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West Ham 2021-22 season review: Hammers cleary on the up despite frustrating end to Europa League adventure

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I

t was a season that took West Ham across Europe and while they ultimately fell short in their quest for continental glory, Hammers fans won’t forget the journey in a hurry.

A small squad was increasingly stretched as the season went on, particularly in defence, but David Moyes led his side to the Europa League semi-finals and there are more away days to look forward to after a seventh-placed finish in the Premier League.

There will be plenty regret about that Eintracht Frankfurt defeat, but also significant pride as the club reflect over the summer. West Ham sent Mark Noble out on a high.

Here, Standard Sport assesses the 2021-22 season at the London Stadium…

The season in one word: Adventure

Star of the show: Declan Rice

One of the stars of the season full-stop. Has gone to another level after a brilliant Euro 2020 last summer.

Biggest letdown: Alex Kral and Nikola Vlasic

Plenty has been made of David Moyes’s thin squad, but the boss has not been helped by the fact that two of his most significant additions have contributed very little.

Most improved player: Jarrod Bowen

Like Rice, has elevated his standing and is now genuinely in the top tier of forwards in the League. England calling!

REUTERS

Game to remember West Ham 2 Sevilla 0 (March 17, 2022)

Lyon away was perhaps West Ham’s best performance, but as a spectacle the home win over Sevilla edges it. The best night in the London Stadium’s brief and turbulent history.

Game to forget: Eintracht Frankfurt 1 West Ham 0 (May 5, 2022)

An occasion to remember also, but West Ham will be sick with the way Aaron Cresswell’s early red card all-but quashed their hopes of a Europa League comeback in Germany. A tournament they could and perhaps should have won.

Action Images via Reuters

Rising star: Ben Johnson

Not an especially crowded field, as Moyes has relied on a core, established group, but the defender has been extremely consistent and his versatility was invaluable during the club’s defensive injury crisis.

Manager verdict

Moyes’s stock could hardly be higher.

Has turned the club’s fortunes on its head since the start of his second spell in charge and should be backed in a big way this summer.

REUTERS

Fans’ mood

There will be regret over the Europa League exit, but excitement is already building for another continental tour next season. They know their club is very much on the up.

Grade: A-

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