There are plenty of holes in this West Ham United squad, and plenty of areas that need improving. Changing the manager might be a good idea, too, while we’re at it.
But upgrades are needed all over this Hammers squad, and particularly at right back. If that wasn’t obvious before Wednesday night’s 2-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers, it undoubtedly was after.
Ryan Fredericks, the nominal first choice at the London Stadium, was absolutely woeful at Molineux. Manuel Pellegrini – or whoever’s in charge in January – needs to look at finding a more reliable number one right back.
The former Fulham man was absolutely hapless against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side. His marking of Leander Dendoncker for the Belgian’s goal was positively criminal. He was trying so hard to get his arms around the waist of the 24-year-old that he didn’t pay his run any mind. Before Fredericks knew it, Dendoncker had tapped the ball in and it was 1-0 Wolves.
He generally struggled to cope with Jonny Castro Otto at left wing back, as well, and despite making plenty of tackles, his impact on the game was essentially next to nothing.
This is one of those matches were the statistics do lie somewhat. As per WhoScored.com, the 27-year-old made five tackles, two interceptions and two clearances. That makes it seem as if Fredericks had a productive game, but it was definitely quantity over quality in this case.
TEAMtalk reported last month that the Irons are preparing to move for Southampton right back Cedric Soares in January, but that would merely be a continuation of the defensive frailties that Fredericks already provides on the right hand side of the defence.
Instead, why don’t the Hammers throw some cash at Norwich City for Max Aarons or Leeds United for Luke Ayling? Go and solve the problem in January – it will get east London rocking.