Sunday 20 August 2023

Why Paqueta Must Play today!

The circus continues at West Ham as Chelsea come visiting for today's London derby. Both sides picked up a draw in their opening fixtures, with Chelsea looking impressive at times against Liverpool.

Meanwhile, the Hammers threw away the win against a toothless Bournemouth side by conceding a late equaliser.

But today's game is overshadowed by the Lucas Paqueta situation, with the Brazilian due to unrgo an FA investigation into alleged betting pattern abnormalities.

It's hard to know how much meat there is to the allegations, with various outlets speculating that it relates to yellow card offences.

Footage of soft yellow cards being dished out to Paqueta against Villa (last season) and Bournemouth (last week). However, upon viewing both, its hard to see what all the fuss is about. 

Against Villa, Paqueta tries to dispossess John McGinn with a wrap around tackle which doesn't quite come off. In the context of the game, Paqueta had received his usual sizeable dose of heavy attention and unsurprisingly had a niggle back - in reality, he is a wiry operator and the challenge is not unusual for him or the Moyes 'dispossess and counter' philosophy.

Against Bournemouth, the yellow is for a coming together from a long kick out - like most on the ground players, he is a tad awkward but the yellow is very soft and by no means a solid card. Hardly the stuff of betting certainty!

The news from West ham is that Paqueta has been training as usual. It's important that the club show faith in him by selecting him to start today.

We will need him against Chelsea!

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