This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Aaron Cresswell put in a solid performance for West Ham United during the team’s 3-1 loss against Arsenal.
The 29-year-old played 51 minutes for the Hammers before being forced off through injury, with the team still having a clean sheet when he went off the pitch.
Cresswell was resilient and effective in a defensive sense, coming up against Nicolas Pepe, as he made four tackles, four interceptions and one clearance during his time on the pitch.
In addition to that, the West Ham man won six of the nine duels that he was involved in throughout the game’s duration. All in all, he was a reason for optimism.
There was a period of fewer than 10 minutes that saw the Hammers capitulate and allow Arsenal to score all three of their goals.
This will not have helped Manuel Pellegrini in his pursuit of further job security, and it is no coincidence that the decline came while Cresswell was off the pitch.
It strengthens this point that Arsenal’s latter two goals were created by attacking the left side of the Hammers’ defence, as the first came from Pepe cutting across Arthur Masuaku, while the other came from a dink that he failed to sufficiently block.
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Those two goals only accentuate the point that Cresswell did a very good job of dealing with the Ivory Coast international, as he put in some superb challenges to stop him.
So while the 29-year-old will feel frustration about his injury and the end result, he should get a level of satisfaction from the knowledge that he put in a solid performance during his time on the pitch.