Lucas Paquetá

West Ham’s pending Paqueta problem

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Guest post by Chris David

When the story broke after the Fulham match last week about Lucas Paqueta being reprimanded by the police for driving his Ferrari recklessly through the streets of London, I initially didn’t think there was much to it: just an obscenely rich young footballer blowing off some steam after a loss. Nothing to see here. I mean, at least he didn’t end up in someone’s front garden like Antonio or Diafra Sakho, right?

However, something about the incident has stuck with me. Lucas Paqueta was poor in that match. Very poor. And it wasn’t his first lacklustre performance recently either. He played half a game against Wolves (although the same could be said for most of his teammates), was fairly anonymous against Tottenham despite a good team performance. He put in a gutsy performance against Newcastle, sure, and that ball over the top to Antonio was class, but were there signs in that game, too? Off the ball, he often looked lazy, or maybe he was just tired? Was his post-Fulham road rage a sign of something wrong?

It has been a long season for a very small squad. Fatigue is obviously playing its part. Perhaps the lengthy FA betting investigation is finally getting to him. Maybe the interest from Man City has truly turned his head?

Paqueta’s form has given West Ham a problem

Diminishing returns

At some point, the possible excuses don’t matter. His performance against Crystal Palace on Sunday was dreadful. I mean, it was truly shocking. He looked like he just didn’t care to be out there at all. Whatever the reason, Lucas Paqueta’s head is not in it right now; he’s completely out of form and should rightly be dropped for the Liverpool game.

But the reality is, despite all the money we’ve spent on players (400 million or whatever the ungodly amount is exactly), we can’t drop him because we don’t have anyone to replace him. There is simply no one left in the squad to take his place. It is a hell of a thing to ask an unbloodied academy player to step into that kind of pressure situation. But even if we had any senior players to replace him, I’m certain David Moyes wouldn’t drop him. Moyes will still be seeing a possibility of the teams around us falling out of form and us snatching a European spot this season, however unlikely, and he will know that Paqueta is capable of producing a moment of magic that might see us steal an undeserved point against Liverpool, even if he hasn’t shown much of it lately.

Man City interest

During the international break in March, when a reporter asked him about Man City’s interest in him, Paqueta said: “I have a lot of respect for my club, West Ham. Out of respect, I have to stay focused on my duty at West Ham and keep working.” It was the right thing to say, yes, but it was also an easy thing to say. It is time now for him to stand behind those words. Maybe, come the start of next season, Lucas Paqueta will be speeding his Ferrari along the streets of Manchester, but until then he needs to prove on the pitch that his respect for West Ham is still real.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose


  • Anonymous says:

    Performances suggest this move may not happen at 85 million.He will end up like Phillips if he goes to City

  • Harvey Fox says:

    Considering we haven’t won a game where he hasn’t played, he’s not going to be dropped.

  • Hammeroo says:

    Fair comment, Gonzo. Declan Rice was always going to leave us for a bigger club with Champions League ambitions more realistic than ours. Yet he still worked hard for us on the pitch. For the most part he was very respectful to the club as well.

    Paqueta should pull his head in and pack it in!

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