David Moyes needs to show confidence in his talent as a player for winnable home games
West Ham’s 2020/21 campaign has been quite solid so far.
The Hammers have established an identity under David Moyes, appear to have a bit more of themselves in most aspects of their game, and have shown a steadfast determination to get results against teams that were to win three points against them.
But there is still work to be done in east London, and for all the good work Moyes has done so far this season, more has to come from the Scotsman when he faces off against teams that West Ham should really be looking to beat. .
This was especially evident against Brighton at London Stadium, which West Ham has inexplicably failed to beat since becoming a Premier League side, as Moyes chose his side badly.
It should have been a game where West Ham put themselves in the lead, seeking to bring the game to a side from Albion who had only won two Premier League games before kick-off. It should have been a game that Said Benrahma, who lit up the league last season for Brentford with his attacking flair and eye for goal, was let go from the start and tasked with taking the ball to shake things up.
At the very least, it should have been a game where West Ham showed a bit of creative intent and desire to be the team that scores first.
Instead, Moyes opted to go back to the rear wing system – that’s right, it’s worked so far this season – which has served West Ham so well, but with a caveat.
Instead of deploying Benrahma – or Manuel Lanzini or Pablo Fornals – On the left side of a forward three striker, Mark Noble was inexplicably given a start in central midfielder. The only explanation that comes to mind right off the bat may be fitness concerns, but without any mention of Benrahma or anyone else struggling with a problem, it’s hard to understand the thought behind the inclusion. de Noble in a central three alongside Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek.
“I have to say I watched the Monday Night Football game and thought its inclusion was a bit unnecessary. Even today looking at him, nothing against Mark Noble, he has been a fantastic player but it just seems like there could have been another attacking player. “
– Gary Neville speaking on Sky Sports
The skipper is a legendary West Ham figure, there is no doubt about it. But it’s painfully clear for at least 12 months that Noble’s abilities aren’t what they once were. He is not mobile enough, he is not agile enough, he is not creative enough and he is certainly not fast enough to trouble a known team, despite their difficulties, to stroke the ball and be on the ball. comfortable in possession.
Neat touches and tight turns on the ball in confined spaces is one thing, but with Noble tasked with leading the three in midfield to push and maximize West Ham’s press, it was inevitable that Brighton would dominate possession and pass. way too long. on the ball.
That’s exactly what they did in the first 45 minutes as West Ham struggled and chased shadows, was completely outclassed and deservedly dropped a goal just before the break thanks to Neal’s tidy turn and finish Maupay. It was one of those halves where you just sat down and thought about where on earth a goal is going to come from for the hosts, and who on earth will be able to achieve it.
Even Jarrod Bowen, who has been excellent this season, was no color and hardly saw the ball as he looked aimlessly to get involved – a direct cause of the system he was asked to play in. .
At halftime, Noble was hooked. On came Lanzini, as well as Andriy Yarmolenko, and the hammers were immediately a different proposition after the break. They were still far from at their best, but at least showed a greater intention to move forward and make things uncomfortable for Brighton.
Tomas Soucek’s fortuitous late header earned West Ham a point, but it was a performance and result that should not give Moyes any joy. Against Brighton, a team that will be involved in this season’s relegation battle, there was absolutely no reason for the creative influences from the Hammers – especially Benrahma, who didn’t even come – to end up on the bench .
It’s a mindset that must change if the good work West Ham and Moyes have done this season is to be sustained and developed.
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