West Ham United clinched a berth in next season’s English Premier League following their 2-1 triumph over Blackpool at Wembley Stadium on 19 May.
The Hammers won in dramatic fashion courtesy of an 87th minute strike from Ricardo Vaz Te.
The former Bolton striker bagged 21 goals in 39 appearances in the English Championship with Barnsley and West Ham.
All things considered, it was a fine 2011-12 campaign for the Portuguese. He’s headed back to the Premier League, so 2012-13 should be even better.
Despite appearing in only 17 games in the League Championship for West Ham this past season, Vaz Te was the club’s third highest goal-scorer with 11 strikes.
Only Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole scored more league goals than Vaz Te.
West Ham United: Players of the Season
Now then, let’s take a quick look at the Hammers’ top five players of 2011-12.
5. Robert Green
The Englishman started 43 of 46 league games for West Ham in 2011-12, tallying 17 clean sheets in the process.
Green also made a total of 204 saves in league play, and was undoubtedly a pivotal player for the Hammers yet again.
4. Mark Noble
West Ham United played 46 league games in the English Championship this season and Mark Noble played in every single one of them.
The former England U-21 international, who has proven to be a model of consistency, bagged eight goals and nine assists for the Hammers this season.
Without Noble, West Ham would surely still be in the English Championship.
3. Ricardo Vaz Te
You may have heard of this lad. Any striker with a 1:2 goals per game ratio deserves to make this list, and Vaz Te certainly has that covered.
Furthermore, he scored West Ham’s most important goal of the season. I would say that means a great deal.
2. Carlton Cole
Once again, this was a pretty easy selection. Cole was the Hammers’ lead goal-scorer this past season, and he also scored the opening goal for West Ham in their playoff win over Blackpool.
The England international put up a tally of 14 goals and four assists in 41 league appearances in 2011-12.
His goal-scoring ratio was far from sensational, but his hold up play throughout the campaign was brilliant.
1. Kevin Nolan
Nolan was brought in to be West Ham’s captain in the summer of 2011. He did not disappoint.
In the big picture, he led the club to promotion after they were relegated the year prior. Trust me, that’s easier said than done.
Additionally, he provided 12 goals from midfield in league play, also adding five assists.
Apologies to Matthew Taylor for leaving you out of the top five. You were number six if that’s any consolation.
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