I thought West Ham played rather well against Manchester United in last night’s FA Cup fixture. There were some very good performances, and a decent tactical plan which was only undone by individual errors at either end of the pitch.
There is little point in sugar coating the truth . . . Nayef Aguerd had an absolute stinker. He made errors for each of Manchester United’s goals and probably wished the ground had opened up and swallowed him.
However, I’m not too concerned about it because I don’t feel it’s particularly reflective of his ability, or representative of how he’s performed for West Ham so far.
Aguerd is a quality footballer who reads the game well, has good pace, a great range of passing and generally communicates well.
In short he had a night to forget and I doubt we’ll see it too often.
At the other end of the pitch it was a very different story. Michail Antonio had two wonderful opportunities to impact the game and squandered them both. Unlike Aguerds ‘out of character’ errors, Antonio’s were completely consistent with his recent form.
He’s scored three goals in the last 19 games and his period before that was no better either. There can’t have been a single person at Old Trafford who was confident of him scoring when Said Benrahma superbly put him through on goal with a sumptuous pass.
Unfortunately ‘Mikey’ lacks a striker’s instinct, he’s missing that clinical assassins technique which Danny Ings so wonderfully displayed against Nottingham Forest.
I still think Antonio has an important role to play for the remainder of the season but the pressure and expediency to score goals now rests with Danny Ings.
David Moyes can’t afford to gamble on Gianluca Scamacca’s fitness and form, whilst Antonio’s profligate decision making during crucial moments means he can’t be relied upon either.
I think the last two games has seen a changing of the guard. With Danny Ings in the team I believe we might have beaten Manchester United last night. The best thing we can do now, is allow him to lead the line for the remainder of the season.
Unfortunately the reason we really lost that game as you say was we did not take our chances. Aguerd did make some mistakes but I believe the pressure was building and building after we went ahead and I think the route cause of that was Soucek and Antonio were either rubbish or out on their feet and when the ball went up to them it came back straight away. Unfortunately Moyes did not see it and for me you could highlight Aguerd as making mistakes I think the real problem was Moyes’s in game management that ultimately cost us that game. Sone people might think thats harsh but that’s what I was watching unfolding in front of me.
If some of our players were heavily fatigued Moyes should have subbed, he had a bench full. Once again we allowed pressure to build relentlessly and then singled out defenders errors, where if we held the ball and played through the defenders would not be under the cosh continually and make fewer errors.
Totally agree Gonzo. It was a real shame though that Bowen had a small injury that prevented him from playing the full 90. With a fit and firing Bowen from the start we would have won the game. Fornals was totally ineffectual.
I think it was a terrible decision by Moyes to bring Bowen on when he was injured. He was terrible.
We were 1 up when that decision was made. Moyes should have left Fornals on, brought Lanzini on for the ineffective as usual Soucek and Scamacca or Divan for Antonio. Clueless in game management.