Matt Le Tissier has hailed West Ham defender Fabian Balbuena for his display in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Chelsea.
The Hammers finally ended their winless slump of seven games with a victory over their London rivals, and the Sky Sports News pundit was quick to pick out the 28-year-old for praise.
Speaking on Soccer Saturday (Sky Sports News, November 30th, 16.50), he said: “Balbuena’s been outstanding at the back today.”
You cannot understate how important this win could prove to be for the Hammers. With a dreadful slump of seven games without a win behind them, Manuel Pellegrini’s future was surely hanging by a thread prior to Saturday’s clash with Chelsea. This will no doubt have bought him a bit of time. And Balbuena was instrumental in that display. The Paraguayan has struggled a bit this season, and has found himself benched for most of it. But yesterday he was immense. With six clearances, two interceptions, and a tackle, as per Whoscored, he was a towering presence at the back, and was crucial in ensuring that a rampant Chelsea team were largely left to feed off scraps. He should retain a starting spot after this, and hopefully this can be the turning point for a season that has spluttered up until this point.