Supporting West Ham can take its toll on the strongest of minds, the repeated promises followed by the most heart breaking of failures.
This goes from choking a place in the Champions League by losing 4-1 to Swansea in the penultimate game at Upton Park, to fighting relegation since moving to the taxpayer paid Olympic Stadium. These are the most recent of let downs West Ham have put their noble fans through, and this flop eleven will revolve around their most recent promotion to the Premier League in 2012.
If you are of a nervous disposition, look away now!
Manager: Sam “Allardycio” AllardyceEmbed from Getty Images
Sam Allardyce did have his good moments, from winning promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking and keeping the Hammers in the the league during his time in charge. However, this was marred by some of his arrogant antics, from cupping his ears to the fans while being booed after beating Norwich 2-1 despite how dreadfully they had played. Allardyce reacted angrily to fans calling for some youth players to be given a chance by playing what seemed to be all of them against Nottingham Forrest in the FA Cup in which the Hammers were beaten 5-0. He defended his selection by arguing he was prioritising the league cup fixture against Manchester City later that week. He lost that game 6-0.
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart
West Ham have usually been in safe hands when signing goalkeepers, and fans were jubilant at the loan signing of the England number one Joe Hart. However this quickly dissipated. He was looking to prove a point to Pep Guardiola, and he failed abysmally as he conceded an average of over two goals per game. He also conceded four goals in three occasions in his 14 games for West Ham. Thankfully, Spanish goalkeeper Adrian has replaced him.
Left back: Pablo ArmeroEmbed from Getty Images
Pablo Armero signed on loan from Italian giants Napoli with the Hammers in 2014. At first, people thought he would finally fix a problem position for the Hammers and would add some quality as he would bring some pace and skill from defence. However it could not be further from the truth as he was not able to displace the ageing George McCartney or Joey O’Brien, and he only made five appearances for the club before departing.
Left Centre Back: Roger ‘the relegator” JohnsonEmbed from Getty Images
Oh Roger Johnson where do we start? Johnson was brought in to help solve West Ham’s injury crisis and help in their relegation battle, despite being having three previous relegations under his belt. His debut did not help his case either, as West Ham lost 6-0 to Manchester City in the League Cup. He only made three more appearances for West Ham after that, his highlight at the club will forever remain Mark Noble putting him as the ‘relegator’ on Soccer AM’s club crossbar challenge.
Right Centre Back: Jose FonteEmbed from Getty Images
Now this is a curious one as there are many worse performers than Fonte, however at the age of 33 West Ham signed him for a staggering £8 million which was funded by the sale of star player Dimitri Payet. Fonte did not endear himself to the fans on his debut, as it was a 0-4 hammering by Manchester City in which he conceded a penalty. His performances improved this season before a foot injury in November put him out of action, which he is still yet to return from.
Right Back: Alvaro ArbeloaEmbed from Getty Images
Alvaro Arbeloa was bought in order to provide experience for Sam Byram to learn from and also to stop Michail Antonio playing at right back after his disastrous spell there. However, he made Antonio look as solid as Philip Lahm. Having the turning circle as big as a lorry and the speed of ageing snail, he quickly became a forgotten man at the club. After a bust up with Manager Slaven Bilic, in which he told Bilic to “come and speak to him after he had won the Champions League” he simply stayed in the reserves. After the season ended he claimed that the season at West Ham “convinced him to retire” and it was probably the best decision for all involved.
Left Midfield: Matt JarvisEmbed from Getty Images
West Ham’s record signing at one point, the club surprisingly paid more for him then they did for Dimitri Payet – but he did not perform anywhere to the standard expected. In his defence, he did always put in the effort for the team, but he just lacked the finishing product. I remember one game against Cyrstal Palace where West Ham were defeated 1-3 yet seemed to be always putting balls into the Palace box, though it seemed no one had told Jarvis he could put some pace onto a cross rather than lob it over the box to the other winger.
Left Centre Midfield: Ravel MorrisonEmbed from Getty Images
Now here’s an interesting one. Ravel had all the talent to reach the top of the footballing world, which he did show on occasion, his goal against Tottenham Hotspur was truly world class. However in terms of his off the pitch actions left much to be desired. From a threatened acid attack on a ex-girlfriend and homophobic tweets leading to a fine from the FA, Morrison’s time at West Ham was spent mostly on loan to multiple Championship clubs as he looked to rebuild his career. He did not show his true ability regularly enough, though after a spell in Italy with Lazio, he is now lighting up the footballing world in Mexico for Atlas.
Right Centre Midfield: Havard NordvietEmbed from Getty Images
The epitome of a flop. Arriving on a free transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach as their former vice captain, a lot was expected from him as he was seen as a solid holding midfielder with a hammer of a right foot. However, none of this was displayed during his time at West Ham with his most notable contribution was being brought on against Tottenham for the last five minutes in order to help hold on to a lead. Coming on at 1-2 to West Ham, Nordviet went on to give away a last minute penalty, which Harry Kane scored and then proceeded to get sent off as Tottenham would end up winning the game 3-2. Nordviet described his time in England as “not ideal”.
Right Midfield: NeneEmbed from Getty Images
Nene was brought in as Sam Allardyce’s last role of the dice in order to help stop West Ham slide down the Premier League table in the 2014-15 season. Despite this, he was never really given a chance to play, and he failed to make any sort of impact and only played eight times for the club.
Now the strikers, there is a lot to choose from so I’m going to put a rule in that they had to have played at least 5 games for West Ham. But honourable mentions go to Wellington Paulista, Marko Borriello, Jonathan Calleri, Modibo Maiga, Marouane Chamakh, Mladen Petric and Emmanuel Emenike. If you do not recognise the first two, consider yourself lucky.
Left striker: Simone ZazaEmbed from Getty Images
After fans were promised a £30 million striker and seeing the club linked with moves for Michy Batshuayi, Alexander Lacazette and Carlos Bacca, the club ended up with Italian international Simone Zaza on loan – the one who did ‘that penalty’ which cost around £4 million itself.
Arriving from Juventus, Zaza quickly showed the West Ham faithful that he was not cut for the Premier League, after some underwhelming performances in which his best performance was against Crystal Palace where he ran around a bit. But for a striker it was not enough as he managed to score a magnificent 0 goals in 8 games he was sent back to Juventus and is now banging in goals for Valencia in Spain. It still boggles me how he is the same person after being so abysmal at West Ham.
Right Striker: Andy CarrollEmbed from Getty Images
A controversial one maybe as he has actually scored some goals for the Hammers, 32 to be precise, including some memorable ones such as the overhead kick against Crystal Palace last season. However, his time at West Ham has been tormented with injury as he has only played 110 games in 6 years, which is simply awful. One other thing to think about is by the time West Ham play Manchester United he would have in fact missed more games for the Hammers than he would have played for them. Costing the club £15 million (a club record fee at the time) and costing them £100,000 a week – they simply have not got their monies worth from the big Geordie.
Now is the time to take a nice long nap I think, as I try to forget some of these names.
Written by Henry Tomlinson.
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