Clean Sheets and Positive West Ham Player Ratings

West Ham striker Sebastien Haller. (Photo by CATHERINE IVILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
West Ham striker Sebastien Haller. (Photo by CATHERINE IVILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

A scrappy match on a rainy Bramall Lane saw West Ham secure back-to-back clean sheets in a full team effort, topping Sheffield United and climbing the table.

A long international break had every right to derail and justify a quelling of momentum, but West Ham drilled down and created plenty of chances against an energetic Sheffield United team. A confidence-boosting goal and strong individual performances highlight this match’s player ratings.

Lukasz Fabianski – 9/10: The Polish keeper looked sharp in this match, making five saves on Sheffield’s goal-scoring chances including a few highlight-reel diving deflections. His distribution was a shade off in the first half but that is nit-picking. Strong match and consecutive clean sheets for the keeper.

Vladimir Coufal – 7/10: Coming off of a strong international break, Coufal was back to his regular self on the pitch, pressing well and looking for crosses to send into the box, and sprinting back in defensive coverage. Delivery wasn’t great today, though, so room to improve.

Fabian Balbuena – 7/10: It was a quiet match for the Paraguayan who many (myself included) thought would be rested after a late return to London, but he showed up and played well. Two aerial duels won, and one tackle to his name for a solid outing.

Angelo Ogbonna – 8/10: The heart of West Ham’s defensive core was thankfully fit enough to play and it was a display of more no-nonsense defending. His ability to nullify the opposition’s attacks simply by dominating the air on long balls up the middle defines his effectiveness.

Aaron Cresswell – 8/10: I never thought I’d be clapping along this team filtering everything through a centre-back let alone Cresswell, but here we are. His delivery was solid and he works well with Masuaku down the left. Long live the renaissance!

Arthur Masuaku – 7/10: The knee injury that kept Masuaku home from international duty is still lingering and showing effects. Still, the Congolese fullback muscled out a solid match and is continuing to improve on the defensive side of the ball.

Declan Rice – 9/10: If there is a better defensive midfielder in the Premier League please show me, because match after match the 21-year-old looks completely at ease running this team and protecting the ball as well as he does. Presence moving forward and discipline defensively, Rice is the ultimate midfielder right now.

Tomas Soucek – 7/10: This rating comes down to a missed chance for the opening goal. On net and it was a goal, squared and Bowen couldn’t miss, Soucek did neither and the chance passed him by. He didn’t let it bother him, though, as he was a force in the air and the midfield as usual.

Jarrod Bowen – 7/10: His speed and control make him an absolute dynamite winger but decision making and finishing saw him extinguish a few solid chances for himself and his teammates. He’s still a no-brainer to start in this team, but he can elevate his game still.

Pablo Fornals – 7/10: Call it rust from the international break, but Fornals wasn’t as adept as he usually is in stoking the offensive fire for West Ham. His scuffed shot ended up being the chance that Haller would score to win the match, but his touch was loose and he looked a little out of practice. Like Bowen, there is room to improve here.

Sebastien Haller – 8/10: The hate on Haller online is insane, and he shut a lot of haters up by playing centrally and slamming home a wonderfully struck goal to seal three points away from home. His enthusiasm-less celebration suggests he has more work to do and he clearly does, but why not support the player instead of slate him? He did a lot more right in this match than wrong, hopefully, he can continue on!

Next. Haller’s Hammer Strike Enough For West Ham. dark

A win away from home with Haller scoring and a clean sheet at a ground we’ve had no success at is an absolute win, especially off the back of the international break. David Moyes is getting this team in consistent shape and the climb up the table is on!