West Ham manager David Moyes' decision to field just six substitutes in his sides' game against Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium has prompted massive speculation from Hammers fans that it was in fact a message to the board.
The Irons ran out comfortable winners in a convincing 4-1 thrashing of Huddersfield, but that didn't stop fans continuing to deliberate the meaning of Moyes' surprising substitute reduction.
While West Ham are currently experiencing a deluge of injuries, including totemic players like Winston Reid and Andy Carroll, supporters felt the neglection of a seventh sub was actually an inference to the club's hierarchy to improve the squad.
Despite some fans empathising and agreeing with the 54-year-old's evaluation of the situation, others were less than pleased, citing the worthy argument that any experience for a youth team player on the bench is positive.
Here is the best of the reaction:
Is Moyes trying to make a point to the Board by only naming 6 subs?— TheWestHamWayCoUk (@WestHamWaycouk) January 13, 2018
West ham only naming 6 subs..a fucking premier league club not being able to fill the bench is embarrassing.— Leon Cooke (@LeonCooke87) January 13, 2018
Throw a youth lad in the mix give him some experience. Poor from West ham
Could be Sakho refusing the subs bench?— DAVID FORD (@DavidTFord10) January 13, 2018
WE ONLY NEED 6 SUBS— West_Ham_COYI (@West_Ham_COYI) January 13, 2018
However, despite the furore, Moyes was happy to reveal his reasons for the reduction of subs in his post match press conference, admitting: "I've been asked that a few times now and I think everyone is making far too big a deal of it.
"I had a reserve game last night and the decision was we wanted them to play in the reserves because we have got a cup game on Tuesday.
"We might consider some of them for that game but then it would have meant getting one of them in the car straight away after the game last night and sending them up.
"I chose not to do that, we went with one less."
Notwithstanding the Scotsman's clarification, it still seems a strange move, and there is little doubt that the club are in need of a few additions to bolster the squad as they look to advance up the league table.
Accordingly, the club have recently been linked with Everton's youthful prospect Tom Davies, and don't be surprised to see more and more names associated with a move to the London Stadium.