David Moyes’ West Ham United side went into Sunday’s Premier League fixture against Southampton in something of a dip of form, with the Hammers having won just one of their last six league fixtures.
And, despite twice drawing level through Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma, after Mohamed Elyounoussi and then James Ward-Prowse had given Saints the lead in the fixture, Jan Bednarek’s 70th-minute header was enough for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side to seal all three points at the London Stadium, with the visitors running out 3-2 victors.
As is to be expected after such a result, a number of West Ham’s players did not enjoy their finest of displays on Sunday afternoon, with centre-back duo Issa Diop and Craig Dawson, as well as Nikola Vlasic and Vladimir Coufal, all enduring something of a fixture to forget.
However, it was undoubtedly 25-year-old Pablo Fornals who let his manager down the most against Southampton, as the Spain international turned in a particularly anonymous display from attacking midfield.
Despite having been in decent form over his 17 Premier League appearances so far this season, scoring four goals, registering two assists and creating four big chances for his teammates, the £18m-rated Fornals was far from at his best on Sunday afternoon.
Indeed, over his 45 minutes on the pitch, the £79k-per-week midfielder managed a mere 26 touches of the ball, completed just 14 of his 24 attempted passes – a completion rate of 58% – failed with both his one attempted cross and one attempted long ball and won just one of his three duels.
The Spaniard also lost the ball on 12 separate occasions, meaning he ceded possession with every 2.1 touches, and was dribbled past by an opponent twice, before being hooked by Moyes at halftime.
These returns saw the 25-year-old earn a SofaScore match rating of just 6.3, with only Lukasz Fabianski between the West Ham sticks receiving a lower score than the midfielder on the day.
Furthermore, the Evening Standard journalist Jack Rosser awarded Fornals a five in his own player ratings, writing of his display: “Not his usual energetic self. Couldn’t get anything going on the break against a Southampton side leaving big gaps.”
As such, it is clear for all to see that the forward badly let his manager down against Saints on Sunday, with it looking extremely unlikely that Fornals will retain his starting spot in the side when the Hammers visit Watford on Tuesday evening.