West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

Moyes puts West Ham star firmly in crosshairs over major Arsenal decision

David Moyes shouts at the fourth official during West Ham's defeat to Arsenal, December 2021

West Ham manager David Moyes admitted that referee Anthony Taylor was right to give Arsenal a penalty and that Vladimir Coufal’s tackle should have been better.

The Hammers lost 2-0 the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday courtesy of two second-half goals. However, it could have been at least 3-0 had Alexandre Lacazette netted from 12 yards.

The Frenchman won the spot-kick in a challenge from Czech Republic international Coufal.

The defender slid in and while he made contact with the ball, his follow-through on Lacazette forced Taylor to point to the spot. VAR did check it and decided not to intervene.

Coufal did, though, receive a second yellow card and a subsequent red.

Moyes told BT Sport of the incident: “”I think we’ve had a weekend just gone of really soft penalty kicks and I think that Anthony Taylor might have this one right.

“We do get the ball and I’d like to claim that, but I think Vladimir should have got a better contact on the ball. He should have either got his foot to it and got the ball away, or if he’s going to block it he’s got to get a fuller contact on the ball.

“I still think the referee on the pitch could have quite easily not given it because of the contact.

West ham target CB and MLS hotshot

West ham target CB and MLS hotshot

The Hammers need a centre half to ease their injury issues but are also interested in the MLS top scorer.

“I think the follow-through was one of the reasons for it, he should have toe-poked the ball away or blocked it, I don’t think it was that difficult a tackle to make.”

In any case, goals from Gabriel Martinelli and substitute Emile Smith Rowe won the day for Arsenal.

“Well, we didn’t play well. Arsenal played well tonight,” Moyes added. “We were right in the game for long periods, we’d kept them out and worked hard to do so.

“But we just gave it away late on when we were down to 10 men and we were doing quite well at that point.”

Moyes admits West Ham struggling

Craig Dawson, Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal v West Ham December 2021

The result saw Arsenal overtake West Ham into the top four.

It was also a sign of the Hammers’ current malaise. Since the 3-2 win over Liverpool at the start of November, they have won only two of eight games.

Moyes said: “I think we’re just in a period where we’re suffering with injuries and we’re a little bit short.

“As I’ve said for a few weeks, we’ve been a bit short in our forward play in the last month, certainly since the last international break.”

On potential January transfers to beef up his ranks, though, he added: “I don’t know where we are, but before we started this game tonight we were fourth in the league so those players have done a great job for getting us there.”

West Ham return to action on Saturday when playing Norwich at the London Stadium.