David Moyes may have his West Ham United team pulling in the same direction on the pitch but the same cannot be said about the club’s fans at the moment.
West Ham could leapfrog the likes of Manchester City into 10th place in the fledgling table with victory over Fulham on Saturday night.
And it would be no more than their excellent start to the season deserves.
But while things finally seem to be moving in the right direction for Moyes and his team, West Ham fans are divided off the pitch.
First it was Sebastien Haller driving a wedge between fans. It is a debate that will rage on unless Haller starts to turn his Hammers career around soon and silences the doubters.
First Haller, now Fornals is dividing the West Ham fanbase
Now Pablo Fornals is splitting the West Ham fanbase.
The ex Villareal star has started to be questioned by some supporters.
The Spaniard – much like the team – endured an up and down debut season following his £24million move to West Ham.
Fornals was snubbed at first by Moyes when he took over back in January.
But he worked his way back into the side and is now a permanent fixture in the team. Some fans are starting to ask whether he should be, though.
That section of the West Ham support feel Fornals lacks pace and misses too many chances.
Many of them want to see the exciting Said Benrahma come into the side in his place.
Some West Ham fans want Benrahma to replace Pablo
Others point to the fact Fornals works tirelessly for the team and has started contributing goals and assists too.
When it comes to the latest big West Ham debate over Fornals, the statistics don’t lie.
Sky Sports devised a team of the season last term based on running stats from Opta.
And Fornals covered more ground than any other player in the division per 90 minutes, clocking up over 12km on average.
“This is a side full of high endurance players – the men who have covered more ground than anyone else in their position this season,” Sky Sports state.
“This is about who covers the most per 90 minutes. For that, West Ham’s Pablo Fornals leads the way overall, averaging an impressive 12.4km per 90 minutes played – around 400 metres more than any other player.”
It’s no wonder David Moyes loves him. Although he too seems convinced, like many West Ham fans, that he could produce even better.
“Pablo has done really well,” Moyes said in his pre-Liverpool press conference (whufc.com).
“He’s a really likeable boy and works really hard for the team. We’re always demanding more from him because we want assists and goals for him and he’s been doing that. His energy and enthusiasm is incredible.”
But the stats don’t lie as Spaniard marries workrate with goal involvements
Once again against Liverpool Fornals managed to thrill and frustrate in equal measure. His performance gave a bit of ammunition to both sides of the argument.
The Spaniard worked his socks off as usual. He scored to give West Ham a 1-0 lead. But he also blew a huge chance to make it 2-0 when he elected to shoot rather than tee up Jarrod Bowen for a certain tap in.
Another stat emerged after the game.
Fornals has been involved in four Premier League goals for West Ham in his last five appearances this season with two goals and two assists.
⚒️Pablo Fornals has been involved in 4 PL goals for @WestHam in his last 5 apps this season (2 goals, 2 assists)
— PremStat (@prem_stat) November 2, 2020
Marrying goals and assists with immense workrate, it seems harsh that Fornals is being talked about as a potential sacrifice to get Benrahma in the team.
One thing is for certain, Fornals is a big favourite of Moyes. And it is highly unlikely he will be dropping him anytime soon.
So it would be a huge surprise if he did not start this Saturday’s game against Fulham.