West Ham United defensive duo Angelo Ogbonna and Ryan Fredericks were both fully fit for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield United, according to Claret & Hugh.
The reliable Hammers news source claims that manager Manuel Pellegrini made the decision to drop the pair to the substitute’s bench for tactical reasons.
That’s despite them both being in relatively fine form this season. However, Pablo Zabaleta and Fabian Balbuena took their places for the London Stadium stalemate.
The decision to drop Arthur Masuaku, Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini was also a tactical one.
Clearly Pellegrini wanted to change things up a bit after last weekend’s damp squib of a 2-0 defeat to Everton. The Chilean obviously wasn’t happy with how some of his players performed and made five changes to his starting line up on Saturday as a result. His alterations produced a mixed bag of results. While Zabaleta and Balbuena did OK in for Messrs Fredericks and Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell was really poor back in at left back. However, Andriy Yarmolenko did a fine job, while Robert Snodgrass scored West Ham’s goal and was the best player in a claret and blue shirt. Overall, then, Pellegrini’s tinkering produced the desired response, but you have to wonder what Fredericks and Ogbonna were thinking when they heard they’d been dropped? The Italian, in particular, has largely been in really strong form this season, so Saturday’s snub must have come as a shock to him. Still, Pellegrini made his decision and, by and large, it worked out alright.