Cresswell vs Masuaku - the dilemma

So I've seen a lot of interesting opinions on this subject, and how our reliable LB of two seasons seems to now be second choice for many West Ham fans, and this view has grown over the past six months. Not just on here, other forums, social media, people I've spoken to and so on. I can't understand why Masuaku has suddenly become the preferred LB option.

So, what do we think? Wanted to gather some views from you ladies and gents in one thread.

As it stands, who do you prefer at LB and why? Who goes into the season as our first choice and is Cresserz getting a hard time for a below par season, when let's face it he wasn't the only culprit. I think he was one of the best attacking wing-backs in the league the first two seasons after he signed.

Masuaku looks to have promise, but has only played a handful of games?

For me, Cresserz is my main LB.

The big dilemma though is, whichever one is not first choice, is surely too good to be a substitute, when they could be a starter elsewhere? So we are likely at some point to lose one. Which one would you rather lose?


  • I prefer Masuaku, but if Cresswell can reclaim his form of his first 2 seasons then its a toss up

    I just like Masuakus confidence with the ball.....He has very quick feet and has the confidence to run past players. Yes he can sometimes lose the ball but he can really bring the ball forward. I also think that hes good defensively, he only had 1 bad game imo which was so bad that he got a bad rep but he has been class. He's only played a handful of games but he was player of the match a couple of those games. He's also younger and responded from his injury better than Cresswells. His big weakness is delivery though he doesn't have great crossing ability.

    Cresswell, imo, is the player who regressed the most! He just looks a completely different player. He looks scared of any 50/50 challenges and gets beaten for pace far too often. He was never quick quick but he's obviously lost a step and leaves much bigger holes behind him. Where he does exceed Masuaku is his delivery which historically been very good.

    I he can get a good pre-season and return his confidence and pace he may surpass Masuaku but for me its Masuaku who is 1st choice

    Good problem to have
  • I certainly wouldn't want to write Cressers off after a difficult season. However, if he were to struggle with his form again this season, Arthur has easily convinced me that he is good enough.

    As Champo says, nice to have such a problem.
  • To me, Cresswell is first choice by some way ;ok
  • edited June 2017
    Alderz ;ok

    My worry is if we go with Masuaku, we will lose Cresswell to another club. He is too good a LB and still of an age where he has potential to still develop.

    Tricky. Wonder if Masuaku could be merged into a LW?
  • I see Masuaku as a wing back or wide left midfield player. I think Cresswell is a better defender than Masuaku.
  • Cresswell was poor last season. He barely made a forward run or cross and was reluctant to tackle. Arthur, apart from the West Brom game, showed more pace, the ability to cross and tackle. If Cresswell wants to sulk and look for a move then so be it. Don't want that kind of player at my club.
  • Use the pre-season games to see who looks the sharper, fitter and more incisive of the two. Whoever it is should then start the season and then barring injury/suspension the one in form should keep the shirt.
  • edited June 2017
    Herb - Cress certainly isn't the sort to sulk. Just think it would be a shame to lose him based on one season where he's been a 5/10 as opposed to an 8.
  • Don't think anyone is suggesting to lose him (although he is one of our more sellable assets) just that he needs to recover that old form if he wants to displace Masuaku

    As Baracks said they both have preseason to impress and they should battle it out for the starting XI spot

    It's nice to have 2 players of good calibre fighting for a single spot
  • Luke, you're the one saying we may lose him.

    Last season Payet improved his game but the season before he was average defensively, imo, and certainly not an 8/10.
  • edited June 2017
    I know.

    But we will lose him IMO if he doesn't play, which is a shame as an in form Cresswell is a massive asset. Cresswell isn't a sub. He could probably play as LFC's LB ahead of Milner, especially when his form returns. They are both too young to be sub players for any length of time. If Masuaku is deemed the back-up, he will want more, likewise Cresswell. They aren't like Ginge, mid 30s and happy to be patient.

    He's an England international. Masuaku is a talent.

    I appreciate at the minute he's not great but I've seen nothing from Masuaku other than a bit of pace and a few nutmegs to suggest he's the better option, yet many opinions are that he is.
  • Cresswell hasn't been out of form for a minute....he's been out of form for the hole season

    If Cresswell cannot displace Masuaka this season then by that definition he is a sub as he is the 2nd best player in his position......and if he is our 2nd choice he isn't going to a top club unless as a backup

    It's all hypothetical atm anyways I don't think anyone right now is interested in Cresswell (and masuaku rumours have died down)
  • edited June 2017
    Champo - agree. My point is more what has Masuaku done to be deemed the better choice right now.

    Cresswell has been poor, but has Masuaku been markedly better?

    I just mentioned the transfer issue as another thing to consider.

    I just don't think Masuaku has been that great either. Not seen any 'wow' displays from him and he's only started 11 PL games in any case.

    So we've got two LB's playing mediocrely at best.
  • I guess if I were Slav, I'd be indicating to Cressers that he is the club's no. 1 LB and doing everything possible to give him the confidence to start the pre-season feeling that he is the player he was the season before and the one before that, and that he just needs a good pre-season to get back to that form. While I would be suggesting to Arthur that if he keeps up the form he showed in the games he played last season, he'll be challenging for the starting spot this season, and that the decision will be based on merit. I guess he's more likely of the two to be willing to start the season with the no. 2 mantle, since he's younger and just come from a weaker league.

