Arthur Masuaku’s hopes of returning to the West Ham line-up have surely been dashed by a solid but unspectacular performance from Aaron Cresswell.
West Ham beat Burnley 4-2 at The London Stadium on Saturday. And it coincided with Cresswell’s return to the team.
The 28-year-old played the whole game at left-back, while Masuaku was named on the bench.
And although it was not a performance that caught the eye from Cresswell, a boring but solid display was exactly what West Ham needed.
Masuaku has received a lot of criticism for his defending this season. The consensus seems to be that he is a weak link in West Ham’s back four.
The DR Congo international often suffers lapses in concentration. And these can prove costly, especially in tight games.
Masuaku once again made a mistake in midweek, gifting Tottenham Hotspur a goal in the EFL Cup.
But it may have been a knock which prompted Pellegrini to rest the 24-year-old in favour of Masuaku.
Cresswell was recalled in favour of Masuaku, despite both players being doubtful for the game.
The ex-Ipswich defender has also received criticism this season but he turned in an assured display on Saturday.
Cresswell was on hand to make three clearances – according to Who Scored – as West Ham held out for the victory.
And going forward, he looked dangerous at times too. He provided three key passes in the game, as per Who Scored.
It was far from a match-winning display by West Ham’s left-back. But it was a relief for there to be little drama down West Ham’s left flank.
Manuel Pellegrini must now shun Masuaku in the coming games and give Cresswell an extended run in the team.