David Moyes playing Flynn Downes in the number 10 position for West Ham over the last few games has been truly baffling.
And in my opinion, the experiment has failed miserably.
It is costing the Hammers dearly, and it must be affecting Downes’ confidence as well.
Signed for £14 million from Swansea in the summer (Wales Online), the 23-year-old midfielder was slowly eased into action by Moyes at the start.
Downes excelled in the Europa Conference League when deployed at the base of the midfield – that’s where he’s best suited to play after all.
David Moyes’s decision to play the Brentwood-brown ace as an advanced midfielder against Liverpool, Bournemouth and Manchester United was a truly baffling one though.
It seems as though Downes has gone backwards as a result and it’s little wonder why – he isn’t a number 10 and he never will be!
Flynn Downes experiment has to stop, it’s costing West Ham dearly
Moyes must use Downes as a deep-lying midfielder if we are to see the best of him during his time at the London Stadium.
Downes is an archetypal defensive midfielder. He excels when breaking up the opposition’s play and moving the ball on to his more technically gifted teammates.
He is tenacious, aggressive and has a really impressive engine on him.
However, he kind of seemed like a fish out of water during the last three games. And that’s not knocking Downes…I absolutely love him.
Downes really should be playing alongside Declan Rice and either Pablo Fornals or Manuel Lanzini in a midfield three, if Moyes really wants his West Ham team to evolve into more of a possession-based one.
Talk is cheap though. It’s actions that are hard.
And playing Flynn Downes in a number 10 role for West Ham is evidence that David Moyes cannot move on from the defensive manager that he is.
Hopefully he is willing to change…and fast.