The Moyes verdict: Villa looked at a different level


David Moyes on the touchline at Aston Villa

By Hughie Southon

David Moyes knows West Ham need to stand up and be counted after a very poor performance at Villa Park.

The 4-1 defeat means the team has now conceded 12 times in the five games, losing three of them. That’s a stark contrast to the opening four games which saw the lads win three, draw one and concede just four goals.

The frailty we are now seeing has to be addressed quickly if we are not to face an unexpected and desperately unrequired slide down the table.

And the manager admitted this afternoon following the 4-1 defeat at Villa Park that we hadn’t done the basics well enough. The reality was we did nothing well enough against a team who had no trouble at all winning their 11th game at home on the trot.

This was always going to be a tough game although Villa may have found it one of the easiest of their season so far and Moyes was not a happy man afterwards. He knows we need to  produce a much better next few games to halt the arrest the recent slide down to ninth place.

He said: “I’ve no doubt that Aston Villa had better quality in the big moments than we did and if you look at how they’ve been playing in the last six months or so, they’ve got that.

We’re still trying to build a team. We’ve started the season well and had lots of good things said about us but I know because I am the one who sees us every day that there are lots of things we need to do better.

Today was a game against a side who you maybe hope we’ll be competing with, but they looked like they were at a different level than we were today.

I’m most disappointed that we lost our being tough and hard to beat and play against and we let them score easy goals. That’s not what my teams do.

Our football is improving and some of our stuff is getting better, but we can’t then let that be part of it and not defend hard enough, well enough or compact enough to make it hard for the opposition to score.

I thought we did gift them goals, and certainly the second one was very disappointing with what we did there.

We were one-nil down at the time and we had done OK. Maybe we hadn’t played as well [as them] but in the first half we had great opportunities to make chances.

We’ve had that in games this season and taken those chances, like we did away to Brighton, when we’ve made the moments count. Today we had the chance to make those moments and we never made them.

We got the opportunities to pick out a good cross or find somebody in the box or find someone clean or pick someone out from a corner, but we didn’t do that.

If you look at their third goal, it was really unlucky. They hit a diagonal pass and Mo just stretches his leg to either control it or stop it getting to where its destination was and it falls to John McGinn, who plays in Ollie Watkins.

It still shouldn’t have happened like that, but that’s how quick those games can change. That’s what happens. It was a really quick counter-attack and they got the goal and we’ve done that to other teams ourselves.

There was a period [after our goal] when we were better with the ball and a bit better going into the box and earned one or two corner kicks, but we weren’t quite clinical enough to make them count, really.

We had a couple of things kicked away or cleared off the line, but it wasn’t enough.”

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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