Player Grades from West Ham’s Poor Effort Against Brighton

West Ham United's Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek. (Photo by PAUL CHILDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
West Ham United's Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek. (Photo by PAUL CHILDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

A nearly unwatchable effort from West Ham at home against Brighton has some predictably poor player grades from an unearned draw by the Hammers.

A horribly defensive, slow, and uninspired team selection by David Moyes saw West Ham start second best in their first of three matches in six days. An inspired second-half comeback x 2 was needed and rescued an embarrassing game for the Hammers.

Lukasz Fabianski – 6/10: Not a lot to do for Fabianski as both goals were created by poor West Ham defending rather than Brighton’s creativity. Still, his distribution leaves much to be desired at times, and he needs to come off his line quicker.

Vladimir Coufal – 5/10: Brighton chose to attack down Coufal’s flank in this match and he was often overwhelmed and caught out, creating space for Brighton’s opening goal and a few other chances. His crossing was also off in this match, but he’ll surely bounce back.

Fabian Balbuena – 7/10: Quite early in this match Balbuena was no-nonsense in his defensive coverage and clearances of Brighton’s attempts to stretch the play over the top. He covered well and repelled aerial threats well, too. No goals can be hung on him either. Strong showing.

Angelo Ogbonna – 7/10: The only mistake in Ogbonna’s game was getting congested with Declan Rice on the opening goal for Brighton, both players moved in unison creating the shooting lane for Neal Maupay. Other than that, Ogbonna looked dominant in the air and showed off his speed tracking back on a few solid breaks by the Seagulls.

Aaron Cresswell – 7/10: A great delivery saw Tomas Soucek level the score late in this match all because Cresswell put a flat delivery into a dangerous area that rattled in eventually. He is much better at a left-centreback where he can roam with support on either side, so Johnson has to stay in the team as a result.

Ben Johnson – 9/10: A massive congratulations to Ben Johnson so netted his first Premier League goal of his career in this match. The Hammers’ first goal was a well-recovered cross by Lanzini who found Johnson in the box to rattle in the goal. He played extremely well on his offside in an unnatural position but needs more poise on the ball rather than just panic clearing.

Declan Rice – 5/10: The lowest rating for Rice this season and maybe ever. He was very uncharacteristically slow as his head dropped almost instantly on every negative play. He doesn’t seem to work well with Noble on the pitch anymore possible because he doesn’t captain the team in that situation. Hopefully, it was a one-off poor showing.

Tomas Soucek – 9/10: Not only did Soucek bundle in the late equalizer for the Hammers, but he was also a constant battler in the midfield on every aerial ball that came in his direction. He is as reliable as they come and seems to always score important goals.

Mark Noble – 3/10: He didn’t need to start this match at central attacking mid when Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini were fit, but he did and appropriately looked out of position. If he touched the ball ten times in the first half I would be surprised. Noble isn’t a starter anymore and it is showing.

Jarrod Bowen – 5/10: Nothing against Bowen in this match, he was simply played far too isolated and removed prematurely from the match at half time. If Bowen and Haller were both strikers in this match, how Haller survived the half-time sub is beyond me. Bowen ran his socks off in this match and had a couple of good chances. Poor sub of him.

Sebastien Haller – 4/10: His hold up play was non-existent especially because he was played alone and also because he refused to jump against Lewis Dunk when the ball was in the air. His presence was noted on set pieces, but no crosses to him meant no chances for him. Another strike against the club-record signing.


Two of three substitutions were made, which is inexcusable when playing Brighton at home. They were made at halftime which was good as they were needed, but with three games in quick succession, you need to give players a chance to get warm and others a chance to recover.

Next. West Ham Fight Back To Salvage Point Against Bogey Brighton. dark

That being said, Manuel Lanzini was West Ham’s best player in this match with his 45-minute cameo, and Andriy Yarmolenko looked dangerous with the ball at his feet, whether he was going to shoot, cross, or dribble. Lanzini should get the praise and subsequent start next week after his strong game and crucial assist, but Yarmolenko needs more minutes too.