Graeme Souness criticised West Ham boss David Moyes for changing his system away at Arsenal on Saturday night, when speaking during Sky Sports’ broadcast of the game (Saturday September 19th, 19:58).
The Hammers lost their Premier League curtain raiser against Newcastle nine days ago. Moyes opted to play a 4-5-1 formation in that game.
But he reverted to a 5-3-2 or a 3-5-2 against Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday.
We actually looked much better and a lot more dangerous against the Gunners than we did when we played the Magpies.
Arthur Masuaku looked useful in the left wing-back role. And the only change Moyes should consider making for next weekend’s clash with Wolves is Felipe Anderson for Pablo Fornals.
Perhaps the Scot should bring Sebastien Haller back into the fold as well.
Sky Sports pundit unimpressed
Despite all of that, Souness still found time to criticise West Ham boss Moyes for chopping and changing his tactics so soon after losing to Newcastle, when speaking during Sky Sports’ broadcast of the game (Saturday September 19th, 19:58):
“What worries me with West Ham is they started last week with a four, their pre-season games were that, I would have thought. And then after one game you’re changing the system, the players might be looking at the manager and thinking ‘wait a minute he’s been telling us this is where we’re going to play and then one bad game and we’re reverting to something from the past’. I think you pick a system that suits your players, but if you’re chopping and changing your system you’re giving your players an excuse to say ‘we don’t know what we’re doing week in week out’.”
Most West Ham fans had no problem with Moyes changing the system for the Arsenal game. If anything it gave us all more confidence that we may be able to pick up some results over the next four or five games.
As long as the players understand their respective roles, there shouldn’t be a problem in chopping and changing systems.
Pep Guardiola famously utilised up to eight different systems during games whilst he was in charge of Bayern Munich.
Whether Moyes has the ability to drill that kind of discipline into his players is debatable. But at least he tried something different away at Arsenal. That was badly needed. And it nearly yielded what would have been a vital result against the Gunners.