If West Ham had managed to sign Pablo Zabaleta on a free at almost any other time over the last six or seven years, the deal would have been one of the most impressive in all of England.
But, as Hammers fans are discovering rather quickly, the two-time Premier League champion is well past his best at the age of 32. There’s a reason Manchester City released him after ten years of loyal service at the end of last season after all.
And Zabaleta’s dismal display in Wednesday’s humiliating 4-0 defeat away to fellow strugglers Everton was just the latest in a series of hugely disappointing performances from one of the best defenders the Premier League has seen in the last decade.
The Argentine was hugely fortunate not to be sent off for a lunging first-half tackle seconds after he picked up a yellow card. But some West Ham fans would not have been too disappointed to see Zabaleta sent for an early bath if they could predict the embarrassment that was yet to come.
A Wayne Rooney hat-trick and an Ashley Williams strike consigned a disastrous West Ham side to their second defeat in three games under David Moyes.
And, though he didn’t receive too much support from the error-prone defensive partnership of Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna, Zabaleta’s latest performance only adds to the feeling that his time at the top level is over.
Sorry but Zabaleta is one of the worst pieces of business West Ham have done. Big wages for someone is beyond finished.— cb (@claretnblueHQ) November 29, 2017
Belongs in masters football.
I said this when we signed him washed up— . (@_JamesWHU) November 29, 2017
I new zab was a donkey when we signd him and peep were so excited bout him— Dalfair Inplay Tips (@DazzaWork) November 29, 2017
Anyone who thinks Zabaleta still has it is deluded.— John (@jrd_1999) November 29, 2017
The sack list, in order of biggest waste of space first:— ⚒ Ricky Galer ⚒ (@WHUricky55) November 29, 2017
The rest of them#whufc
Moyes has done nothing, you would expect at least an organised defence and enthusiasm 100% time to drop Hart, Zabaleta, Arnautovic, Ayew— Paul Laver (@Smug1To) November 30, 2017
Zabaleta, virtually immediately after getting booked last night, slides into a challenge which could’ve easily seen him given a red card. Crazy— Jack Lebeau (@JackLebeau66) November 30, 2017