As the curtains close on West Ham’s third season at the London Stadium, the teachers sharpen their pencils once again and write home about their pupils. Some are teachers’ pets. Some are at the bottom of the class. Some have such a split personality that they require more than one report to be written. The class of 18/19 finished strongly as a team and climbed their way to a top half finish. But how did the individuals rank in such a rollercoaster season?
Lukasz Fabianski – A
Despite being one of the newest students in east London, Lukasz didn’t put a foot wrong and earned himself the Hammer of the Year award. He was a shining example to his classmates both around him and in classes above him. Making 148 saves this season, he’s been the best newcomer to the class and is highly spoken about by his peers. Keep up the good work, but don’t get complacent!
Adrian San Miguel – C
Our favourite Spanish student had a quiet season, but his ability to be a positive, supportive team player wasn’t lost by his lack of opportunity to shine on the field. In four appearances he got three clean sheets – that’s a good enough record for a good passing grade.
Aaron Cresswell – C+
This perhaps wasn’t his most successful season in the claret and blue school. Injury hampered what could have been a great opportunity for Aaron to cement his place at left-back. Perhaps the fear of further injury hindered subsequent performances. Come back next season with more confidence!
Fabián Balbuena – B
Fabián made more clearances than the rest of his classmates this season, putting in solid performances that gave everyone confidence in his ability. He was in the right place at the right time to score his first goal in claret and blue. We’ll be pleased to welcome Fabián back for another year.
Pablo Zabaleta – B-
As one of the oldest in the class, Pablo used his wisdom to spread calmness throughout his defense. In fact, we’re pleased to have him extending his stay with us for another year. We love having Pablo around in the dressing room and he still has something to offer.
Angelo Ogbonna – C
Angelo has struggled with consistency this term. He undoubtedly has abilities as a strong defender, but can be a little on the slow side. He hasn’t had an awful season when making an appearance, but has classmates around him who are more likely to be picked to play. He could work on decisiveness and reaction time over the summer.
Issa Diop – B-
We were so pleased that Issa Diop was able to maintain a 100% attendance record up until April. Good effort! Unfortunately, form dipped a little towards the latter end of the season and grades slipped (we think Master Mourinho’s praise may have put too much pressure on him). But we’re confident that he can come back next season and replicate the form of earlier in the year.
Ryan Fredericks – B
Ryan has been known to frequent the referees book a little too often, but that hasn’t been an issue for him this term. After a slow start to the season, he has been one of the most impressive in his class. His pace has been evident and he topped off the year with a near perfect performance against Southampton. We can’t wait to see what Ryan has to offer next season!
Arthur Masuaku – C
An improvement on last season, but Arthur still leaves a little to be desired in a defensive position. His classmates have become accustomed to his brilliant forward abilities, but he needs to concentrate on matters further down the field. But a decent effort all the same.
Manuel Lanzini – C
Through no fault of his own, one of our favourite pupils was absent for most of this season through injury. The few games he was able to play showed that he was missed by his teammates, but he wasn’t able to fully shine. We have no doubt he’ll come back fighting in 19/20.
Robert Snodgrass – B+
Robert has become an important name on the team-sheet. To go from being mocked by fans to coming back to class and proving people wrong is nothing short of inspiring. We feel he has potential to score more goals. Having said that, he’s not shy to help his classmates get on the score sheet themselves, which is an honorable quality.
Pedro Obiang – D
Pedro has had a few poor performances this season. He’s not the most reliable pupil in the class. His passing ability needs work. I’m sorry to say that Pedro may be surplus to requirements if he fails extra classes in the summer.
Mark Noble – B
This class simply could not be without Mark. He’s not the most skillful pupil or the most reliable, but he’s the backbone of the group. There have been some notably brilliant performances and goals by Mark this season, which is delightful after a less impressive previous season. Well done Mark, keep up the good work!
Samir Nasri – D
Failed to make an impact but still made a good effort to fit into the squad at the beginning of the season. In five appearances he got two assists, which isn’t bad going. Unfortunately, injury ended his year early and his attitude towards his superiors hasn’t been acceptable.
Jack Wilshere – C-
We saw Jack eight times this year and he tried his best. He showed positive passing skills and has the ability to read his classmates well. We didn’t expect too much of Jack this year as we understand his previous injury record. Don’t be too hard on yourself!
Declan Rice – A-
It’s been a tough year for Declan but he’s dealt with the pressure well. We couldn’t be without him and as one of the youngest in his class he has great confidence and ability. A future Hammer of the Year and captain, for sure.
The pre-January transfer window Marko Arnautovic – B+
This Marko continued his positive play from last season and was a great asset to the class, scoring four in six before the end of September. This led him to be the top scorer. We look forward to seeing more of Marko as he leads the whole school in the right direction.
The post-January transfer window Marko Arnautovic – D
There’s so much room for improvement from Marko. His attitude needs to improve to be able to reach his full potential. His teachers and peers know he can be the key player in this team, he just needs to decide if this is the path he wants to take. We suggest to seek career guidance.
Felipe Anderson – B
Felipe will go down as one of our most improved pupils throughout 2018/19. He struggled to settle with his new teammates and in a new league but started to show signs of turning that around half way through the year. There’s still plenty to learn, Felipe shouldn’t get complacent but he has the ability to soak up the culture of the league and be a valuable part of this club.
Chicharito – C-
We like Javier, he’s a nice man to have around. However, he’s struggled to settle this year. We needed him to be a team player and to come off the bench to help his classmates, but perhaps his state-of-mind affected his goal-scoring abilities. We expected a higher grade from Chicha this year.
Andriy Yarmolenko – C
We were so close to being able to award Andriy a B, but injury brought his season to an abrupt end. He looked like he was going to be an exciting player and was just getting into a flow with his classmates. An unlucky season but he’s still wins a good grade.
Lucas Pérez – D-
After what we can only put down as a “misunderstanding” between teacher and pupil earlier in the year, Lucas doesn’t seem to want to hang around in this school for much longer. We’re sorry to say, he won’t be missed.
Michail Antonio – B-
Michail is such a team player! His smile is infectious and he just loves to play football – that shines through and has a positive impact on his teammates. He could work on his technique to become a more polished player, but we can’t fault his dedication and goal scoring ability.
Grady Diangana – B-
We’ve been delighted to follow Grady’s journey and graduation to the first team. This term has seen his first Premier League start, his first assist and he scored two goals in the League Cup. He’s appeared against both Manchester clubs and looked comfortable. We look forward to seeing more of Grady next term.
Andy Carroll – F
Did not attend.