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Balbuena stock is falling

When Fabián Balbuena was signed for £6.5m from Brazilian side Corinthians on a three-year deal it was assumed he would be a squad player but the defender nicknamed The General fast earned a reputation of a bargain buy playing alongside Issa Diop who had cost the Irons £22m in the same summer.

Diop and Balbuena formed a great partnership in the centre of the Hammers defence and a return for Ogbonna seemed impossible except through injury.

Last month Manuel Pellegrini confirmed that Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop was his first choice centre backs for the foreseeable future after admitting he made a mistake in playing Fabian Balbuena at the start of the season. The Paraguayan was one of the last players to return to pre-season training after taking part in the Copa America tournament.

The boss told reporters “The reason was that Fabian Balbuena couldn’t work too much in the pre-season. He arrived from his national squad late and he played just one [full] game. That was my mistake to play with him in the first game because I trusted too much in what he can do, but it was too soon for him. Now he is trying to return to his normal performance, working hard”

A few weeks ago supporters were still calling for Balbeuna to replace Ogbonna but that tide has now turned with fans recognises how well Ogbonna has been playing alongside Diop. In our peoples vote, Balbuena and Diop were almost neck and neck three weeks ago in votes, last week that swung massively in Ogbonna’s favor and this week almost no-one has tipped Balbeuna for a start against Crystal Palace. Balbuena stock is falling sharply!

About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

3 comments on “Balbuena stock is falling

  1. I like Balbuena a lot, feel the article is a bit harsh. MP said it was a mistake to play him because he missed preseason not because of any other reason. That was MP blaming himself not the player, Oggy has played well and is in the team on merit but it’s possible that could change either through injury or suspension and i personally think he will be a reliable replacement as he is an excellent defender.

  2. Agree with 32. I havde no doubt we will see plenty of all 3 of them this season. Ogbonna has done well but his wrestling moves, especially off the ball, are boderline penalties and have my heart in my mouth.

  3. I agree with 32 and mooro. My preference is for Balbuena as I think he is a good organiser as well as a solid defender and foil for Diop. Ogbonna has been on his game lately so good for him and for us but I still think he’s susceptible to lapses of concentration and positioning. He comes across as a good pro so as he’s the man in possession then who could disagree with MP in playing him. 2-1 to us v Palace I think with Haller and Yarmolenko on the scoresheet. COYI.

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