West Ham comfortably grew into their joint first preseason match of the year, dominating Ipswich by the end of it. Here’s how the players performed in their return to action!
Darren Randolph – 8/10: A calm and composed performance from the second-choice keeper, who was called upon early to make some terrific and important saves. The goal against wasn’t his fault while his rebounds and play from the back could use some tuning. No worry for West Ham with him in goal.
Conor Coventry – 7.5/10: Out of position but not looking out of his depth at all, Conor Coventry was terrific filling in as a fullback and even tacked on a terrific assist to the back post to Soucek to get a head on. Great tackling, solid defending, and only a slight improvement needed on decision making up the pitch!
Fabian Balbuena – 4/10: You can hang the opening goal on him for stepping up (with no need), not tackling the Ipswich attacker, and leaving his team and keeper out to dry. He also gave the ball away in the opening seconds and was shaky all around. Not a confidence builder and would be surprised if he stays with the team.
Aji Alese – 9/10: An absolute star in the making, Alese was completely comfortable and in control against a strong and fast Ipswich attack. He dominated the air, played the ball out well, and covered back for Cresswell with ease down the left flank. A real player it seems.
Aaron Cresswell – 5/10: Par for the course these days it would seem, but Cresswell’s speed and positioning were exposed out on the wing at both ends of the pitch. He didn’t hurt the team today, but he isn’t a starter anymore so filling this whole is a must ASAP!
Tomas Soucek – 6.5/10: He was missing Declan Rice beside him, but Soucek still managed to make up for some sloppy possession and passing by getting up in the attack and putting the ball in the net for the Hammers’ third goal. He grew into the game well.
Jack Wilshere – 4.5/10: Hoping for the best but proved wrong, Wilshere didn’t have it today at all. He was sat deeper but was still giving possession away freely and rarely pinged a ball forward in a positive way. Hard to see a way back for him into this team.
Andriy Yarmolenko – 6.5/10: He played well with Coventry and Anderson on the right side, and interplayed well with Haller up top. He tracked back, too, and still looks a threat to shoot or cross with that left boot.
Felipe Anderson – 7.5/10: It cannot be stated enough that Anderson looked liberated in a free-roaming #10 role. He worked well with both wingers, tracked back, covered both fullbacks, and was involved offensively, too. A great day for Anderson who was effective all match.
Grady Diangana – 9/10: Man-of-the-Match was a toss-up between Diangana and Alese because man, was this player a star. His first assist was absolute raw power and skill to dance along the goal line, and his second was calm, cool, and collected. Looks like our starter.
Sebastien Haller – 8/10: He scored a hattrick, what’s not to like? Well, his first two chances he struck directly at the keeper weren’t great, but he, like many others, grew into the game. When he had less time to think, Haller banged in the goals and that shows his instinct. This was one to build on for him.
David Moyes got it right for his team selection, shoe-horning in Coventry and starting Alese and Diangana. The quartet of Goncalo Cardoso, Dan Kemp, Alfie Lewis, and Mipo Odubeko all got run-outs too, proving the Academy is alive, well, and able to impact the team positively! What a strong start to the preseason for the Lads!