Friday 27 October 2023

Hammers in one hell of a mess

David Moyes' men left Athens last night with their tails between their legs after a sound thumping from Olympiacos. In truth, the 2-1 scoreline did little justice to the Greek's dominance in a game where the Hammers didn't show up until the final fifteen minutes.

Moyes opted for a starting lineup consisting mainly of fringe players, presumably hoping that the hunger of those on the margins would translate into an energetic performance. It didn't!

The Hammers looked lacklustre and disorganised. Without Bowen, Paqueta and Antonio we lacked any cutting edge up front, while defensively we struggled with Olympiacos' width and then descended into circus antics in front of goal. 

Olympiacos' first goal resulted from a stunning failure to close down a meandering run along the 18 yard box and a cruel deflection off Mavropanos. Instead of hitting back, we then conceded an embarrassingly sloppy second on the cusp of half time as Ogbonna and Areola miscommunicated and a seemingly benign cross scuttled into the net. 

It was easy to blame our defence for the 0-2 scoreline at half-time but in reality our top half had totally misfired. It was hard to choose between Fornals, Ings and Benrahma as to who was the most unimpressive (or disinterested) as we seemed to feel entitled to get another European win by only showing up! Olympiacos, in comparison were full of energy and commitment, constantly coming out on top in 50-50 collisions.

Mercifully, half time came but instead of a second half revival, the next 30 minutes were dominated by the Greeks who truly had the bit between their teeth. Spurred on by their fans giant banner that read "Tonight you dine in hell" they hunted in packs and should have gone further ahead.

Moyes brought on the bomb squad, but they too stuttered and it wasn't until too late that Paqueta scored a majestic goal to open the door on an unlikely comeback. Along the way, Danny Ings missed a massive chance (again). Worryingly, once again we created almost nothing of note from a string of Ward-Prowse corners, getting lost in bully-boy antics in the six yard box.

Last night was the first time you could really sense the absence of Declan Rice's leadership and energy. 

So, it's back to the drawing board. Everton at home on Sunday is a big chance to get going again, while Olympiacos' visit in a fortnight gives us a chance for some revenge.



  1. We have managed to recapture our majestic form of 2022. Once again,on the cusp of pushing forward and creating a decent side playing positive football we have regressed. Moyse’s failure to recruit a top class striker is now having repercussions everywhere in the side.

  2. The wheels are slowly coming off. I don't buy the Rice comment. Lets point fingers..Fornals and Benrahma were first teamers last season and with Alvarez, JWP, Kudus now pushing them out it showed last night...Some players react to being left out ..I thought Kehrer wasnt too bad ..And some players spit their dummy out!...Benrahma constantly going on a glory run without even looking for a team mate summed it up...Unfortunately this shows a disconnect in the dressing room. Moyes should know which players are up for it and which players have got the hump and don't want to know..He did not pick the right team ..End of.

  3. Every time we look like playing a slightly better and more proactive style of football , Moyes reverts to type . His naive pig headed refusal to invest in a proven young striker will eventually cost him his job . Why he doesn’t give Mubama more game time and not five mins here and there is insulting and he will be off too .
    Also , you cannot keep putting out Benrahma and Fornals , both have stopped or can no longer play and need to move on and reinvest . .. Everton needs a reaction from all ..

  4. Last nights defeat just shows how out of touch Moyes is with his players playing players out of position and leaving it to late to bring on players to try and turn it around ings should never have been in the starting 11 along with a good few others we may be a bit short of champions league position but europa league games should be taken as seriously as a premier league match yes we need a class striker but we have the players that should be able to win a game like last night we need to keep the ball better move it around faster and take every chance that comes our way instead we back off let the opposition have as much space as they want is it any wonder that we lose games we should win these Tatics just don’t work in the modern game Moyes needs to put a stop to all this and take cup games etc as serious as a premier league game


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