1) Where else to start other than with arguably the greatest player to ever grace the Upton Park pitch, our captain, the England World Cup winning captain, the late great Bobby Moore.
A man that would time tackles to absolute perfection, displaying the true art that is defending, as well as adding goals to his game. Anybody who is a faultless defender and can score goals also will always get in my team; especially when they can do it to the extent of our man, our idol, our hero, Bobby Moore.
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2) Billy Bonds. 663 appearances and 48 goals over a 21 year period for the Hammers shows quite frankly amazing loyalty (ok forgetting he went on to manage Millwall) and dedication to a club he loved, and a club who loved him. He could play anywhere, right back, centre back or defensive midfield. He showed composure on the ball and was not scared to back out of a tackle, as would be expected from anyone wearing the West Ham shirt.
The West Ham faithful take to their heart players that give their absolute all for the colours and play with passion and pride, Bonds showed this and more so easily wins a place in my team. 3) Paolo Di Canio. More my era I must admit, and personally my all time West Ham idol. Everyone has that one player they will forever adore that wore the West Ham shirt, this man for me is Paolo. He ignited my love for West Ham and football beyond belief; passion, grit, determination, emotion, flare, guile and charisma are just some of the adjectives I would use.
There’s so many memories that make Paolo an easy decision for me. Whether it’s the greatest goal to ever be scored in the Premier League, or the truly fantastic sportsmanship of catching the ball when the Everton goalkeeper twisted his knee, Paolo always oozed pure class. Oh and not to mention his terrific volley away at Chelsea to help to a famous 3-2 win that year at the Bridge, with us playing them this Sunday lets hope somebody can take the role of Paolo and do likewise! But Paolo easily gets into the team, what a player.
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4) 2007. Manchester United away, last game of the season to stay up, yeah I think I remember the name of the goal scorer that day…oh of course! And to quote the commentator that day, the “little fella” Carlos Tevez.
I’ve mentioned the word passion already in this article and it’s possible one of my most important traits in a footballer, and Carlos certainly didn’t lack this. Granted it turned out an awful day, but as soon as he scored his first goal for West Ham with that famous free kick against spurs and leaped into the midst of the West Ham faithful, I knew we had something special in our hands. He made it his mission to save us that year and nobody was ever going to stop him. He took West Ham to his heart, and we certainly took him to his heart. Also to then go onto scoring against us and to persistently apologise for doing so, shows a certain bond between us and the player that could never be taken away. He wore the shirt with utter pride and played his guts out for the team with an utterly world beating finish on him also. That has easily put him into my team. 5) Finally I would finish up with a player who is currently playing for the Champions-elect, Man United that is, and that’s Michael Carrick.
I’ve been extremely impressed with Carrick this season, and funnily enough doesn’t seem to display the traits I love in a player such as passion and grit, but he is most definitely a football professional by all means of the word. Keeps his head down, rarely spoken about but has an impact on games that often wins games for Manchester United. Some of his inch perfect balls over the top for goal machine Robin Van Persie have been breath taking this year, and brake up play in the middle of the park stopping attacks from opposition have helped give the cutting edge Manchester United have much needed this year. He contributes brilliantly both going forward and defending for the team, and you never hear a peep from him, he just gets on with it and shows consistently great performances week in week out, you can’t ask for much more really. Right so there it is my 5 players! Obviously this is according to my opinion so feel free to say who you would have, but I think it’s fair to say we wouldn’t mind seeing any of these at their peak playing in a West Ham shirt today.
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