As West Ham leaked three goals against the Premier League’s bottom side Huddersfield Town, many fans were calling for Fabian Balbuena’s return.
Balbuena has been out injured since just before Christmas but he has returned to the bench for the last couple of matches.
Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna have formed the central defensive partnership in his absence but their struggles against Huddersfield indicates a change might be needed.
Diop and Balbuena was the preferred centre-back pairing earlier this season and they impressed fans with their chemistry at the back.
But whether Manuel Pellegrini decides to drop Diop or Ogbonna is up for debate as both had afternoons to forget against the Terriers.
Ogbonna did score to spark West Ham’s late comeback in the 4-3 win but his defending was questionable against a usually goal-shy side.
And Diop’s stuttering performance will be a learning curve for the young Frenchman, but could it be time for a rest?
These Hammers fans all agree on one thing, though: after the international break, Balbuena needs to return to the starting line-up.
Here are some West Ham fans calling for the 27-year-old’s return.
Balbuena and Diop would be a much more consistent partnership.
Both full backs need an upgrade I think
— R. Jones ☆ (@RockyWhu) March 16, 2019
I think its so important that Fabian Balbuena comes back into the team in place of Angelo Ogbonna for the Everton game after the international break.
Balbuena is much better than Ogbonna, and he also makes Diop better too.
— West Ham Fan Zone (@WHUFCFZ) March 17, 2019
Pls get balbuena back in Ogbomna is a decent just so care free
— AG (@alexjg0) March 16, 2019
Jesus that was a struggle. Get Balbuena back in the team ASAP!
— Alex Bicknell (@AlexBicknell89) March 16, 2019
What’s happened to our defence!!?? Need balbuena back in ASAP
— d__a_n (@orcadan) March 16, 2019
Need Fredericks and Balbuena back in the starting 11 asap
— Prentice (@Prenticee_x) March 16, 2019
#WHUHUD Great comeback, but papers over the cracks somewhat. Letting a very poor Huddersfield team score 3 away is shocking. Need to bring Balbuena back into the team. A lot of dead wood to be shifted in the summer- a real job for Pellers and his team. #WHUFC
— West Ham Rambles (@WestHamRambles) March 17, 2019
#WHUFC need Balbuena back. Despite his goal Ogbonna has a lot of explaining to do. Diop is too quick into his sliding tackles, gets out of position too often. 4-3 was terrific comeback but from a deficit that shouldn’t have been. #COYI
— DWolsk (@CDanWolski) March 16, 2019