West Ham faced a challenging trip to Sheffield United, the Premier League’s basement team, with David Moyes leading a patched-up side due to injuries and key player absences, writes the Hammers.News. The blustery conditions and the long journey north already set an ominous tone for the Hammers.
In a match that featured two red cards, two penalties, four goals, and controversial decisions, one performance that stood out for the wrong reasons was that of Pablo Fornals. Once a passionate and fundamental starter under Moyes, Fornals now appears to be a bit-part player, raising questions about his focus.
The first half, in particular, marked Fornals’ worst performance in claret and blue to date. Chasing shadows off the ball, he attempted 18 passes and completed just eight, resulting in a passing accuracy of a mere 44%. Additionally, he gave away possession twelve times in the first half alone. Fornals seemed slow and lacked agility, proving wasteful in crucial areas. Despite expectations of substitution in the second half, he somehow completed the full 104 minutes, leaving traveling fans bewildered.
Fornals showed a slight improvement at the beginning of the second half, with his pass success rate rising to 69%. However, his limited game time this season and the previous one doesn’t excuse the lackluster performance, failing to convince Moyes of a mistake in managing his playing time.
While Fornals remains a fan favorite for his role in West Ham’s resurgence and European success in recent years, his recent form raises concerns about his contribution to the team’s current struggles.