Player Grades From West Ham’s Final Cup Match of the Season

West Ham defender Vladimir Coufal. (Photo by MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
West Ham defender Vladimir Coufal. (Photo by MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

West Ham drop out of the FA Cup, not on the back of a poor performance but at the hands of poor investment. Here are the player grades from what was the final cup match of the Hammers’ season.

A note on the performance. Defensively, West Ham put forward a terrific effort, shutting the door on every Manchester United advance, barring the not recycled play that generated the only goal. Only five shots against, and most benign, signals a strong game from the entire team.

Going forward, however, the team was predictably hamstring. No Michail Antonio, no speed, no physicality, and no goals as a result. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes GSB.

Lukasz Fabianski – 7/10: He was there when needed and the only ball to slot past him was a volley from close range that he saw late due to traffic in his area. He had some good claims, too, but his delivery was poor in the end, killing possession.

West Ham’s lack of cup success continues as their FA Cup run comes to a predictable end.

Vladimir Coufal – 7/10: It was another solid showing from Vlad in this game, who had to contend with Donny Van de Beek and kept him quiet. His chemistry with Fredericks was pretty poor in the end and his crossing needed to come over driving to the goal line.

Craig Dawson – 9/10: Nearly the hero as regular time expired, Dawson’s header just wasn’t strong enough and was parried wide by the Manchester United defender. With Ogbonna’s injury, he stepped up huge to control the game. Monstrous showing.

Angelo Ogbonna – N/A: A perfectly timed tackle from Ogbonna took a wonderful chance away from Anthony Martial, but his follow through on the chance was studs up and took the Hammer of the Year out of the game in what could be a devastating injury. This would be a season-altering loss.

Aaron Cresswell – 6/10: We didn’t see much of Cresswell in this game, but he was still fine in both ends of the pitch. Without a recognized striker Cresswell only had the delayed runs of Tomas Soucek to aim for and was also called back defensively when our shape changed. Nothing crazy here from Cress.

Declan Rice – 9/10: Yes, his poor touch ended up leading to the goal against, but before that error Rice was outclassing everyone on the pitch on both teams. He was calm and composed with the ball and was playing every position. He’ll be devasted with the loss, but it isn’t hung on him.

Mark Noble – 7/10: We all expected Noble to play in this match, but for him to play the entire 120 minutes of this extra time match was a complete curveball, especially with five subs! Noble also played a very good game in his do-everything style and also had a few chippy interactions.

Tomas Soucek – 6/10: This just wasn’t the game for Soucek to really get involved. He didn’t have a position with Noble on the pitch and was being looked at as a centre-forward too often to have the impact of a delayed midfield runner. Too much to put on the big man.

Jarrod Bowen – 5/10: Bowen was barely noticeable in the first half and was taken off at halftime. To his defence, he had no support and was sacrificed in order to make a formation change. He has been missing his spark lately and needs to get it back on track.

Pablo Fornals – 6/10: Despite the commentators commenting about how awful Fornals was in this match, he actually wasn’t bad at all. He did step up his game in the second half after switching to a five at the back formation, but the effort was always there. He needed to play that pass earlier, though!

Andriy Yarmolenko – 3/10: He just isn’t a striker and showed it in this match. Yarmolenko is at his best when he’s in a one-on-one with a fullback and able to use his dribbling to create space to shoot. He can do none of this when he’s an isolated striker in a counterattacking team. Plus he got injured, which is never good.


The FA Cup allows for five subs, and despite our bench having five defenders on it, David Moyes still used all five subs and a concussion sub for Issa Diop at halftime who replaced Ogbonna in the 16th minute. The formation change dictated the moves the manager had to make.

Other than Diop for Ogbonna, Moyes swapped Bowen for Ben Johnson and Ryan Fredericks for Diop at half time to move to a five-at-the-back formation. Yarmolenko, who picked up a knock, was subbed off in the 54th minute giving Mipo Odubeko a massive chance, Said Benrahma replaced Fornals in the 88th minute, and Mipo was replaced by Lanzini in the 112th minute.

West Ham Knocked Out Of FA Cup By Manchester United. dark. Next

Moyes will likely admit he should have used the wingback formation from the start of this match, but he played a 4-3-3 to combat a strong midfield and it did work defensively. Offensively, without Jesse Lingard and Michail Antonio, this team was unable to produce and as a result, have dropped out of the FA Cup.