Let’s analyse player performance in the wake of yesterday’s entertaining six-goal thriller with Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, as a dubious late strike from Callum Wilson denied David Moyes’ Irons a second consecutive away victory.
Adrian San-Miguel: 7/10
Having conceded three against Newcastle United last Saturday, it would be another afternoon to forget for the Spaniard after a run of three clean sheets as he let three more go by him.
Adrian, once more, couldn’t have been blamed for any of the home side’s goals and saved miraculously on a number of occasions to stop them running away with the tie, he was largely let down by his back five and will be hoping for more luck early next year.
Pablo Zabaleta: 6/10
Featuring in the right-wing-back position once more, the Argentine put in a feisty showing and proved good support to attacks that started down his side, continuing to hold down his regular starting place.
Zabaleta was split open a few too many times by the pace of the likes of Josh King and Jordan Ibe up-front for the Cherries, getting himself booked and needing to be a little sharper at times.
James Collins: 7/10
Assuming the role of Captain after replacing Winston Reid, it would be a mixed outing for the Welshman as he looked solid in defence at times and a tad of the pace at other times.
However, Collins will be remembered most from his showing for his seventh-minute header that opened the scoring in the affair directly from an Aaron Cresswell corner, but was slated for his role in Nathan Ake firing the Cherries ahead after the break.
Angelo Ogbonna: 6/10
Featuring in the middle of the three centre-backs, the Italian performed better than most in that defence but still wasn’t on his best form in trying to keep Howe’s men from scoring.
Ogbonna lost the ball several times whether it be through passing it or trying to hold onto it a little too long and had a poor role to play in each of the three goals from the hosts, he will be looking to improve at home to West Bromwich Albion.
Aaron Cresswell: 5/10
Again, figuring as the left central defender, the England man looked uncomfortable and unable to keep tabs on the likes of Callum Wilson in attack for the hosts.
The corner cross for Collins’ opener was the only highlight of a performance that he will be hoping to put behind him, as he was turned inside out more than once, leaving his side exposed, many fans would undoubtedly like to see him switch back to left-back.
Arthur Masuaku: 7/10
Starting out in his accustomed left-wing-back place, the DR Congo International impressed once more with a usual display of dribbling and excellent running.
Masuaku’s crossing seems to have improved over recent weeks also, finding Andre Ayew and Javier Hernandez in some of the games key moments, although shying away slightly from his defensive responsibilities more than once.
Cheikhou Kouyate: 6/10
Playing just in front of the defence in his second game since returning from injury, the Senegal Skipper was solid and comfortable on the ball, an improvement from his showing against the Magpies.
But, Kouyate had his afternoon somewhat clouded by an incident with Cherries Captain Simon Francis in which the Englishman caught his face with the underside of his boot, a nasty blow which only yielded a yellow card, the midfielder fought on bravely.
Pedro Obiang: 6/10
Featuring alongside Kouyate and central midfield, the Spaniard complemented him nicely but couldn’t help slacking a little bit in certain defensive situations and going forward for that matter.
Much like his partner, Obiang was also involved in a controversial moment when Bournemouth forward King appeared to lash out and strike him in the face off the ball, he could face retrospective FA action for the offence.
Manuel Lanzini: 7/10
Making his eagerly-awaited comeback in the wake of a ban received for deceiving a Match Official in the away win at Stoke City, the Argentina man looked dangerous going forward and duly picked up where he left off.
Lanzini was involved in all areas of the pitch, improving drastically in the second-half when he was able to pick up the ball in deeper areas and bring it forward to aid with attacks, his form should return as he gets back into the swing of things.
Marko Arnautovic: 9/10
It would be yet another barnstorming showing from the man who is quickly becoming a fan favourite in East London as he netted twice in the closing stages, making it five goals in five Premier League matches.
Arnautovic’s first came just inside the final ten minutes when he was on hand to covert an Asmir Begovic slip-up and the second in the 89th, being in the right place at the right time to smash home from the rebound of a Chicharito effort, he will be hoping to start the New year in the same vein.
Andre Ayew: 7/10
Partnering Arnautovic up-top after scoring and missing a penalty on Saturday, the Ghanaian was up-staged and had a tricky afternoon, being on the receiving end of criticism for his weak showing.
Ayew passed up a huge chance to put the Hammers two to the good before the home side equalised in the first period but slipped and could only send his low shot tumbling wide, it’s highly unlikely that he will keep his place in the starting Xl going forward.
Andy Carroll: 6/10
Replacing Obiang on 61 minutes, the former England forward had an influence on the affair somewhat but was unable to complete the task he was sent on for and bag a first goal of the season.
However, Carroll did win some promising headers and knock-downs, whilst attracting attention with clever diversion runs, he’s pushing for a start in early January.
Javier Hernandez: 6/10
Coming on at the same time as Carroll and acting as Ayew’s replacement, the Mexico star can lend his name to having assisted Arnautovic, as his shot was deflected into the Austrian’s path for his side’s third goal.
Though aside from that, Hernandez looked a little disinterested and was seen to be not celebrating with his teammates after the scoring of that very goal, his frustration at a lack of game time can be clearly felt.
Declan Rice: 6/10
Entering the field for the booked Zabaleta with around ten minutes remaining and being asked to feature in an unconventional right-back position, the Irish starlet performed well once more.
Rice was cool on the ball and soli in the air, contributing in both the attacking and defensive areas and with such a poor performance being played out by the back five, he may well be started against the Baggies.
So, now that every single featuring Squad member has been well and truly rated from a highly-entertaining afternoon of action on the South Coast, will the Claret & Blue stars be able to rack up higher numbers in six days’ time? When Alan Pardew’s West Brom pay the London Stadium a visit.