On paper, West Ham’s Monday night 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town was achievable because they played a weaker opponent.
Indeed, both teams are apart in quality, but that the Terriers arrived London Stadium on the back of 2 victories and a draw in their first ever 3 EPL games means they are far from being minnows.
Thanks to manager Slaven Bilic’s tactics, the league new boys were put to the sword, and the system deployed for the game might prove to be the winning formula West Ham need to succeed this season.
Summer arrival and veteran defender Pablo Zabaleta featured in a right wing-back position, and he put in his best performance in the Hammers shirt by a country mile.
Apart from helping Bilic’s defence, that had conceded 10 goals in 3 league games prior to that, to a clean sheet with 4 successful tackles and winning 4 of 5 aerial duels, Zabaleta was a nuisance to the visitors’ defence from the wing.
The 32-year-old Argentine supplied two crosses and two key passes to help put pressure on the Terriers’ goal, and it makes sense for Bilic to stick with him in the role in the 3-4-3 formation.
Zabaleta was happy with his performance despite having not played as a wing-back in a while, and he told whufc.com: “I played as a wing-back against Huddersfield. It’s been a long time since I played in that position, but I was happy with the performance.
“I always tried to support in attack and also always try to be in the right position defensively. Overall I think we were solid at the back.”
If it’s not broken, there isn’t a need to fix it, and there shouldnt be a reason for Bilic not to deploy his men in the next game against West Brom like he did on Monday.
Zabaleta could just be the missing piece of the puzzle the club have needed all along to excel in the wing-back system.