West Ham United will look to get back on track when they return to the Premier League tonight.
David Moyes’ side have suffered successive defeats, seeing them relinquish a place in the top four, but they are now heading to Burnley knowing that a win would close the gap to Chelsea.
It was the Blues who narrowly beat the Hammers last time, winning 1-0 at London Stadium and the 58-year-old manager now has a lot to think about in terms of team selection.
You could argue that the Irons more than held their place throughout the 90 minutes, given the score, but the stats tell a different story as the visitors dominated possession (56%) and took advantage of eight more attempts at goal, according to SofaScore.
Who should start on the left if Cresswell is absent?
It was certainly a difficult task in the absence of some key players like Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell. However, those who intervened failed to deliver and must run the risk of Moyes wielding his ax.
One name that should be ruthlessly cut from the starting XI is Ryan Fredericks. He played left-back, out of position, and that turned out to be a very problematic area of the pitch as Mason Mount and Cesar Azpilicueta dominated for great spells.
The 28-year-old lost possession 13 times and was particularly wasteful with the ball, completing only 67% of his passes and failing to provide a single accurate cross.
This left Jesse Lingard and Jarrod Bowen, who led Moyes’ attack, with very little to feed, so it’s no wonder they got four shots short of Chelsea.
Ben Johnson has often been the man to go left-back if either Cresswell or Arthur Masuaku was missing, and perhaps he would be the best option against the more defensive Clarets.
The 21-year-old academy gem ‘really impressed’ Sky Sports expert Gary Neville last season, with former Man Utd right-back also saying he ‘looked like a great defender’ .
While it was rather unlikely to lose his place for the Chelsea fixture, given he was a rare positive in the loss to Newcastle United a week earlier.
In terms of consistency, Fredericks is among Moyes’ worst performers, scoring a paltry 6.47 average on WhoScored. And his returns of 0.5 crosses and 0.8 key assists per game are the worst compared to Cresswell, Vladimir Coufal and Masuaku.
The £ 40,000-a-week star is just not good enough to start for a West Ham side competing for a fierce European place. He was shocking against Chelsea and has very rarely watched the role this term.
Moyes must show no mercy and chop the lightweight Hammers tonight.
AND in other news, GSB’s anger: West Ham ‘monster’ continues to crash under Moyes, transfer value has dropped 48% …