This midfield struggle ripples through the team, impacting technically proficient players like Ward-Prowse and Paqueta. Despite their skills, their time on the ball is disjointed and limited, resulting in extended periods without meaningful action for attacking players.
West Ham grappling with structural issues
Let’s face it West Ham are grappling with concerning structural issues. The absence of Edson Alvarez has created a personnel dilemma for Moyes, exacerbating the challenges faced by any team losing a quality player from its starting XI writes Michael Talbot.
However, the current solution presented is deeply flawed. The pairing of James Ward-Prowse and Tomas Soucek yesterday proved ineffective— the normally reliable Soucek appeared static and lethargic, contributing minimally, while Ward-Prowse, who sees himself as an attacking player, struggled in a double-pivot without the resolute Alvarez
The tactical approach in the match was disjointed and dull, marked by frustration evident in Paqueta’s gestures towards his defence for poor decisions. This frustration hampers decision-making, leading to wasted possessions and a lack of forward momentum.
The defensive solidity that usually characterizes Moyes’ sides was notably absent. Zouma and Aguerd had sub par performances, frequently caught off guard in their own box, beaten in the air, and shaky on the ball.
Coufal and Cresswell’s struggles were somewhat masked by Fulham’s crossing limitations, but Mavropanos and Emerson, introduced later, displayed a lack of tactical understanding in the back five, contributing to Fulham’s increased control.
While there’s talk of Moyes needing to be replaced, considering his past success and the team’s position in the top half of the table and Europa League competition, I hate to say it, seems premature.
Injuries have undoubtedly played a role, and addressing key areas, such as adding support for Bowen and Paqueta in leading the line and reinstating Alvarez to the defensive midfield role, could alleviate some issues.
But nevertheless, losing is one thing- but 5-0 is a clear signal that the current plan of passiveness and hoping to nick one at the death is suicidal.