What Will Happen When The 'General' Balbuena Returns?

Manuel Pellegrini's team selections this season have been subject to catastrophic intervention due to an almost unbelievable injury list, but to use a classic car motoring analogy he now finds his team selection at the top of a long up hill climb that has reached it's summit which is now going to gain rapid acceleration on the way from the top, so much so that it might give the brakes a good testing!

Testing may well be the operative word as the Hammers manager attempts to ease some of his long suffering walking wounded back in to the first team following their successful recovery from injury, none more so will be the case of 'the return of the General' Fabian Balbuena. In the formidable Paraguayan's absence several players have been asked to fill the void, having forged an almost telepathic communication with Issa Diop after a few games Balbuena's injury, along with a host of others, was sorely felt.

Initially results following the 'general's' injury were poor and Diop, who had seemed like a rock alongside Balbuena, suddenly began to make mistakes and show defensive frailty, so much so that fans were starting to question as to whether he should be in the starting line up. After several experiments that failed, Pellegrini elected to try Angelo Ogbonna as part of a back four and since that decision the defence has oozed confidence, a confidence that has spread throughout the entire team.

So, along with the tricky reintegration of Manuel Lanzini in midfield, a not uncomplicated political task that would see Samir Nasri seeing a lot more time on the bench and Jack Wilshere, if he ever returns from injury, even further down the pecking order, Pellegrini will also have to keep Ogbonna happy. Angelo has been subject to several offers from Italian clubs but was not allowed to leave during the January window due to Hammer's injury list, however if he is instantly replaced by Balbuena he may feel his time at the club is up, and that is even before the impending return of the 'Warrior' that is Winston Reid*.

Although there will obviously be quite a clear out during the next transfer window with several high profile players approaching the end of their contracts, the team will have so much more strength in depth than back in the past, in fact in the past the team had no strength in depth! Pellegrini will soon be having the sort of headache he wants, tha is until the 'big boys' come calling for the Hammers' emerging talent both home grown and from afar. - Ed

*We will have more about Reid in an article to follow shortly

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andycarrollstyle's picture

Look forward to the follow up on Reid, ive lost how long he's been out for - seems like forever

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Burkie 1's picture

Like most long term injury's the General and Reid will have to be content with the bench ,we would want to be mad to drop Ogby now ,he's been outstanding and you can totally tell he's developing the same understanding with Diop

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Burkie 1

mcbikeman's picture

Said he is building a squad not a Team so nobody is guaranteed a start this keeps players on there toes which is a good thing...obviously this has not been the case during our injury crisis but now that they are coming back it is sure going to be an interesting last few weeks to the end of the season.....regarding the defence Ogbonna has been playing very well and it would be unfair to drop him out of the team on that basis as for Winston Reid well i have always thought he is lorded a bit too much by some fans...if he is fit and we can get money for him i would sell in the summer.

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Burkie 1's picture

Cant agree bike ,he was outstanding for us,not to long ago when every west ham fan was delirious when he signed a new 5 year contract

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Burkie 1

mcbikeman's picture

But he's just picking up injuries on a regular basis now and i think we can sniff out better options on lower wages because we all know that Diop and Balbuena will be the starters in future once ogbonna rmbrs who he is lol

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