It’s now time to take an in-depth look at some of the main causes of discussion in the wake of yesterday’s 2-0 defeat at Vicarage Road, as the David Moyes era got off to the worst possible start.
A New Manager But The Same Mistakes For Moyes
It was clear for the Footballing World to see yesterday in Hertfordshire that little has changed at West Ham United from the Slaven Bilic era on the pitch, with a similar tirade of mistakes in all areas of it.
Moyes claimed in his Pre-Watford Press Conference on Friday that players need to start taking “responsibility”, something that he certainly would have wanted them to do after Sunday’s showing.
Like much of this season, the finger can be pointed at individuals and the role they had to play in each of the game’s key moments, something that was out of Bilic’s hands and also Moyes’ on his debut.
Take, for example, the ever-struggling Pedro Obiang, who endured another damaging afternoon, being easily out-strengthened by Andre Gray for Will Hughes’ opening goal on 11 minutes.
Or, a rampant, in the wrong way, Andy Carroll unleashing a flying elbow on Marvin Zeegelaar in the first few seconds of the affair, a month after being sent off at Turf Moor, luckily Andre Marriner turned the other cheek this time.
While the attack let their side down massively, all criticism was aimed at the other end of the pitch in the second period, when Winston Reid gave the ball straight to Hughes and then failed to close down Richarlison in the area.
When the Brazilian prodigy got his shot off, Joe Hart failed to complete the simple-looking task of preventing it from finding the back of the net, as he remained the title of PL keeper to concede the most goals this campaign.
It seems like too many that these costly and frequent errors just can’t be stamped out even with a new man, a new Coaching Team, and completely different tactics, Moyes will certainly be hoping that an extra week’s work with his players can make all the difference ahead of the FNF visit of Leicester City.
Hammers Left To Rue Missed Chances
One of the clearest examples of those errors came in the aforementioned attacking areas of Moyes’ starting line-up in a masterclass of how to do everything but hit the back of the net in front of goal.
Creating chances was a problem in the reign of Bilic, but it seems like finishing them is the problem with the new Manager and it all started on the stroke of half-time.
A wonderful short pass from Skipper Mark Noble played Senegal man Cheikhou Kouyate, who was playing in a bizarrely attacking position, in on goal but the midfielder couldn’t beat Heurelho Gomes, one golden chance had gone by the wayside.
But minutes later, a far better one also went begging as club-record signing Marko Arnautovic had his deflected header somehow kept out before Gomes saved the Austrian’s rebound when it looked harder to miss from no more than three yards out.
In the second period, Kouyate was left with egg on his face once more, having been teed up by Arnautovic to fire over from the centre of the box, in the African’s fairness he is more akin to a defensive position despite his goalscoring record, just when Hammers thought they had seen the end of players out of position.
Manuel Lanzini was the latest wonder why he hadn’t managed to find the back of the net after his low volley was miraculously blocked off the line by Christian Kabasele, on a quiet evening from the Argentine.
In contrast, Marco Silva’s men needed no second chance to finish the best part of their chances and we can expect the same of Leicester later in the week, this is certainly something a defensive natured Coaching Team must improve.
Lessons To Learn From Exciting Hornets
There is little doubting the fact that Watford outclassed us in almost every area of the pitch yesterday evening, but should Moyes and his Coaching Staff been taking note of what they saw?
Under exciting young Manager Marco Silva, one of The Hornets’ biggest successes has been with young talents such as both scorers yesterday, Hughes and Richarlison.
Whereas, with such a bright U23 side, who have incidentally been training with the first-team for the last two weeks, available for the Scotsman to pick and choose from, he has vowed to take them into consideration.
In all fairness, he did include youngsters Declan Rice, Domingos Quina and Antonio Martinez on the bench, but many were calling for the centre-back Rice to start.
But, this was a far cry from Silva’s refreshing tactics with a young and electric crop of players, who he regularly trials from the start rather than the substitutes’ bench.
Additionally, when presented with the chance to give Martinez his first taste of Premier League Football as a late substitute with nothing to lose at 2-0 down and three central midfielders still on the pitch, Moyes didn’t which bemused the majority of The Claret & Blue Army.
However, there is still the opportunity for the former Everton Boss to try out some of the starlets in the weeks which lay ahead, especially amid an injury crisis, which brings us nicely to our final Talking Point.
Injuries Play Their Part As Irons Lack In All Departments
Surely the biggest factor going against Moyes in his first game in Claret & Blue was the number of injury concerns he has had to deal with in the last few days as a busy period approaches.
The attacking department was hit the hardest and that was crystal clear from the aforementioned misses, to add to 2016/2017 Hammer of the Year Michail Antonio remaining sidelined with a hamstring problem.
Javier Hernandez was unable to feature due to a knock he picked up while on International Duty and top scorer Andre Ayew was taken ill on Saturday morning.
These left us lacking that sought-after cutting edge in attack that could have been the difference between winning and losing, as James Collins, Jose Fonte, and Sam Byram were all still out.
To add insult to injury for Gary Lewin, Arnautovic went down in the latter stages of the affair nursing what was believed to be a broken thumb, in clear discomfort.
The new Hammers Boss, with a warped squad, will now face the tough task of trying to guide us away from danger in the first few weeks of his reign, but with a daunting fixture list ahead, things certainly don’t get easier any faster.
So, now that we have picked at everything there was to in the wake of yesterday’s disappointing Super Sunday defeat to Watford, will we be drawing on more positive Points next Friday night? When Claude Puel’s Foxes will visit The London Stadium.