West Ham fans have been discussing their midfield woes after the draw with Stoke, and it’s bad news for Cheikhou Kouyaté.
It’s been a strange season for West Ham fans, but nothing could be stranger than the bust up between captain Mark Noble and a rogue fan during the 3-0 defeat to Burnley.
Since then, Noble’s performances have been under intense scrutiny, with plenty of fans feeling the 30 year-old is nearing the end of his time as a sure starter.
That said, when he is at his best the captain is one of the Hammers’ most consistent performers, and fans are defending their leader from criticism, and deflecting the blame towards Cheikhou Kouyaté.
With the return of Manuel Lanzini and electric form of Marko Arnautovic, the Hammers certainly have some weapons to work with in attack.
The lack of a solid midfield is hurting them though, and fans are blasting Kouyaté for going missing in midfield.
According to fans, Noble is having to do the work for two, as the Senegalese international is far too often caught out of position.
In the 1-1 draw with Stoke, Noble completed three dribbles and 72 passes at a 90.4 per cent completion rate, including completing nine out of ten attempted long balls.
Kouyaté did not have the same success, completing just 40 passes at a 75 per cent success rate, and not contributing much defensively either.
Kouyaté did win seven aerial duels, but fans are bashing the 28 year-old for his performance, and defending the skipper for his.
Some of the best Twitter reactions can be found below…
Can’t believe out of all people, Mark Noble is getting criticism. The player who has carried Kouyate all season…
— West Ham News (@whufc_news) April 16, 2018
Noble is West Ham, the way he fights, the way he feels the badge! But overall he is the only one who really cares about the team on the pitch.
— Ledrian Paulter (@LedrianPaulter) April 16, 2018
It worries me. As West Ham fans we are supposed to know and appreciate our football. Too many muppets in the crowd these days.
— Chris Hott (@Chrissieboy007) April 17, 2018
The annoying part with Kouyate is that he has so much energy, defends good, pops up in really dangerous positions but if you give him the ball… it is like he is TRYING to tip toe on top of it. Just knees and elbows everywhere
— 💬 (@_C_O_Y_I_) April 16, 2018
Noble is our midfield ! Kouyate offers nothing
— Peter Crowe (@petercrowe511) April 16, 2018
Seen some criticism of Noble after last night, I actually thought he was definitely one of our better players.
Maybe players like Kouyate should take a leaf from his book and cover some more ground.
— Nick Marsh (@MarshyBoy26) April 17, 2018