    Then, I see how they play in pre-season. If Masuaku is much better, I start him first game of the season. If not, I start Cressers and make it clear Arthur is hot on his heels. Give him 5 games and then make a call.

    I agree with others here: Masuaku looks better going forward with the ball (both short passing and dribbling), whereas we know Cressers has a wicked (and better) cross in his locker. As far as defending goes, I think they're too close to call actually. Both make the odd mistake but generally do OK. So it may depend on the team set-up - if you're relying on the LB/LWB to provide the crosses, maybe you go with Cressers. If you have a LW that can do this, maybe you go with Arthur, etc.
  • I guess it comes down to opinion Luke

    I think he's been class when I've seen him, even at the beginning of the season

    Makes it even more impressive as he is only 23, came into a team that was a bit all over the place and out of form and he himself had a pretty bad injury that ruled him out for over 2 months

    Right now i'd probably rank left back as the position that needs improvement the least......although i'd love for us to get Sessengon from Fulham feel he is gonna be a star
  • Could we play both, we have a shortage on the left wing at the moment.
  • I think James Rodriguez will be playing left wing.
  • Could we play both, we have a shortage on the left wing at the moment.

    A genuine question.

    Zabaleta - Reid - Ogbonna - Cresswell
    Obiang - Kouyate
    Antonio - Lanzini - Masuaku

    As it stands.

    Certainly gives us pace.
  • Or Lanzini when we sign Barkley.
  • Slav has said he likes to have an English core and Cresswell is part of it, so I think he'll prefer him for that reason.

    As a sub, Masuaku can at least get games as a winger. He was very good at the end of the season.
  • edited June 2017
    Snodders has told Slav he wants to play on the right - inside-out winger. Feghouli looks like a good old-fashioned right-winger (but looked better and better coming inside as the season wore on). Ayew seems better on the left. So what about Antonio? Is he better on the right or the left?

    This goes back to what I was saying above - if you have an inside-out winger/wide attacker, then maybe you want your better crosser at FB/WB so they can overlap the wide attacker and get the crosses in, leaving the wide attacker to come inside.

    I don't see Masuaku as a better wide attacker than Antonio or Ayew, but then we haven't seen him play there for us yet. Also, I'd still like to see us play the diamond, which would mean we don't have wide attacking players but rely on the FBs getting forward and getting crosses in. But if we assume Slav will generally play 3-4-2-1, 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, it's really only in the 4-2-3-1 that there's space for anyone besides Lanzini and Antonio (or our top two attacking midfielders) as AMs of any description. In a 4-2-3-1, I'm envisaging two of Kouyate, Nobes and Obiang in the 2, and then Lanzini central in the 3, Antonio on one side of him and A. N. Other on the other side. I'd go for Ayew, since in that set-up, we wouldn't need such a defensive AM. But it'd certainly be interesting to see Arthur given a try in that slot, unless we get someone much better in. In other words:



    -------Kouyate - Obiang

    Cressers - Ogbonna - Reid - Zaba


    Not too shoddy, eh?

    With Snodders or Feggers to come in for Antonio (who could also switch to the left himself) depending on injuries/form.
  • From the first match that Arthur played for us early last season I wondered how's Cresswell going to get his place back, this guy we've unearthed is very good. Masuaku is faster and more assured on the ball and adds a bit of excitement to the game for me. Cresswell did come back in the end but I don't think he has earned that place. If both are fit then its Arthur all day long.
    A few people here have mentioned that Cresswell seems to have lost his bottle and that is certainly my impression of most of his performances last season when he was always pulling out of tackles. That may be the effect of injury on a player who was previously an ever present in the team untouched by injury while those around him were dropping like flies.
  • I would definitely try Cresswell at left back and Masuaku left wing
  • To me, Cresswell has a far, far better delivery than Arthur. I think Cresswell is a better defender too. Arthur is quicker and adds that attacking element to the side, but I don't think he brings enough to displace Cresswell, IMO.

    What is good, is that we have two players capable of challenging one another. It's very good for the side to have players who can compete for the shirt.
  • Only problem with that is Masuakus final ball (which is lacking) so don't think he'd excel as a winger personally at this level

  • Not many wingers can cross these days, tbf
  • alderz said:

    What is good, is that we have two players capable of challenging one another. It's very good for the side to have players who can compete for the shirt.

    This is, for me, part of the much mentioned 'next level' ... the 'back-up' pretty much as good as the 1st choice.
  • ;ok

    I think there are a few positions that are up for debate for us, but the majority of position have, for me, a clear favourite for the starting berth.

    GK Adrian / Randolph
    DR Zabaleta
    DC Reid
    DC Ogbonna / Fonte
    DL Cresswell / Masuaku
    DM Obiang / Noble
    MC Kouyate
    WG Antonio
    AM Lanzini
    WG Ayew
    ST Carroll
  • edited June 2017
    Alderz - interestingly I think if we had that XI out every week for the first 2 months of the season we'd make a great start.

    Problem is getting it out every week. Last season we were destroyed by injuries at the start (Cresswell, Feghouli, Byram, Ayew, Carroll, Sakho, Lanzini) and had Payet returning late!

    The injury history is driving our need for new signings more than anything, as we do possess quality in the starting XI.
  • Luke ;ok

    I mean, from that list (off the top of my head) 9 players of the 15 had spells out injured (Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku, Obiang, Noble, Antonio, Ayew, Carroll)
Sign In or Register to comment.