One of the unlikely stars of West Ham United’s excellent 3-1 win at Aston Villa has spoken out over Jack Grealish.
Grealish was all the talk before the game as he was hyped up by Villa boss Dean Smith, pundits, fans and even West Ham boss David Moyes.
But for the most part West Ham stopped the league’s “most fouled” player in his tracks.
The Scot sprang a surprise by dropping Jarrod Bowen and starting Ryan Fredericks on the right wing.
Moyes sprang a surprise with double right-back tactic
Many assumed West Ham manager Moyes played Fredericks to double up on Grealish with the brilliant Vladimir Coufal.
Indeed some pundits commenting on the game said West Ham had ‘sacrificed’ a position to try and keep Grealish quiet.
Anyone watching could see Fredericks was also hurting Villa going the other way using his pace.
At times the Villa defence did not know what to do with the man some West Ham fans nickname ‘Flash’.
Speaking to whufc.com after the game Fredericks admitted part of the plan was to help Coufal deal with Grealish.
But he refused to feed the Villa talisman’s ego.
‘I was no sacrificial lamb’ says Fredericks
The Hammers star said Grealish was a ‘good’ player. But not so good that West Ham would ‘sacrifice’ a position to focus on him. And he insists Moyes gave him clear instructions to attack too.
“Obviously he’s (Grealish) created the most chances in the Premier League and he’s a good player,” Fredericks told whufc.com.
“I come in to give Vladdy a bit of help. We did a good job doubling up on him, I think he went and spent a bit of time playing centrally and the other side because he wasn’t really getting much of the ball so we did our job.
“I tried to help the team on the other side of the game as well, getting forward, putting in a few crosses.
Fredericks reveals Moyes gave him clear instructions
“We’ve (Fredericks and Grealish) had a few tussles over the (last) year. I know what it’s like to have someone following you around and kicking you like Vladdy was doing with him today, but with those type of players that’s what you’ve got to do.
“The gaffer said ‘Don’t just think you’re out there as a second right back, you need to get forward and help the team out’. We’re too good of a team to sacrifice a position just to look after one player.”
Thanks to Ryan for an excellent explanation and analysis.
After all there was no hope of getting anything remotely resembling that from the pundits covering the game for Match of the Day, have a read below.