West Ham’s Greatest All-Time Premier League XI – But Only Picking One Player From Each Country

West Ham's Greatest All-Time Premier League XI - But Only Picking One Player From Each Country
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​West Ham United. A team of history, home-grown success stories and never short of drama. East London’s finest.

We at 90min have assembled an all-time Premier League XI for the Hammers. 

But we’ve made it harder for ourselves (we love a challenge at the moment) and only allowed one player per country.

GK: Lukasz Fabianski (Poland)

Lukasz Fabianski

Remember when this guy was at Arsenal and found himself deputy to Manuel Almunia?

After then losing out to his international rival Wojciech Szczęsny at Arsenal, he eventually ended up at the London Stadium (via Swansea) where he has become one of the most reliable stoppers in the country. 

Last season, he recorded more saves than any other Premier League goalkeeper, with 148. 

CB: Tomáš Řepka (Czech Republic) 

Tomas Repka

Czech hard-man Řepka joined West Ham from Fiorentina in 2001 and was a pivotal part of the Hammers’ defence. 

Although he was let go after the side were relegated to the Championship in 2003, he returned under Alan Pardew in 2005.  

‘Super Tom’ picked up 20 red cards during his entire career. More recently, he has been  caught selling fraudulent items and is now serving time in jail. Fair to say it’s been rather downhill since his playing days. 

CB: James Collins (Wales)

James Collins

A long serving club legend. James Collins played for West Ham over 200 times across two spells at the club. 

After joining in 2005, Collins formed a successful partnership with Anton Ferdinand. The hilariously dubbed ‘Welsh Pelé‘ later picked up a serious injury and left for Aston Villa. 

Returning to the club in 2012, he was a regular feature in subsequent seasons as the Hammers solidified their spot back in the top division before leaving in 2018. 

CB: Slaven Bilić (Croatia)

Slaven Bilic

​He may have only played for the club for just over a year, but Croatian powerhouse Bilić who signed for a club record fee; he was exactly the strong and feisty centre-back the club needed in order to avoid relegation in the season of 1996-97. 

Went on to manage the Hammers in 2015, and is to date statistically the most successful boss they’ve had, which makes his sacking still a little bit shocking to this day. Now in charge of promotion chasing West Brom. 

 CM: Mark Noble (England)

Mark Noble

Is there a more loyal player in English football right now? Noble has been to hell and back with West Ham and has made more Premier League appearances for them than any other player. 

Voted ‘Hammer of the Decade’ for the 2010’s by the club’s fans, he is also renowned for his excellent penalty record. He has netted 38 out of the 42 he has taken for the club. 

Definitely future Hammers manager material, Noble has recently donated £35,000 to support vulnerable people in his home county of Essex during the coronavirus crisis. Class.

CM: Cheikhou Kouyaté (Senegal)


​The Senegalese skipper was signed from Anderlecht in 2014 and was a solid, reliable player for a number of seasons. 

A combative midfielder with a lethal shot from outside the box, Kouyate is most famous for scoring West Ham’s first Premier League goal at the new London Stadium in August 2016.

RM: Yossi Benayoun (Israel)

Yossi Benayoun

​The definition of a journeyman. Benayoun played for a staggering 12 different clubs during a 22-year long career. But it’s his first spell at West Ham in 2005 that caught the eye.

The Israeli playmaker had a successful first season with the club, helping them to the FA Cup final in 2006

He would go on to move to Liverpool a year later, and played for Chelsea and Arsenal before returning to the Boleyn Ground in 2012 for a brief loan stint. Finished his career back home at Beitar Jerusalem where he is now sporting director. 

LM: Dimitri Payet (France)

Dimitri Payet

Exciting midfielder Dimitri Payet joined from Marseille in 2015 despite his desire to stay in France being made evident. 

A dead-ball specialist, Payet scored some of the best free-kicks this country has seen in years. His effort against Manchester United in early 2016 is definitely worth a re-watch, while he was also shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year in his debut season

But the fairytale didn’t last and when Marseille’s new owners came calling the next season, he refused to train for several weeks (angering fans) and eventually returned to his old club. 

AM: Paolo Di Canio (Italy)

Controversial, entertaining and unmistakable, Di Canio will go down as one of the most charismatic players to grace the Premier League 

Signed in 1999 after serving an 11-game ban for pushing an official, he was never dull and his flying volley against Wimbledon in 2000 was voted Premier League goal of the decade.

Nearly joined Manchester United in 2001. Shame, really; the idea of Di Canio working with Sir Alex Ferguson is one we all would have loved. Left for Charlton in 2004 and finished his career in Italy. Managed Sunderland in 2013 (quite badly).

ST: Freddie Kanouté (Mali)

Frederic Kanoute of West Ham celebrates

Kanouté joined West Ham from Lyon in 2000 and formed a successful partnership with Di Canio. 

The tall Malian forward finished as the clubs top league goal scorer for two seasons in a row. Fans enjoyed his best moments but were often frustrated by his inconsistency. 

After departing England, his career took off. Scored 89 goals in 209 games for Sevilla and won African Footballer of the Year in 2007, the first player born outside of Africa to do so.

ST: Carlos Tevez (Argentina) 

Carlos Tevez

Still baffled as to how this transfer happened. When Carlos Tevez and his international teammate Javier Mascherano joined in the summer of 2006, eyebrows were raised. An issue with third party ownership was preventing big names from making an offer but West Ham took the gamble. 

It was a great decision as the Argentine scored some vital goals to ensure the Hammers remained in the league that season. It was never going to be for long-term though. 

After more legal wrangling, he joined Manchester Unitedand later their rivals City. Now back at his boyhood club Boca Juniors and still playing at 36.

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