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Who is West Ham’s most important player?

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Winston ReidWho is our most important player? This is a question that I have been asked and for me it’s a tough one.

People will say “ohh it’s Andy Carroll, he has done very well for us when he has played.” True statement, he has done very well and the team looks a lot better with him playing. But is that true? He has yet to score, although he has made a few assists.

For me Carroll is very important, he is a key link in the West Ham chain. The team plays a lot better when they have a target to hit in the box. The team has a direction to go for and a means of attack. But is that important? We smashed Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 with out him and again 2-1.

One of my old coaches said” “It doesn’t matter if we score three goals in a game, because if the opposition score four we still lose.” His point was that defenders often go missing in the scheme of things, and that a solid defence is the cornerstone of any team.

Jose Mourinho was quick to point out about how good our defence was when we held Chelsea to a 0-0, a few weeks ago. He was frustrated because he thought he had three points in the bag, only to be held to a draw when we showed a lot if fight and spirit.

Nemanja Vidic remains one of my favourite non-West Ham players. A general at the back he is everything a defender should be tough, demanding and disciplined.

All the success that Manchester United have had over the last eight years wouldn’t have been possible without him. Vidic and Ferdinand are/were two rocks in defence that the Red Devils were always able to rely on. Vidic remains, in my eyes, a leader on the field that was always bringing the players around him to a higher level.

So what did that have to do with West Ham and our most important player? Well it’s a example of what begins with any successful side, a strong defence.

Right now we have had more clean sheets than any other side in the league. And if we want to stay up we have to keep clean sheets while scoring goals. Toughness, discipline and the ability to lift others up around you is what we need more than anything else. That is why the most important player is Winston Reid.

Stats don’t lie, that is why I love them. Currently Squawka has James Tomkins as our best defender, however it’s only just and he has played more games than Reid.

We have kept three clean sheets over the last three games and while that is brilliant, I am sure if you were the manager you would pick Reid as your centre back every time.

I am sure that everyone is feeling a lot better with the last three games than when we were playing in January. Tomkins, Collins and the rest of the back line have got their act together and are playing well as a unit.

One only need to look at the final stat that tells us how vital Reid is to us this season. Before Reid injured his ankle in November, we had six cleansheets in 10 games. After that we managed three in 15 games and they all came against mediocre opposition. This is the most telling stat of all, the one that doesn’t lie.

People will wonder why I have picked Reid instead of Carroll. The answer is above you, “it doesn’t matter if we score 3 goals if they score 4 we still lose.” And my final quote the one that rings true no matter when: “strikers win you games, defenders win you championships.”

Come on you Irons!

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16 comments
  • Dan says:

    Stats don’t lie but they can be manipulated in any way you see fit. We kept 3 in our next 12 which is pretty poor. But when u realise for 3 of the games we played 4 full backs, for one we played a defensive mid in center back and played 3 at the back and nolan got sent off all in the same game vs fulham. If anybody is our most important player its Noble, because without him the defence would be under constant pressure every game, we would have nobody who wins the ball and retains the ball as much as him.

  • Legends says:

    when i was growing up in the 80s i used to hate Arsenal. The reason was George Graham and his defence of Adams, Keown, Dixon, Winterburn. Amongst other reasons. … The crowd would chant “boring boring Arsenal” as they won game after game 1-0. It made them so unpopular and took a generation to lose that reputation.
    This is what Sam wants for West Ham. But it will kill the “west ham way” reputation.

    I want a team that plays football on the floor, free flowing attacking football, with players with superior tecnical ability, and a team with 2 strikers (like cottee and mcavennie) each scoring 20 goals plus a season.

    i dont want to undermine the achievements of our defenders this season. They’ve been great! …But too much concentration on clean sheets means not enough concentration on scoring goals. … The reason is because a successful defence is successful because the midfield drops deep to help them. (i.e. parking the buss)

  • danlel says:

    In order Noble, Nolan (never thought id say that), Reid, Adrian, Carroll and have to say Matt Taylor has been awesome the last few matches.

  • Spence55 says:

    Mark Noble by a country mile. Forget stats…just watch any game and see who is at the centre of everything for 90 minutes. He is the Hammers heartbeat.

  • dave says:

    The Ginger PELE, his experience had helped REID and TOMPKINS to develop into two outstanding defenders , i think we look so much stronger as a unit with him in the side.

  • seb says:

    I have to agree about Noble. I’m danish and therefore have a special place for Reid, but Mark Noble is a warrior, is calm on the ball, has good vision and loves the club more than anything. My captain!

  • AmericanHammer says:

    Wow! That’s a tough one…

    I’m torn between Reid and Noble. However, I’m going to give it to Reid. If you look at what wer’e able to do with him vs. without him it should be apparent.

    But make no mistake, Noble is the heart and soul of our team and in my opinion deserves the armband.

    COYI!

  • Lewis says:

    Every single player and fan we have can be given the title ‘Most important player’….We are a team and United, West Ham United. Every single one of us should be proud of what we have achieved in the last few week!! And may it continue!! You should love this team no matter how they are playing, and that’s what makes us sing when most fans would slump in their seats!!
    COME ON YOU IRONS!!!!
    FOREVER Blowing bubbles!!!

  • mr moon says:

    I’m afraid this is a sterile debate. It is not necessary to single out one player as the most ” important ” . We won last night because of good performances from most players but especially Adrian , Collins and Noble. The reason we are on the up is that the team as a whole are playing together with confidence. We’ll be swapping cigarette cards next.

  • philtheiron says:

    Interesting comments! 7 postings and each with their own contenders! It would appear that we are not a one Man one dimensional team after all! Personally I would say noble but only just from the ever increasingly brilliant Adrian. Special mentions should also be made for, Nolan, Diame,ginge and matty Taylor who have come on leaps and bounds in recent weeks! The number of names being mentioned just go to prove that we have more than one leader on the pitch and that when fit our squad is now looking the equal of most in this division! COYI!

  • Ray_The_Hammer says:

    Mark Noble, if he’s fit he play. Reid is currently been kept out of the team by Tomkins and Ginge so how can he be our most important player?

  • Smiliematt says:

    It’s so refreshing to hear debates about who is the key player for us. We’re not out of the woods but you have to give credit to the club, it’s owners, backroom and players. Big Sam can’t have experienced much more pressure in a job than he has this year and hats off the Davids didn’t crumble and fire him when just about everyone were calling for his head. COYI

  • ed says:

    james collins… all day long

  • Maada says:

    Mark Noble is our Core and Heart in my opinion. Reid is a valuable member can’t deny. But competition is getting tough for centre backs. Mark Noble is irreplaceable in my opinion. Don’t think many can argue with the statement #IRONS

  • anne says:

    THE MEDIA ALL AGREE THAT MARK NOBLE IS OUR ENGINE, REID IS GOOD AND SO IS TOMKINS . SAM DROPPED TOMKINS FOR COLLINS (BAD CHOICE) SO NOW TOMKA HAS PLAYED A OT HE IS AS GOOD AS REID, INFACT THEY ARE THE BEST PARTNERSHIP AT THE BACK BUT NOBLE IS AT THE TOP OF EVERYTHING IN OUR GAMES. HE’S HERE HE’S THERE HE’S EVERYWHERE MARK NOBLE

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