Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has revealed a serious tactical error that David Moyes needs to sort out if West Ham are to continue their upward curve.
The Hammers have enjoyed an excellent campaign to date and sit fifth in the Premier League standings. That is after they finished 16th in 2019-2020 and there has been a major improvement at the London Stadium.
But, as the business end of proceedings approaches, they have started to drop points. A 2-1 loss to Manchester City was followed by a 2-0 triumph over Leeds United.
But they were then disappointing in losing 1-0 to Manchester United before Sunday’s 3-3 draw at home to Arsenal. The East End outfit took a 3-0 lead before being pegged back by Mikel Arteta’s men.
“West Ham came and pressed them, they tried to win the ball high up and Arsenal just didn’t get it right,” he told Sky Sports. “For players, as soon as the shackles are off and they have nothing to lose, they can play.
“But at the same time, I think West Ham helped with that because they sat back so deep, that they invited Arsenal onto them.
“And if you give them that much time and defend on the edge of your box, they will open you up by the end of the game.”
Worrying trend for Moyes
Champions League football next season is still very much a possibility for West Ham. But, with Chelsea two points better off and Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton in striking distance, it will be tough.
They need to be taking maximum points from games in which they earn such a commanding lead. Moyes has been critical of his charges in recent weeks and felt they were not at their best when beating Leeds.
But he took responsibility for the United defeat, confessing that his tactics were wrong.
“The way we set up maybe didn’t quite work,” he said after that game. “We changed it a bit at half time and again later on.
“It improved it a little bit. Manchester United grew into the game and caused us problems.”
The international break will give the Hammers a chance to regroup ahead of the run-in. They have nine games left in which to nudge back into the top four.
Next up is a trip to Molineux to face Wolves on April 5 before Leicester City come calling six days later.
READ MORE: Pundit shuts down talk of Moyes exit