West Ham United manager David Moyes has come under fire for leaving high-profile players on the bench against Manchester City in the Premier League on Wednesday.
The Scot neglected to start the likes of Sebastien Haller, Manuel Lanzini, Felipe Anderson and new signing Jarrod Bowen at the Etihad Stadium, which has irritated a lot of supporters.
Many have accused Moyes of having no intention of trying to win the game, and the statistics seemed to reflect that, with City heavily dominant in terms of possession and attempts at goal.
One man who didn’t even make the 18-man squad was Pablo Fornals, which left many perplexed.
Moyes has now explained his decision in a press conference (football.london): “Everyone is disappointed when they aren’t included but it was the first time since I have been back here that we have had options to bring off the bench, it was Pablo on this occasion but it might not be the next time.
“His training has been very good but we felt we had other options and he was the one who missed out.”
It was only the second league game Fornals, who cost a reported £24 million (BBC Sport), hasn’t featured in this season.
TBR’s view – Fornals must prove Moyes wrong
Moyes may have told Fornals privately why he missed out against Manchester City, but his press conference answer certainly didn’t give anything away.
Fornals has probably underwhelmed this term, but he can’t be accused of not putting the effort and commitment in, certainly in matches.
If things haven’t come off for him, he has at least looked lively for the Hammers and, the team seriously need hard grafters in the team right now.