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MARK our words Moysie – the stat told the story

One big stat dominated conversations last night after Mark Noble was named in the David Moyes starting line up at Old Trafford.

Many of course don’t accept such stats but it remains a fact that the team hasn’t won a game in which he has started this season.

The reason why may have been amply demonstrated at Old Trafford last night when it was crystal that Tomas Soucek’s usual space was at times dominated by the 33 year old.

Most would agree that Tomas wasn’t the same as he has been previously and I think Mark’s presence was the reason.

Let’s leave the emotion out of this for a moment – we all know how great a Hammer loyalist Mark has been and love him for it but we are not into that for the purposes of this piece.

The manager chose to go with Mark for his own reasons which seem totally clear – he was looking for a point.

His actions admitted that when taking him and Ben Johnson off once we went behind – reactive thinking when lateral was required ahead of this game.

This was not a great Manchester United team, quick and offensive yes, but the fact that it took a set piece own goal to settle things speaks volumes.

Benrahma or Lanzini – who started to look very bright again last night – were the obvious choices for most of us.

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The line-up never looked a “win” formation and once again the manager came away from the place winless again after 15 attempts.

Mark’s place appeared to be established much earlier in the season – a sub when a game needs closing down, not when it needs winning.

I’m very very loathe to knock the boss after the wonders he has performed this season but, like most, Nobes from the start was a very wrong choice I reckon.

In Rice and Soucek we have one of the finest – if not THE finest – midfield duo in the PL. Diluting it as was the case last night Moysie was a very poor idea.

I certainly don’t expect to see him in the starting line up for the next three games and would have a ‘pony’  that Moyes doesn’t do so.


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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 “MARK our words Moysie – the stat told the story

  1. He has been totally loyal to the club but Mark has lost his Nobility. He stuck out like a sore thumb with most of his true to form back passes and little else except being a passenger. He isn’t up to Mark currently for participation in the Premier League. I don’t know what Moyes was expecting him to do but we could all see he doesn’t fit into the current team. I would expect to see him play a major role again aside from a few cameo’s as long as we’re in good standing.

  2. I can’t disagree on that. We also missed Lingard, with Antonio looking isolated.

  3. Moyes got it wrong. He’s knows that even if he won’t admit it. Noble is sadly finished at this level. The improvement of the rest of the team sadly shows this even more (if he were in Sheff Utd’s team he’d probably look okay, but not for us at the moment as he slows everything down as soon as he takes the ball). You can’t blame Nobes though, it was just another really negative performance against one of the big boys. Really frustrating as fans because I think we were all so positive going into these games, like the liverpool game and then just don’t turn up because Moyes wants to play for a draw. He clearly has no Champs league ambition, I suspect he is trying to ‘play safe’ for the Europa but that won’t happen if we keep doing this. Moyes has my full respect for sure though, just think he got this wrong and the strategy against big teams isn’t right. Let’s hope he’s more bold against Arsenal.

  4. Good article Hugh , it’s hard to knock DM or the team , they had what they had on the pitch . Benrhama was the obvious choice from the start , I personally don’t think he is getting the game time he needs . Never mind onwards and upwards , I expect the team will show a positive reaction against Arsenal . COYI ⚒

  5. We love Nobes but he can’t deliver now. He has lost speed of thought and action, sadly, and after three strides has to check and turn with the ball. Agree totally that he is frankly getting in the way of Tomas and Dec. He can’t do 90 mins so must be a late sub at best. Don’t want to knock DM but this option doesn’t work.

  6. We’ve had a good season and considering where we started, I have half a cheek writing this, but that last night was SO disappointing, such a waste of an amazing opportunity and unfortunately one big reason why Moyes will never be acclaimed as a great manager. Good maybe, solid, but not great.
    Firstly as others have said…”why change a winning formula & team”…benrahma for lingard and bowen for fornals were the only changes needed.
    Secondly, Noble messes up Soucek & Rice…. he is in their way and does not have the speed nor engine anymore to harass the defenders….they just played round him…again
    Thirdly, the striker issue….all been said before but Antonio’s game is power & pace. He is so obviously being protected and playing within himself and trying to rely on hold up skills he does not have. He looked awful last night and that too is on the manager. Haller wasn’t right but someone should be brought in or played other than an unfit or half hearted/carrying an injury player.
    Worse for me than all that though is the poor treatment of Johnson and the total disrespect shown to the U23s by not naming a full compliment of subs AND naming two goalies rather than even giving a first team match day experience to two youngsters. EVEN if you are not going to play them!!
    Johnson is a right back and yes can’t get in the team over Coufal. Let him play in the U23s and then learn from Vlad and develop. Like all full backs he can, in an emergency, play left back but its not ideal….. what he can’t and shouldn’t be asking a 20 yr old to do is suddenly play right wing and then yell at him every two mins for being in the wrong position. Kid was so obviously confused…that will set him back months in his development.
    We are in a position whereby the rest of this season is a free hit. Go win the games, or lose trying, it will still be better than for the 3rd time this year, trying to defend for 90 mins against reputations rather than the team in front of you…. 3 attempts, 3 ****e defeats, can we learn now please or are we trying to do the FA a favour and finish 8th deliberately?

    • I’ve read all the comments about the game and yes noble probably shouldn’t have played however there is a bigger question I feel needs looking at and that is David Moyes tactics .
      I cant understand having been sacked by Man Utd why on earth he played such a negative way ?
      Why didn’t he show them how he can manage a team that will attack his old club and play them off the park?
      What is the point of just sitting back and waiting for the inevitable to happen.
      Come on David your a better manager than that, let’s attack ourselves into the top four.

    • I agree with nearly everything you’ve said here with the exception of using the U23’s.
      Moyes explained why our bench is without them as they cannot be in two bubbles at the same time and you cant just swap bubbles.

  7. Awful tactics,,once noble was starting you know whats coming and to me Antonio looks like he has lost some pace ..and not being harsh but johnston isn’t good enough..yet(maybe)…our thin squad is just starting to struggle at a very important time….imo

  8. A point would have set you up nicely to win game in hand and get in to top 4. Do you think the score would have been one nil if you’d went so attacking? If you make top 4 by goal difference,then a one nil loss instead of a 4 or 5 nil loss could be the result that does it. Remember where you were last season and look at it in perspective, it’s really quite a fickle article, even Pep and Man city can’t play the same tactics against everybody

  9. Mark was a solid performer for a decade but he’s been a Championship player for 3 years and now a League 1 player. Moyes has done a great job but I cannot understand this Noble blind spot. How can he not see that Noble has a seriously damaging impact on the team and the great Soucek/Rice axis is stunted as a result?

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