Manuel Lanzini is undoubtedly one of the most talented players at West Ham United but he hasn’t been showing it.
The Argentine has been lauded as West Ham’s star playmaker for years.
Injury decimated last season. But big things were expected this campaign.
And with a host of talented stars around him it should have made things easier for Lanzini.
His form, though, has been terrible. And in the dismal back-to-back defeats against Crystal Palace Everton he has been downright LAZY too.
Lazy Lanzini living on past glories
On multiple occasions against Everton Lanzini was seen jogging back instead of tracking his man. His lack of effort angered West Ham fans.
Former Hammer Cheikhou Kouyate was vilified for a similar lack of effort when his West Ham career was on the wane.
The difference with Lanzini is that he has just been handed a bumper new long-term deal.
In the cold light of day Lanzini is the club’s playmaker in chief.
But this season from seven appearances he has no goals and just one assist.
Indeed in 106 games for the Hammers he has only been named man of the match on nine occasions.
Injuries have played a part but the statistics tell a worrying story
With just one goal and two assists since the start of the 2018/19 season, Lanzini is still dining out on his decent statistics from his first three seasons at West Ham.
A total of 19 goals and 10 assists in that time earned him a star billing he has failed to live up to since.
Yes injuries have played a part. But there are no excuses for the kind of performances he has produced of late.
How Lanzini avoided being substituted by Pellegrini at Goodison Park is something of a mystery.
Perhaps the manager was giving him the chance to prove he deserves to stay in the team.
If that is the case then expect Lanzini to be dropped for the visit of Sheffield United this weekend.
Players can be excused a bad game from time to time. But there simply must be consequences when they do not put in the required effort and workrate expected.
Pellegrini may have to drop “little jewel”
Lanzini’s form – or lack of it – is a massive problem for Pellegrini.
The Hammers are struggling to create and take chances at the moment.
Lanzini should be pulling the strings, making that happen, making the East Londoners tick.
Some fans argue he is dropping too deep to get on the ball.
But Lanzini has always played his best football carrying the ball from the middle third and attacking the lines.
Now he has the likes of Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Sebastien Haller to help carry the load.
The little jewel has been losing its shine. For whatever reason it just isn’t working at the moment.
That is Pellegrini’s problem to fix. And fast.