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Aaron Cresswell’s West Ham display highlights where Manuel Pellegrini got it wrong

Photo: Getty Images.

West Ham United

Aaron Cresswell’s West Ham display highlights where Manuel Pellegrini got it wrong

It looked as though things were on the up again for Aaron Cresswell at West Ham. Dropped by Manuel Pellegrini early on in the campaign, he returned in October and made back to back starts for the first time this season before the international break.

He was, however, dropped for the visit of Manchester City and was forced to watch on as Manchester City ran rings around Arthur Masuaku and emphasized his lack of defensive strength.

At the break, the manager recognised the error of his ways and called upon the ex-Liverpool man to stabilise his defence in an attempt to halt the rot as the Citizens led 3-0.

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Aaron Cresswell of West Ham United and Kyle Walker of Manchester City during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at London Stadium on November 24, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

It worked with the number three immediately bringing more defensive discipline to the backline. Lacking Masuaku’s pace, he sat deeper and got forward when possible, rather than going looking for chances.

 

His deliveries were as excellent as usual but could not produce a consolation goal, but it was primarily in defence where he made a substantial impact.

Having decided to drop Cresswell from his line-up, his display when introduced as a substitute will have made a clear statement to Pellegrini about who he should be calling upon at left-back in the weeks to come.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

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