West Ham boss David Moyes has received plenty of criticism since returning to the London Stadium as manager at the end of December.
The Hammers dropped inside the bottom three just before the Scot’s first game in charge against Bournemouth on New Year’s Day.
They immediately jumped back outside the relegation zone with a win over the Cherries, however.
But West Ham have failed to kick on since then.
In the nine Premier League games that followed the win over Eddie Howe’s side, the Hammers have racked up just five points.
And they now sit in 16th spot in the table, level on points with 18th placed Bournemouth.
Now, that is quite clearly not good enough for West Ham.
But it’s not all bad. Moyes deserves huge credit for one particular decision.
Ryan Fredericks suffered a hamstring injury in January, and returned to action in February.
The 27-year-old then suffered another setback – this time a shoulder injury, and has been out of action since then.
The easy decision would have been to bring in the experienced and usually reliable Pablo Zabaleta in place of the former Fulham man.
Bold call that has paid off
But Moyes went against the grain, and played academy graduate Jeremy Ngakia in some extremely highly pressurised situations – Liverpool home and away, a must-win game against Southampton at home and a trip to Arsenal.
And the 19-year-old has really impressed. In fact, it could actually be argued that he has already made the right-back position at the London Stadium his own.
In four Premier League appearances thus far, Ngakia has racked up 12 tackles, six interceptions, 13 clearances and 13 ball recoveries (premierleague.com).
The teenager has looked incredibly comfortable playing in the Premier League against seasoned pros. And he has all of the tools needed to go on and become a truly top player for West Ham.
And if he does just that, he will have David Moyes to thank for providing him with the platform to showcase his ability.