Fabian Balbuena was left out of the starting line-up against Brighton yesterday as the manager looked for a right/left central defensive partnership.
ClaretandHugh has received confirmation that the Paraguayan defender was fully fit for the game but the manager believed he needed a more flexible central defensive partnership.
As a result he called up Angelo Ogbonna, made him skipper, and then watched him endure one of his worst games in the claret and blue.
It was a decision he almost lived to regret against a positive Brighton side and the odds are that the Paraguyan international will be recalled to the back four next week for our trip to Watford.
A source told us by phone that the manager wanted a left/right partnership following last week’s 0-5 drubbing by Manchester City.
The manager will also be considering the right back role this week where Ryan Fredericks again looked out of touch and that could involve a call up for Pablo Zabaleta or Ben Johnson.
The other alternative would be to switch Johnson to the left side although to drop Masuaku after one game is probably an unrealistic option in the manager’s world.