Mr Perfect – Ryan Fredericks’ sensational Southampton performance
Prior to Saturday, it was nearly ten years since a defender had received a perfect ‘10’ rating from the respected football statistics website WhoScored.com.
Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen was the last to receive such a glowing assessment, back in October 2009, until West Ham United’s Ryan Fredericks matched him!
The right-back was simply sensational in Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League win over Southampton at London Stadium.
Fredericks has been in fine form of late, but against the Saints, he was literally everywhere.
The highlight of the No24’s afternoon came with a little less than 20 minutes remaining, when he collected the ball inside the Southampton half, played a one-two with Jack Wilshere, made his way into the penalty area and took advantage of a fortunate ricochet off Jack Stephens before firing unerringly across Fraser Forster and into the net for his first-ever Premier League goal.
The celebrations which followed showed not only how much the strike meant to the 26-year-old, but also how much it meant to his jubilant teammates, who engulfed him in front of the Billy Bonds Stand.
Ryan Fredericks: Is the first defender to receive a perfect WhoScored 10 rating in a Premier League match since October 2009 (Thomas Vermaelen vs Blackburn)— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 4, 2019
Full player ratings -- https://t.co/J2cpKLkD9o pic.twitter.com/68Ko2Nv5zz
Aside from his goal Fredericks also saw an earlier shot blocked, while he was never afraid to take the attack to the opposition, embarking on four dribbles and winning a team-high four free-kicks for his team.
Passing-wise, he ranked fifth of West Ham’s players with 48 attempted, completing 37 of them for a 77.1% completion rate.
Defensively, Fredericks was quite simply peerless, with his determination, awareness and searing pace stopping Southampton in their tracks – repeatedly.
After a steady performance in the opening half, the speedy full-back stepped up a gear after the break, making an outstanding interception to deny Nathan Redmond on the hour-mark before making an even more important intervention to stop Shane Long as the Irishman bore down on the West Ham goal.
Few full-backs in the Premier League would have had the pace to get across on the cover, but that is just one of the qualities which make Fredericks the archetypal modern player in his position.
The Londoner made four tackles, two interceptions and four clearances in total.
And when you add all the above together, you get a perfect defensive performance – one of a standard the Premier League had not seen in nearly a decade.