Seething West Ham boss David Moyes has told his players he will move them out of the club if he ever sees a repeat of their second-half display at Brighton that saw the Hammers tamely give up on a Europa League return.
The Hammers enjoyed themselves in Europe this season, going all the way to the semi-finals of the competition. Their run was ultimately ended by eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt at the semi-final stage. However, starting the day in seventh, a return to the competition looked unlikely with them needing to better Manchester United’s result on the day.
As it was, a goal from Michail Antonio put them ahead against Brighton, while the Red Devils fell behind at almost the same time at Crystal Palace. And with Ralf Rangnick’s side ultimately slipping to a 1-0 defeat, the door was wide open for West Ham to take advantage.
As it was, second-half strikes from Joel Veltman, Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck earned the Seagulls a deserved 3-1 success.
And the result only leaves the Hammers with a place in the Europa Conference League next term following the costly capitulation.
After the match, an irate Moyes tore into his players.
“I’m just feeling there’s a missed opportunity and I’m really disappointed with our overall performance,” Moyes said.
“Second half, you could have driven a bus through us so many times. We didn’t show any real desire to make it hard for them to score against us.
“We didn’t play well and not like a West Ham team second half. Really disappointing – no resilience, no toughness, nothing about us in the second half.
“If we’re going to play like that then we’re going to be challenging in a different part of the league. I won’t have them if they’re going to play like that.”
David Moyes refusing to blame it on busy schedule
West Ham’s trip to the Amex Stadium was their 56th fixture of a gruelling campaign.
Nonetheless, Moyes insists West Ham cannot use that as a reason and insists the players only have themselves to blame.
“I wouldn’t because I would feel it would be a excuse and I won’t give the players that room,” said the Scot.
“They know I’m not happy. “I’m not really that bothered what their mood is, but you can tell what my mood is and I’m hoping my mood is reflecting on how they’re reacting and how they feel.
Jesse Lingard on the brink of a return to West Ham
Jesse Lingard is seemingly closing in on a return to West Ham, with reports suggesting they’ve offered to match the wages he earns at Manchester United
“We want them to have a good holiday, but I also want them to understand that being OK in 37 games (is not enough). You’ve got to be good in them all.
“We knew (United were losing) and that’s why I was hoping I was going to see a tough, resilient, hard-to-beat team. I wanted us to look as if they had something they were fighting for. Sadly, I didn’t see that.”
Meanwhile, one man who the Hammers want to build their team around is Declan Rice. He will take over as club captain from the retiring Mark Noble. Now West Ham believe they have a definite answer on the future of the in-demand star.