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Fingers crossed Pablo repeats the magic


By CandH’s top blogger Allen Cummings


Pablo Fornals’ face said it all on Monday evening.

When our Spaniard put the perfect finish to Jesse Lingard’s pure magic and Arthur Masuaku’s shrewdly weighted pass to score West Ham’s second goal  against Wolverhampton Wanderers, then turned to meet his on-rushing team mates, he had a smile that stretched from ear to ear! And why not?

Back in the team after a two game absence through injury, Pablo had taken just 14 minutes to show how valuable he could be as we enter the last eight games of this amazing season.

We have to thank Manuel Pellegrini for bringing Fornals to the club, but it’s David Moyes who has brought the best out of him.

Pablo has flourished under Moyes’ guidance – he’s the epitome of the manager’s type of player. Non-stop work rate, totally committed and an enthusiasm that seems to bring out the best of players around him.

He’s a very popular member of the squad – and it shows.

It has to be said not everyone is a fan. I’ve seen accusations that Fornals simply runs around like a headless chicken.

That’s a misreading of his abundant energy, his endless chasing down of opponents, his covering of team mates, shutting down of space, his tenacity to win the ball – all of which have been a vital ingredient in West Ham’s success this season.

In short Pablo is a nuisance to the opposition – and Moyes clearly recognises that.

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With the absence of Declan Rice, Fornal’s industry in midfield is going to be more vital than ever now.

Some people have suggested he might even be used as an option alongside Tomas Soucek in a more defensive role, but I doubt if Moyes sees that as the best use of his talents.

Pablo carries a goal threat, as Monday proved, and I believe he’s more useful to the team further forward.

On Monday Moyes had no hesitation in bringing Fornals straight back into the team – at the expense of Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma, both of whom were on the bench. That didn’t please everyone.

Bowen got his chance when coming on for the injured Michail Antonio – and seized it with some style. Benrahma had to wait until the 78th minute, when it was the tiring Fornals who made way for him.

Pablo will surely get the call again on Sunday when Leicester City visit the London Stadium. We’re still waiting for Said to show his true worth, so it’s no surprise that Fornals continues to get the nod ahead of him.

Pablo’s goal on Monday was his third of the season, he also has three assists to his name. He’d love to grab goal number four against the Foxes.

Who can forget his first of the season against the same midland outfit back in October last year. The perfectly timed run from deep, his instant control of Aaron Cresswell’s lofted pass, his clinical finish past the helpless Kasper Schmeichel.

A repeat of that – or something like it – on Sunday would be ideal. To add a touch of irony to the weekend fixture, after we demolished Wolves 4-0 at the London Stadium earlier in the season, next up for us in the Premier League were…..Leicester City, who we beat 3-0.

Fingers crossed history will repeat itself and we’ll go on to grab all three points again!

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

3 comments on “Fingers crossed Pablo repeats the magic

  1. Fornals certainly possesses plenty of industry, he has a knack of popping up in good goal scoring positions, on occasion his finishes are wayward, but he certainly tucked away nicely at Wolves.
    Is Lanzini a long term casualty? Must have been injured when training?
    Previously under Bilic when Payet was out injured, Lanzini was deployed as a deep sitting playmaker, not as a typical CDM, but he can receive the ball in tight spaces and get us moving up the pitch when we are in transition.

  2. Well said he is underrated by some but I think we saw even with Rice at Arsenal we missed Fornals. And think he plays all over rarely gets his probably best position #10 but I do think he could play beside Souček. He has played CM for us done well scored goal in cup, you know he will put in shift, put in tackles break play & has the vision to make those lovely passes. His finishing can let us down someone’s but so can Bowen & others & his game in Spain was never a big scorer he created more. I think he is crucial, loves the club, always gives it all & LW RW AM wherever he does a job. I think Diop could do a job too at CM has the pace size of Ogbonna & Dawson behind him. But of Antonio are out & Lanzini probably have to play Fornals up on wing right or left. Wonder of we will keep 4231 or go to back 3 or 433 & put Lingard on LW then Benny on right Bowen up front & Noble Fornals. Souček in middle.
    We have actually been lucky with injuries compared to what we usually have but we where bound to get hit I was hoping if Rice or Souček just been a game or two bc Covid but now we are bare bones again.

  3. Yes Allen he had a really good game and is another we might just see the best of with Jesse playing. He always works hard, chasing back and bringing forward, but where previously his finishing was a bit weak, look what happened with Jesse moving the ball and he could set himself! This is the joy of quality players, the others are not exhausted, rather joining in the movement. Bliss!

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