David Moyes took aim at the more established members of his squad after claiming they let him down against Everton, and two pundits zeroed in on who he was referring to.
West Ham remained in the bottom three after slumping to a 1-0 defeat in a frantic clash with Everton at Goodison Park. The Hammers had entered the contest on the back of successive wins in the Europa Conference League.
However, David Moyes’ men couldn’t transfer that form back onto the domestic scene on Sunday afternoon.
Neal Maupay’s 53rd minute goal was the difference between the two sides and Moyes delivered a few home truths in the post-match fallout.
Speaking to Sky Sports, a visibly frustrated Moyes admitted the display was “not very good.”
He continued: “Certainly we picked up a wee bit after they scored but prior to that we hadn’t been very good.
“I think the first half was a poor game all round really with the amount of times both teams turned the ball over. In the end we didn’t get the result.”
When asked if the defeat was a step back after West Ham appeared to have overcome their slow start in recent weeks, Moyes offered one explanation, though also took aim at his established stars for disappointing yet again.
Moyes concerned about those he knows best
“We had a game on Thursday night, you have to take that into consideration as well,” added Moyes.
“We’re still trying to put new players in and try and get the best out of them and find out about them.
“Today we found out little bits, but it was mainly about the players I know about, they were the ones in the main who let me down at different times with poor play overall.”
Interviewer Patrick Davison then enquired as to whether too many of Moyes’ trusted stars are down on their true levels right now.
“Yeah,” replied Moyes. “I think that was partly what I was referring to when we came back.
“The players who we played last year are down on their level as well as introducing new players.
“Look, we’ve shown signs we were getting back to it, [but] I didn’t think we did today.
“We just couldn’t put two or three passes together. When we got anything in the final third it was always the wrong decision.
“But I’ve got to say the last 20 minutes we had some chances to at worst get an equaliser. So I think at the end if you really analyse it we probably missed a few chances.”
Redknapp, Hasselbaink point finger at Soucek
Responding to Moyes’ honest interview, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp hinted at who the Scot might’ve been referring to.
“I think he’s right,” said Redknapp. “There wasn’t enough creativity in that midfield.
“At times when I look at Soucek and Rice, they offer so much for the team defensively, they’re big powerful players.
“But sometimes you just want someone to pass that ball through the lines with a little bit of pace, someone that can do something different.”
Fellow pundit Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink concurred with Redknapp’s assessment, questioning why Manuel Lanzini wasn’t retained in midfield after impressing in Soucek’s spot against Silkeborg on Thursday.
“The European game Lanzini played alongside Declan Rice and they looked a lot more fluent with the ball.
“They looked a lot more creative and we didn’t see that today.
“I know it’s difficult to play three games a week, but sometimes you shouldn’t change six players for a [weekend] game.”