Cresswell used to be one of the first names on the team sheet, but after this season it is likely his position at West Ham will be in jeopardy.
It has been a year of rapid decline for West Ham’s left-back Aaron Cresswell. The start of the season the 30-year-old looked like he was back to his best after two years of inconsistent form following a bad injury.
Cresswell scored some crucial goals for the Hammers in his early-season form. The defender scored the winning goal against Chelsea in a vital 1-0 away win which will be remembered for David Martin‘s heroic between the goalposts. Cresswell also scored a terrific free-kick against Manchester United in a great 2-0 win at the London Stadium.
Despite how good these highs were, Cresswell’s defending ability has dropped dramatically throughout the season. First, his errors led to Arthur Masuaku taking the starting spot from him for a short period. Cresswell did reclaim his spot after Masuaku seemed equally capable of disastrous moments at the back.
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Sadly, however, the Cresswell that returned to the starting eleven was not the same one that had earned an England cap during his time at the club. Instead, the Cresswell that return struggled continuously and was often at fault for failings in the West Ham defence. He was even spared the blushes of a bizarre own goal against Norwich by VAR.
Angelo Ogbonna and Pablo Fornals at times have had to cover some defensive duties that Cresswell had forgotten about. Fornals was the most affected by this as an attacking player, who at times seemed to be playing as a second left-back to provide support for the out of sorts former Ipswich man.
Another blow that Cresswell took was the apparent loss of the vice-captaincy at West Ham. It had become accustomed that when Mark Noble was not on the pitch, Cresswell would be given the responsibility. By the end of the season, this was not the case and that honour passed to Hammer of the Year Declan Rice.
Season Grade – D+
Overall, Cresswell has had a season to forget about and could find his place under threat should David Moyes sign a new left-back to challenge for the starting spot. It is more likely Masuaku will be sold out of the pair, and this is why Cresswell will still be at the club come next season.
The only reason Cresswell’s rating is not lower is due to the goals he has scored this season. The 30-year-old will need to spend the off-season looking for that ‘magic hat’ he has seemed to have misplaced.