West Ham United are currently in the middle of a quite wonderful season.
A trophy might not be on the horizon for David Moyes’ side but they have made enormous progression under the Scot who has steered them to a top-five position.
A defeat to Arsenal ensured they slipped out of the top four over Christmas but judging by the club’s wretched injury crisis, they have done well to even remain in the conversation for Champions League football.
The Hammers are currently without the likes Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna while Aaron Cresswell has had his issues too.
The left-back’s absence from the Irons squad has opened up a space in the team that Arthur Masuaku has grasped with both hands, at least until now.
He scored a fluke goal against Chelsea a few weeks back but on Thursday night vs Spurs, demonstrated why he’s such an expendable asset for Moyes.
During that context, Masuaku struggled significantly, so much so that he was described as “terrible” by one Irons analysis account on social media.
Indeed, it’s simple to see why that’s the case as the raw stats don’t paint him in a very pleasing light.
As the Hammers crashed out of the Carabao Cup to Antonio Conte’s team, it was Masuaku who let them down during the 2-1 loss to Tottenham.
Clashes between these two sides should be a meaningful derby but it was understandable that as we drove closer to Christmas, the match was going to have less riding on it than normal.
Despite that, Masuaku very much showed that if a certain Santa Claus was a West Ham fan, very few presents would be coming his way.
During the contest, the full-back was extremely poor in possession, surrendering the ball on no fewer than 23 occasions.
Someone with his offensive threat will always lose the ball more often but it was a concern that he performed very few positive actions in the game, completing just 50% of his dribbles and failing with an enormous eight crosses – a failure rate of 88.9%.
Furthermore, Masuaku was only successful in winning 2/5 of his aerial contests.
All of that saw the defender somehow still earn a respectable SofaScore rating of 7.1, worse than Nikola Vlasic whose uninspiring time at the London Stadium was summed up this week.
He claimed an assist for Jarrod Bowen’s strike but that came from the attacker’s scuffed shot, rather than trying anything productive for his teammates.
As such, it would be a wise idea for Moyes and his coaching staff to not only axe Vlasic from the team, but immediately jettison the club’s stand-in left-back too.
Cresswell cannot return soon enough.