Fans have been calling for David Moyes to make changes to his team and the Scottish manager opted for a big tactical change in defence, which paid off as the Hammers earned just their second shutout of the season.
Thilo Kehrer, who has done well at centre-back since his summer switch from PSG, was moved to right-back in order to accommodate the return of Craig Dawson to the starting line-up.
This meant that Vladimir Coufal would drop to the bench after some lacklustre performances in recent weeks, and the change certainly paid off as the Hammers moved out of the relegation zone.
Coufal, who reportedly earns £35k-per-week at the London Stadium, had averaged a disappointing 6.36 rating from WhoScored for his performances in the top flight so far this season, with no goals and assists to his name, so he was rightfully dropped from the starting XI.
With that shoddy form mind, it’s hardly surprising that journalist Alan Rzepa decided upon some choice words to describe his defending last month – “absolutely shocking.”
Taking him out of the team was somewhat of a masterstroke from the Hammers boss who struck gold with the Czech full-back’s replacement.
Kehrer has featured at full-back for the Germany national team in the past and looked confident in that very role on Saturday, even registering an assist for Bowen’s goal,
The 26-year-old would earn a strong 7.3/10 rating from SofaScore for his performance, contributing a whopping five tackles and four clearances as he more than played his part in the Hammers earning a rare clean sheet.
He also impressed going forwards, registering a 93% pass success rate, which is significantly better than the shocking 66.4% pass success rate averaged by Coufal so far this campaign.
The Hammers looked far more confident with Kehrer as a right-back and Dawson reigniting his partnership from last season with Kurt Zouma, so Moyes deserves a lot of credit for changing things up in search of a much-needed victory.
Considering his woeful start to the new campaign, Hammers fans must be hoping that Coufal can stay benched for a while with Moyes potentially ditching him from his plans with Kehrer having shown his qualities in that position.