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Hammers defender explains his role

Ryan Fredericks gets plenty of stick here and there doe not defending more than some would like but he makes no apologies for his attacking instincts.

The right back has a chance of playing in the game against Newcastle after arriving as a sub against Leicester and his speed was a big asset when he came on to quell the threat from Harvey Barnes down the left.

The Hammers defender is noted particularly though for his thrusts into the opposition defence and is often a specialist at pulling great crosses back from the dead ball line.

And he believes full-backs’ attacking contributions are as important as their defensive strengths in the modern-day game.

Since the start of the 2020/21 season, West Ham’s five senior full-backs – Fredericks, Vladimír Coufal, Aaron Cresswell, Arthur Masuaku and Ben Johnson – have provided 24 assists and scored five goals in the Premier League.

I think the way that full-backs contribute goals and assists is just the way the game has developed,” he told Saturday’s Official Programme for the Premier League visit of Newcastle United.

He adds: “Not a lot of full-backs stay in their own half these days, or are asked to just defend for 90 minutes. Every full-back now wants to get forward, create chances and make assists.  

“They’re almost like the new wingers now. Wingers these days often play inside, and then full-backs play like wingers.”


Ryan Fredericks in action at Manchester United in the EFL Cup
Courtest www.whufc.com


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“I became a full-back a long time ago, when I was at Tottenham Hotspur as a kid, under Tim Sherwood, Chris Ramsey and Les Ferdinand,” he explained.

“All my coaches there saw what I was doing on the wing – keeping wide and always moving up and down – and said: ‘Yeah, we think you’ll be perfectly suited for the new mould of full-backs who are coming into the game now. We think that role would be perfect for you’.

“Thankfully, it’s done me well!”

“Everyone wants to play, and when I’ve played this season, I feel like I’ve done well. Obviously, I always want to play more games, but all you can do is come in and try and play well when your opportunity arrives.

“It’s always incredible to play for West Ham. I think you get caught up in things sometimes. 

“As the years go by you can take it for granted a little bit, but especially when you see the youngsters coming in, and how hard they work to get a game, it makes you really appreciate it 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