Manuel Pellegrini made the decision to make wholesale changes before West Ham United’s game against Sheffield United on Saturday.
Changes were definitely expected after the 2-0 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park, but for the Hammers’ boss to make five, he must have been trying to make a point to his side.
Unsurprisingly, players such as Manuel Lanzini and Pablo Fornals made way after failing to create many chances against the Toffees, but it was the decision to leave out Angelo Ogbonna and Ryan Fredericks out of the side which could have raised some eyebrows.
Pablo Zabaleta came into the side despite majorly disappointing during his couple of starts in the Carabao Cup against lower league opposition.
That decision surely would have left Fredericks scratching his head, struggling to understand why he had been dropped after excelling in the opening few months of the Premier League.
The former Fulham man offers Pellegrini’s side bucket loads of pace when running up and down the right-hand side, and is capable of being involved in a number of goals throughout the season.
Against a team like Sheffield United, there will be chances to counter-attack, highlighted in Snodgrass’ goal – something that Fredericks would have helped much more than Zabaleta would have.
The Argentine was solid as usual in defence in the 1-1 draw, but his ability to get forward has quickly decreased over the years, and he is not capable of doing what he consistently did for Manchester City anymore.
Fredericks has delivered a single key pass per game this season according to WhoScored, which is more than enough for a defender, and West Ham could have done with his ability to get forward against the Blades.
Pellegrini definitely made a mistake leaving out Fredericks on Saturday, who will be scratching his head wondering what more he needs to do to cement his spot in the Hammers’ defence.