Manuel Pellegrini has admitted Angelo Ogbonna was omitted from last Saturday’s starting XI in order to give teammate Fabian Balbuena a second chance.
Oggy has been one of the Hammers most consistent players this season and it seems a little odd that he should be left on the bench because of anything he had done over a period when he was playing consistently well.
Balbuena was dropped after the 5-0 win at home and Pelle admitted that as that was his fault and as a result he needed to give The General another chance.
“There were different reasons why I did so many changes,” he said.
“I was happy with the performance of Angelo Ogbonna but maybe Fabian [Balbuena] deserved the opportunity, he only played one game and that was my fault because he had just arrived for pre-season.
After that the team was playing well so he had to wait, and he deserved another opportunity.”
“Every change has a reason, not just to keep all of them [the players] happy.”
ClaretandHugh says: Is all that a little odd? Oggy does nothing wrong yet gets left out in order for someone else to get a game. Am I missing something because I really don’t get it. I’m all for boosting confidence wherever and whenever it’s necessary in any walk of life but it seems that here we are giving one player a lift while putting a downer on another. Both are decent central defenders but Oggy had to wait for his chance last season until Balbuena was injured. There was apparently no way back for him until that intervened. The manager has been accused of being something of a tinkerman over the last ten days and this may hand some ammunition to those who have accused him of such because simply playing someone because it seemed the right thing to do is strange. He concluded his remarks by saying every change had a reason, not just to keep players happy. But in fact that seems to be the only reason in the case of this particular change.