The 2021/22 alumni had a great year, but who topped the class?

The school reports are in - who's got a gold star and who needs to try harder?

What a year for the class of 2021/22! There have been some standout matches and performances, amazing European nights and emotional moments to recall. 

Coming off the back of a fantastic season like 20/21 was always going to be hard; expectation was high and the statistics had been historic.

Despite another great season overall, there were only a few who managed to improve noticeably, but also very few who could be given detention for lack of effort. 

Lukasz Fabianski – B

Overall, Lukasz has been solid in goal this season and has been boosted by confident teammates in front of him. Unfortunately though, he managed eight clean sheets this term, which is two less than last year, and he did let in six more goals. However, there were no major errors to report, more saves overall and a whopping three penalty saves. Good effort Fab! 

Alphonse Areola – B

Alphonse was called upon for Europa League duty and excelled, winning Save of the Season from his fans for an incredible effort against Sevilla. In Europe he conceded eight goals and kept six clean sheets, which in 12 games isn’t bad at all. 

Aaron Cresswell – B

Aaron has a few lessons to take away from this term, but luckily he’s got very supportive classmates and fans behind him. He needs to learn that grabbing players by arms is not OK, but apart from that he’s a confident performer and someone that this team can’t do without. He netted a couple of times, which was great to see. 

Kurt Zouma – B

We feel that Kurt’s extra-curricular activities have let down his overall presence this term. To his credit he didn’t bring his off-field woes into class and was able to put in consistent, sometimes match-winning performances. But we need to know that we have a trustworthy team, so we hope to never see similar offenses committed.   

Vladimir Coufal – B-

We didn’t see as much of Vladimir this term mostly due to injury. And although he worked hard to get his place in the squad back, a little bit of the magic had gone. We can’t fault his commitment and team spirit, but he just didn’t have the impact we were hoping for after such a blistering season. 

Craig Dawson – A-

In his last report, we asked Craig to work on the smaller details of his game to cut out errors and he certainly did that. He’s been a star pupil this year. We’re coming off the back of an exceptional year, so it’s to be expected that overall stats are down. But he became more prolific in his clearances this year with 138 (and 87 last term). Well done Craig!  

Angelo Ogbonna – C

Angelo managed 11 appearances this term before being struck with a serious injury. We feel he was a big loss to the season and would have contributed to a more solid defence. However in those few games he did head in a goal and managed more average passes per game than last season. 

Issa Diop – C

There have been mixed performances from Issa this year, despite them being limited. Again, his inconsistency has proven to be his downfall, but there’s always potential for Issa to reach higher grades. 

Ryan Fredericks – D

It’s probably not fair to judge Ryan’s limited appearances against last season. With just seven games in the league, he made little impact through little fault of his own. Ryan will now move on in the summer and we hope he can apply his desire to play well elsewhere. 

Arthur Masuaku – C-

We could nearly copy Arthur’s report from last term. His inconsistency still haunts him, and his opportunities to shine have been few and far between. In one more league appearance this season than last, he’s had less success going forward but had a little more positive impact at the back. 

Ben Johnson – B+

Ben has been called upon to fill some big boots this year and has managed really well. He looks more experienced than his age and has gained strength over the last year. His classmates all like working with him because he gives his all. We really hope Ben will continue to climb the ladder to the top of the class. 

Pablo Fornals – B-

Pablo is a joy to have around and has made some major contributions this term. He netted six times in the league and created far more chances this year than last. His passion for the club is infectious and he’s earned himself a chant, which is all you need to be considered a VIP (Very Important Pupil). That’s not to say he’s been perfect, but we hope to see more from him next year. 

Manuel Lanzini – B-

We’ve seen a change in Manuel this season, he’s really been working on his defensive and hold up play and the results have been clear to see on the pitch. He’s fitted in well with the needs of the rest of his class and that’s given him more appearances, more goals and more assists. Well done Manu! 

Nikola Vlasic – D

Nikola is a quiet pupil who has the potential to be a really useful substitute. We’ll have a word with management for next term because ideally we’d see him in front of goal more often. His only goal this season showed us that he can think one step ahead, but his stats (and grades) don’t reflect his ability. 

Mark Noble – Special Recognition Award

Well, what can we say about Mark as he departs for graduation – despite only managing 23 overall appearances, his influence has been mighty. He has encouraged his classmates, represented the club and lived the dream. We’re so sorry to see him leave. 

Tomas Soucek – B

Tomas was head of the class last term, but maybe that put too much pressure on him? We still absolutely admire his team spirit and his tenacity, but we need to see the same kind of application we saw last year. If a few goals go in early next term, we might see the confident Tomas return. 

Alex Kral – D

Alex was a willing class member but used mostly for cup outings, appearing six times in all. He looks to be bonding well with his classmates, but we have very little to judge his on-the-field ability by. 

Declan Rice – A-

Declan is a star pupil, again. He continues to grow into his role as a class captain, whilst bossing the midfield for club and country. We can see how much effort he’s put into his defensive work, with his stats showing more recoveries, more duels won and more tackles. If he continues this form, he’ll win more accolades next term. 

Andriy Yarmolenko – C

We’re proud of Andriy for everything he’s achieved whilst having a tough time off the field. He played a major part in one of the class’s best moments which gave him lots of stars on the chart. He sometimes needed to apply himself more during games, but we’re sorry to see Andriy leave and wish him well. 

Michail Antonio – B-

Michail wrote himself into the West Ham history books this year and we’re really pleased he did. We feel sometimes his confidence is lacking but admire his spirit and level headed approach. With 13 goals and 11 assists he played a solid part in the season overall, we’d just love to see more consistent goalscoring next term. 

Jarrod Bowen – A+

There aren’t enough positive adjectives to describe Jarrod’s year. He’s been a superstar on the pitch. Scoring 18 goals in total, that puts him top of the charts. He’s got a 23% goal conversion rate and is on the top of the pile for goals per game. Gold star Jarrod, can’t wait to see more next year. 

Said Benrahma – B-

We really like having Said as an option to play. He gives energy and good options for his classmates on the pitch. He could still work on his desire to hold on to the ball or shoot too early, but he did settle into the team more this term. 

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