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Disappointing Irons but there’s a good reason why

By Hughie Southon

David Moyes made a very big point before and after the game against Leeds which is far too easy to brush aside.

We are sometimes too quick to criticise and last night is probably one of them given that West Ham have now played five games since Christmas with the Premier League deciding it was a good idea to squeeze the Norwich game in last week.

I understand that Leeds were down to wheat we like to call bare bones but let’s also remember they had played only two Premier League and a Cup tie against us games since they were beaten by Arsenal at home on December 18.

We can knock our performance last night as much as we want but the reality is that bare bones or not, Leeds were clearly much fitter with higher energy levels than us as a result of their lighter programme.

With no Tomas Soucek available and Kurt Zouma obviously not ready in the manager’s opinion  the defeat was always going to be on the cards.

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Rather than knock the players I think we should instead be questioning the integrity of the PL’s decision – at a time when the Hammers as a club are trying desperately hard to fulfil their fixtures – to rearrange a game at such a time as they did last week.

I’m a huge horse racing fan and regularly need to remind myself when a weird result occurs that whatever the form looked like before the race the animals aren’t machines and bizarre things occur.

The same is entirely true of football but it certainly hasn’t been helped by the covid-influenced position we find ourselves in and the PL’s response.

I excpect much much better at Old Trafford next weekend.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

11 comments on “Disappointing Irons but there’s a good reason why

  1. It was a half-hearted performance for majority of the game, the Norwich fixture is just a convenient excuse. If they could get tired for the last 20 minutes and concede goal or two, it could be understandable but they approached the game lazily from the start giving Leeds confidence and appetite to get something. And Moyes should look into transfer market instead of finding excuses in one extra fixture during a week.

  2. I think it’s a poor excuse really I’ve never bought into two games a week is too much ie championship. If we’d played 2 upfront even yarmalenko with Antonio the centre backs wouldn’t have closed Antonio down so fast everytime he was given the ball kral in midfield was a better option than lanzini who is lightweight when there is a battle to be won Diop was a disaster and please explain to me why we played so deep all game Antonio needed help and its quite apparent vlasic isn’t the answer we need a left winger ! A few transfer ideas -butland in goal – linguard left midfield -Diego Costa fwd

  3. Yet the PL call the Arsenal game off when they are without players at AFCON, Yet Tottenham can make top down decisions to not take to the field, every other club has been allowed to call games off, PL make decisions on our behalf, as mentioned numerous times imho the PL, UEFA and FIFA act like a Cartel and protects the clubs it has chosen to be the big winners of every event, it loads the dice in their favour, referees make decisions that consistently go predominantly for those clubs, the evidence is present every season yet nothing changes. Unless you do what Man City did and Newcastle will try to do and break the system through financial power it requires almost a miracle, once every 30 years that miracle may happen just to keep the lowly in check but remember when Leicester won the league they were +25 on bad decisions for them that led to goals including two Jamie Vardy penalties against us, we were minus 22 a difference of 47 goals, we were the same difference to Man Utd that season, with Liverpool, City, Arsenal well up the bonus decisions and Tottenham around neutral, had Tottenham got those decisions they would probably have won the league, had we had them we might likely have done also.

    Yesterday there were none but the fixture list tells its own story, we were frequently playing against (relatively) rested sides, we had a stonewall penalty not given, also the same against Norwich which could have cost us, in the Cup Tottenham had a mid-winter fortnight off before playing a warm up game and beating us…

    We should have offered to join the ESL I am starting to think the Juventus chairmen s right when he said he was doing it to save football…

  4. If the squad is stretched and Moyes has one of his main midfielders out (Soucek) – why does he keep leaving Kral (an international footballer) on the bench.

    Has too many favourites – like Masuaku and Yarmo – both a waste of time

    • I read a rumour somewhere Kral may be returned to Russia early Dino, certainly in the games he has played he hasn’t looked upto the pace of the PL or to have the physicality of Soucek or Coufal and as he isn’t getting game time it’s hard for him to prove himself.

  5. Sorry but that is no where near the reason . Many teams are in the same position and some have a far bigger injury / covid absence . The reason is lack of investment in the squad which would enable a modicum of rotation . Not having a ready made replacement for Haller or indeed playing him in the correct role was criminal miss management as was keeping Noble way past his useful ( on the pitch ) contribution . Add this to the silly games Sullivan and co indulge in every transfer window and then buying on the cheap add up to the real cause . It will not improve as success results in more games and no new players means more weeks like this . . Of course I am delighted with the league position but it could , and should be , so much better . COYI

  6. Yes it did feel like we were second best but all credit to Leeds who played very well. The game was end to end and a great advert for the Premier League. Having seen many of the comments on hammers linked Facebook sites I am appalled at the abuse being dished out to several of our players who against all odds got us to 4th so far, Europa Cup knockout stage, last 8 of League Cup and hoping well in FA cup. We could do without these so called supporters!!

  7. Absolutely fair point spot on about our freshness level having played so much, especially Wednesday. However I wish DM had played/subbed on our young defenders in the squad a bit more frequently, so that he felt confident putting them in. It seems a player has to be actually injured to rest him. Part of our tiredness is team selection. Other clubs are all playing under 23 players, including Leeds!

  8. I have never been the best loser in the world, and I have always tried to be honest in my assessments whenever we have lost, but something which I have always felt, has become obvious to me over the recent years.
    There remains BIAS and CORRUPTION within the higher echelons of the game who seek to assist the clubs within the “Big Six” therefore maintaining the status quo. The fixture bias has always been there and the Norwich game which we DIDN’T need was a case in point. But we have also had those spurious VAR decisions, which when added up, are a little more than a coincidence. Not to mention the new game in town… COVID postponement (if a few of your top players are out).
    Dawson and Diop are NOT as good as Zouma and Ogbonna and Soucek was always going to be a Big Miss, I also understand that with our squad size we were possibly going to struggle to get the better of a Leeds side that we have trouble with at the best of times.

    It’s just my opinion.

    • Agree Cat, evidence of the way games are officiated and decisions not only against us but any team that threatens the favoured ones seem to go against us. I often joke that Man Utd are the only team to play 38 home games a season, Mike Dean gave us virtually nothing against Leeds and did his usual primadonna rubbish showboating to the crowd…

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