Former West Ham and Arsenal striker Ian Wright does not understand why manager Manuel Pellegrini left Ryan Fredericks out of the starting line up against Newcastle.
For the second week in a row, the Hammers boss opted to pick Pablo Zabaleta ahead of the Englishman, and when analysing the London club’s 3-2 defeat to the Magpies, Wright was left perplexed by the selection decision:
“Why Fredericks wasn’t playing today is baffling to me. The tactics and selections are baffling.”
Considering that Newcastle had one of the paciest wingers in the league, Allan Saint-Maximin, playing on Zabaleta’s side of the pitch, it raises serious questions about Pellegrini’s tactical plan.
At 34 years of age, Zabaleta is nearing the end of his career and the Argentinian could not have been expected to keep up with his opponent, who got one-on-one with the keeper on two separate counter-attacks.
In the first half, the defence was all over the place, and Newcastle could have easily been out of sight at half time. As it was, West Ham nearly got back into the match in the second half but it was too little, too late to salvage a point.