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Should Pablo Hernandez Still Start?

Hernandez’s style of play can frustrate fans

Bristol City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

The last three games have been bad for Pablo Hernandez. Okay, maybe you can apply that statement for the whole team. But for Hernandez, it's a worrying trait that can be traced back to the tail end of last season.

Streaky. Hot and cold. Jekyll and Hyde. These are just some of many different examples you can use when describing Pablo Hernandez’s game. He’s pure master class one moment, the next he’s almost begging to not play. He’s unpredictable.

In this three-game losing streak we got going, Pablo Hernandez started twice (at Cardiff & vs Reading) and came off the bench once (at Sheffield Wednesday). In the two that he started, Pablo received a 6.2 and a 6.4 player rating (per sofascore.com) while earning a 7.0 for coming on for Kemar Roofe.

6.2, 7.0, 6.4. Down, up, down again. We can’t have that in the starting lineup if there’s a want for consistency. In a weird way, Pablo Hernandez playing bad, good, and then bad again would mean that he’s consistent. But at a time where fans were calling to sack Thomas Christiansen after we lost to Millwall, there’s little patience for Pablo Hernandez. When he started vs Cardiff, Samu Sáiz took a seat on the bench, something which we’re finding out is borderline criminal to do. Sáiz deserves to be on the pitch all the time. Vs Reading, Pablo was playing out wide, the same place where Stuart Dallas deserves game time at. Listen, I’m a fan of Dallas playing left back, but only because I can never actually believe what I’m seeing on my computer screen. It's funny to me, ok? To his credit, Stu has held his own out there. But for Pete’s sake, play Dallas as a winger! It’s a mistake to overlook him, as many do. He deserves game time, but not at left back. He deserves the game time given to Pablo Hernandez as a winger.

Newcastle United v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

There are levels to Hernandez’s streakiness. My knock on him with these last three games is that he’s good coming on as fresh legs, but not so good starting. But then you have to factor the “he doesn’t play well from home” stigma. But we’re not done there. As with every poor performance by Pablo, you catch yourself wondering if father time has caught up with the Spaniard.

Something has to change. Is relegating Pablo to bench duty and cup games the fairest thing to do? Maybe not, but for right now, it could be necessary. Make Pablo prove that he belongs back in the starting XI.

Do YOU think Pablo Hernandez still deserves to start? Or should he find a spot on the bench? Let us know down in the comments below or on Twitter @ThruItAllLUFC. MOT