However, Craig Dawson’s red card led to a disappointing 3-2 defeat at the hands of relegation-threatened Newcastle United last time out that saw Chelsea leapfrog them in the race for Champions League football.
The 30-year-old defender has earned several plaudits for his early-season performances, with some even calling for him to be selected by Gareth Southgate in the England squad, but Thomas and Delaney are reining in their praise after recent below-par displays.
Thomas said: “We keep making too many defensive errors. Before that match against Newcastle, I thought Dawson was looking very shaky – very, very shaky. It’s reached a point where I don’t even think he’s deserving of being called Virgil van Dawson right now, not based on what I’ve seen in the past few games.”
Delaney replied: “I know you wouldn’t say that lightly, Roshane. So that’s quite a big bombshell coming from you. But I agree. I think we’ve got to drop it for now.”
Thomas continued: “There was one point in the season we were all calling for him to be in the England squad. Now, you can argue he doesn’t even deserve to be in the starting 11.”
TIF Thoughts on Dawson…
Any calls for Dawson to be selected in the England squad earlier in the campaign were arguably premature, given how the likes of John Stones, Harry Maguire and Michael Keane have performed this season.
However, the £40,000-per-week centre-back deserved the large amounts of praise he received after scoring three goals and helping the London Stadium outfit record six clean sheets in his first 12 Premier League appearances for the club.
As a result of his red card, Dawson is set to miss West Ham’s next fixture against Chelsea, which could prove pivotal in the race for Champions League football.