Fan blogger Toby Fry discusses his contenders for Hammer of the Year so far...
As a whole this season has been a real success. Many years have gone by where West Ham supporters have been forced to be pleased with relegation survival.
However with twelve games still to play The Hammers are just one point shy of that "magic" 40-point safety mark. With the success of the season relatively secured already, it doesn't seem premature to suggest who could be the Hammer of the Year (HOTY) for this season.
With many signings hitting the ground running, and with plenty of individuals improving beyond their previous bests - there are perhaps more nominees than recent seasons.
One player in particular was tipped as favourite for the award from a very early part of the season. Stewart Downing has been a revelation since he was cleverly moved into a more central role. At times he was statistically the most creative midfielder in the Premier League - not a bad accolade when compared with the likes of Di Maria, Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez!
In fact, Downing is joint fifth in terms of assists and key passes per game in the Premier League so far this campaign.
Competing with Stewart for the coveted Hammer of the Year award is the goalscoring bargain that is Diafra Sakho. It's fair to say that most supporters were underwhelmed with the signing of Sakho, but it is quite simply one of the best bits of business that the club have managed in a long time. Diafra arrived on the scene with six goals in his first six starts for the club - matching the Premier League record. Though injuries Sakho's progress has been halted slightly since then, he has still managed 11 goals in 20 appearances.
My third contender for the HOTY award is another player who is playing in his first season with the club. Aaron Cresswell was signed after making the Championship Team of the Year last season. He has most certainly continued that form into the Premier League and has gained many admirers, from pundits to fellow professionals. The left-back position has been somewhat of a weakness for many seasons, but Aaron has most certainly put an end to that.
Incredibly, the 25-year-old has played every minute of football in the Premier League this campaign! For a player who is constantly up and down the pitch, that's an incredible feat. Excluding goalkeepers, he is one of just seven players to have played all 2,340 minutes.
For me choosing between the above three players for the HOTY award is extremely difficult. However I believe that the key to winning the award is consistency, and one player has impressed me each week more than any other. It has to be Aaron Cresswell for me. A brilliant success story of a player making the step up from the Championship to the Premier League. With one goal and four assists from left-back mixed in with many excellent performances, I would tip Aaron to win the HOTY award for this campaign - though it mustn't be forgotten that there's plenty of game-time left.
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