West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to consistently substitute playmaker Felipe Anderson is coming ‘under fire’ according to journalist Sam Inkersole.
The Brazil international has been substituted seven times out of the nine Premier League games he has started this season [Source: Transfermarkt], and Inkersole believes that’s a mistake on the manager’s behalf.
“Pellegrini’s continued insistence at substituting off Felipe Anderson is coming under fire,” he wrote on the Football London website. “The Brazilian has completed the full 90 just twice this season and while he has admittedly been out of form recently, he was a threat against Sheffield United and withdrawing him for the ineffective Manuel Lanzini lost any momentum the hosts had built up.”
It was a bizarre decision from Pellegrini to bring Lanzini – who has been woeful this season – on for Anderson, who was actually looking pretty threatening on Saturday. Yes, this wasn’t the finest performance of the former Lazio man’s career and, yes, he’s not been at his best either this campaign. But both he and goalscorer Robert Snodgrass were playing well in the 1-1 draw, yet found themselves replaced by Pellegrini. As per WhoScored.com, Anderson had two shots, three successful dribbles and was fouled once by the Blades. He also knocked three long balls forward, with all three of them finding their intended target. So it was strange for him to be substituted and, as Inkersole says, it did nothing for the Hammers’ momentum on Sunday. It does seem as if the Chilean is far too wedded to his own decisions these days. He’s continuing to play Sebastien Haller up front when that doesn’t seem to be working, while he consistently brings Anderson off to no avail. Yet Pellegrini continues to stick by his heavy-handed ways.