‘We loved King Arthur’s nature but he wasn’t the most loved on the pitch’

With Masuaku's reign at West Ham seemingly over, we look back at his time in claret and blue

Arthur Masauku (WHU) at the Arsenal v West Ham United EPL match, at the Emirates Stadium, London, UK on 11th December, 2021.

We’re down the table and now down a King with left back-cum-winger Arthur Masuaku having been sent out on a season-long loan, with an option to buy, to Turkish side BeÅŸiktaÅŸ.

The affable DR Congo international joined us way back in August 2016, under manager Slaven Bilić, and made 105 appearances and scored two goals – including one of the best ‘freak’ wonder-goals of our generation. And during his time with us, the 28-year-old has shown himself to be a fairly versatile player who can play left-back, left wing-back, and left winger – all of which he did while at West Ham.

The trouble is, he never seemed to settle in or own any particular role, and faced more and more stiff competition from his West Ham colleagues.  With Aaron Cresswell at left-back, Ben Johnson coming through the ranks, and the signing of Italy international Emerson Palmieri and Ivorian international Maxwel Cornet who, like Masuaku, can both play left-back and left wing-back, has left no room in the inn, or on the bench, for Arthur Masuaku.

Memorable moments

These permanent signings would suggest Masuaku is permanently surplus to requirements, but there may be hope for him yet given how poorly the current supplies are performing. He’s been a good-natured part of West Ham’s team, with some memorable moments in a claret and blue shirt – although not always on the pitch.

He accidentally became somewhat of a viral sensation for his heavy accent when talking to a fan from his car window; and inadvertently saying a bit of a swear at her.  Confusion seemed to be key with Masuaku, with arguably his best moment playing for us including his trademark good nature and humour.

After scoring an incredible match-winning goal in the dying minutes against Chelsea that no one, not even the man himself, saw coming, he took to Twitter to say: ‘So, was it a cross or was it a shot? (hint: I was as surprised as you),’ followed by laughing emojis.

His time at the club has not been without controversy, however. Although Masuaku was often seen as a jovial and good-humored player, he lost his temper in 2018 against Wigan and was sent off for spitting at Nick Powell. This was the first red card of his career, and it left an impact. Not only did it send West Ham down to 10 men and out of the FA Cup, Masuaku also received a six match ban and apologised saying the incident was ‘totally out of character’.

Frustrated

Fans were extremely frustrated by his behavior and it gave way to some of the other frustrations they felt towards him. While fans loved King Arthur’s nature (and his tweets) he wasn’t always the most loved player on the pitch. He could be critiqued for losing the ball, losing concentration, and letting in preventable goals.  

He’s a player who worked hard to come back from injury; but he never worked as a ‘Moyes player’ and just didn’t seem to fit in this modern Moyes side – a side who are absolutely drowning in the league at the time of writing, and are in need of an excalibur moment themselves.

Whether we will see Arthur an Iron again is unsure; but we’ll be grateful long into the future for the smiles, the laughs, and that stunning ‘goal-or-cross’ from the ‘winger-or-defender’ during his time in east London.

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