Ian Wright told Match of the Day (broadcast on 2/11 from 22:30) that he was baffled by Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to not start Ryan Fredericks for West Ham United’s clash with Newcastle United on Saturday.
The Hammers’ run without a win continues. Newcastle won 3-2 at the London Stadium, taking a 3-0 lead inside the first 51 minutes.
Pellegrini’s men did set up a tense finish, scoring twice in the final 18 minutes. Interestingly, the first goal came a minute after Fredericks had been brought on.
He may not have had a direct hand in either of the goals. But Wright insisted that the decision to leave the former Fulham man out of the starting lineup was a bizarre move from the West Ham boss.
“Worrying times for them, five winless games,” he told Match of the Day. “Patience is wearing thin from the fans I’d say. And it should be. Why Fredericks wasn’t playing today is baffling to me. The tactics and, for me, the selections were really baffling from West Ham and Pellegrini.”
There is no question that Pablo Zabaleta endured a tough afternoon against the Magpies. Allan Saint-Maximin gave the West Ham full-back all sorts of problems.
Fredericks’s pace would have surely made him a better rival for Saint-Maximin. That decision certainly left a number of disgruntled West Ham fans feeling extremely perplexed on another disappointing afternoon.
So it would arguably be a major surprise if the 27-year-old was not named in the starting lineup when the Irons face Burnley this weekend.