. KEEP

Andriy Yarmolenko - Looked entertaining enough before he got injured, like a two-legged giraffe with a twinkle in his eye and a rabbit in his hat. KEEP

Manuel Lanzini - Our club doctor’s waiting room has been an Aladdin’s cave of riches this season, with none shinier than the man they call “The Jewel.” Barely featured this season, but if Pellegrini had one wish it would probably be for a little creative wizard at No.10 to sprinkle some magic passes around. KEEP

Grady Diangana - Might have got a liiiiiitle bit carried away after he scored twice on his senior debut. The rookie winger’s love of a dribble makes him part unknown quantity, part blatant liability. Manuel’s been managing his game time brilliantly, so that he doesn’t risk losing too many matches before he learns how to win them.

Needs to repay the boss’s faith next season - those 7th and 8th goals against Macclesfield remain his only netbusters to date. Feed him the different gravy. KEEP

Chicharito - Sick of hearing about his goals-in-the-box record. He scored most of those for Man United back in the Neolithic Era. Always gets a screw face on when we don’t score enough, never stops to think whose fault that could possibly be? Get in the sea, Little Pea. CHUCK.

Lucas Perez - Has a Champions League hat-trick on his CV which suggests there might be a player in there. The fact that he's only managed four Premier League goals in two years suggests that player is Marouane Chamakh. CHUCK

Andy Carroll - What we wanted was an old-school number 9 with a forehead made of granite and a point to prove. What we got was a millennial freelancer with a ponytail and a hobo beard who was “not that into football, actually, buddy.”

Shandy Carroll’s time in East London has been more of a brewery tour than a football career. Nobody’s saying the injuries have been minor, but the hangovers can’t have helped.

"Howay Man-uel! Do us another contract you radge bastard."

Averaged 11 games a season, on £90K a week. But we’ll never forget that bicycle against Palace, or that time he nutted Sweden into the mid-Atlantic.

Fittingly, Big Andy completed Saturday’s lap of honour on crutches. Off to the MLS if rumours are to be believed, he’s vaguely interested in the Portland Flat Whites. CHUCK

Samir Nasri - Smaller than you imagined and missing vital parts - don’t let your scouts order off Gumtree when they’re drunk. CHUCK

Jordan Hugill - The worst West Ham signing of my lifetime? Possibly.

He is a barely quarter-full away stand, a game of head tennis that lasts 6 minutes, a serious debate about David Nugent’s prowess in front of goal - he is the living embodiment of Championship.

Played all of 22 mins last season and has shown what he’s all about on loan with six in 37 games for Boro this term. We’ve got him contracted for another 3 years. £10m, FFS Moyesy... CHUCK, ENLISTING THE HELP OF STEVE BACKLEY TO ENSURE MAXIMUM DISTANCE FROM STRATFORD.

Xande Silva - Not going to pretend to be an expert here based on his 17 PL minutes to date but Long John’s career stats don’t make the sweetest reading. Five years into a pro career almost exclusively spent in the Portuguese second tier, he’s got a whopping 5 goals to his name at a cool 1 in 17 strike rate. At 22 years old, I’m not holding out a whole heap of hope for this one. CHUCK.

Miss out on Part 1? Head this way to see which of West Ham's defenders and keepers we'd keep.

George Utley
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All images - PA. Stats via WhoScored.


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