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HAMMER BLOW

3.2%-owned Aaron Cresswell proving to be an effective Dream Team asset once again this season

West Ham’s 1-0 win over Spurs on Sunday was a terrible game but Hammers fans won’t care one iota as the result has thrust their back into the top four.

Given the evident strength of Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City this season, fourth place could be seen as something of a ‘best of the rest’ position with a spot in the Champions League acting as a pseudo trophy.

David Moyes’ side have also been imperious in Europe having won all three of their Europa League group games so far – Lyon are the only other side with a 100% record in the competition at this stage.

Essentially, the Irons have picked up where they left off last season and there can be little doubt that they are a very well organised team these days.

Picking up where he left off

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Picking up where he left off

As you would expect from a club progressing nicely, several players are producing enough points to keep Dream Team gaffers satisfied.

Michail Antonio (£4.4m) remains the star pupil and is appropriately popular but perhaps more people should be backing Aaron Cresswell (£3.8m)?

The experienced left-back enjoyed possibly the best season of his career in 2020/21 when he registered eight league assists.

He provided his first league assist of the current season on Sunday for Antonio’s winner but it should be noted he had already notched two in Europe – three from 12 appearances overall is good going for a full-back.

Cresswell scooped ten points at the weekend, he picked up a 7+ rating and a clean sheet as well of course, to move onto 52 in total.

At the time of writing, only five defenders have more points to their name: Virgil van Dijk (£5.3m), Joao Cancelo (£5.4m) and three Chelsea assets.

The former England international has a modest ownership of 3.2% and it’s difficult to understand why that’s the case.

After all, he produced consistent returns last season and should have only been more appealing this term given West Ham’s additional fixtures after qualifying for the Europa League.

Cresswell is mixing it with Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City’s best defenders

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Cresswell is mixing it with Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City’s best defenders

It’s possible some Dream Team bosses believed that the magic would evaporate for Moyes’ men – remember how hard Burnley fell off when they qualified for Europe in 2018?

However, there’s no evidence to suggest West Ham will suffer a similar a fate – they seem suitably prepared to compete on multiple fronts for the time being at least.

Man City visit the London Stadium on Wednesday but it’s hard to predict to the strength of either side since most managers don’t even pretend to acknowledge the Carabao Cup until at least the semi-finals.

After that, West Ham play an Aston Villa side who looked out of sorts on Friday night against Arsenal before a trip to Genk next Thursday – two fixtures that shouldn’t trouble Cresswell on current form.

However, the Hammers welcome Liverpool to east London just before the international break and travel to the Etihad before the end of November – two fixtures that probably will trouble Cresswell and co.

Still, the 31-year-old looks a smart option and almost certainly deserves to be more popular than he is right now.