West Ham boss David Moyes spoke extremely harshly about Vladimir Coufal after our defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday night.
The 29-year-old Hammers right-back received a booking inside the first 10 minutes of the game after ushering Kieran Tierney out of possession.
Then, in the second-half, he was adjudged to have brought Alexandre Lacazette down inside the penalty area by the hapless Anthony Taylor.
Coufal was subsequently sent-off, leaving West Ham with 10 men. The decision was as laughable as it was ridiculous.
It was Moyes’s comments on the incident after the game, however, that raised the most eyebrows.
David Moyes feeling the pressure after comments on West Ham ace Coufal?
The Hammers boss spoke to reporters on Wednesday night and responded when asked what he thought of the penalty incident, as quoted by Football.London:
“He does get the ball first but I thought he should get more of the ball. I thought he should have either tackled the ball away toe-poked it away, get his foot to it or get his foot to the back of the ball with a block tackle. But his timing means he catches the top of the ball and follows through so I think that was why Anthony Taylor had a reason to think about the decision. We made a mess of it to get to that point because the header was a calamity, but I thought that Vladimir could have got more of the ball, either kicking it out for a throw-in or blocking tackling the ball.”
Those comments from Moyes seemed particularly strange after the game, for two reasons.
Firstly, Vlad clearly won the ball with a perfectly timed tackle and secondly Moyes was going apoplectic on the touchline after the decision was made. He even comforted Coufal when he left the pitch. So why the massive change of heart after the match?
Moyes also criticised the Czech Republic international for his role in the build up to Arsenal’s opener at the Emirates:
“I think for their first goal if our full back had narrowed and been in a proper full-back position we would have stopped the goal but we allowed them through to get in that space. We ave up the space which should never have been given up.”
I mean, Coufal wasn’t at his best against Arsenal but to be so openly critical of him after a performance where everyone bar Craig Dawson, Lukasz Fabianski and Issa Diop put in poor displays was really harsh.
The pressure is intense at the top end of the Premier League. There is no hiding from it.
Our fine 6th place finish last season and our early success in Europe this term has led to elevated expectations at the London Stadium.
Pressure cranks up on the Hammers and Moyes
The West Ham fans expect us to win more often than we lose or draw now. That’s just the way it is.
Is Moyes feeling the pressure as a result? Maybe.
His comments on West Ham ace Coufal were certainly strange and incredibly out of character. Sometimes, when under the cosh, people end up saying things they don’t mean.
Perhaps Moyes will have had time to reflect and realise that he was too critical of the 29-year-old Hammers star.
West Ham have some huge games coming up over the next few weeks and we need Moyes and the players to be cool, calm and composed under the inevitable pressure that will be coming our way.
Now is no time to start overreacting and panicking. Was are still in very good shape. Moyes’s comments on Coufal on Wednesday night were definitely worrying to hear though because they were totally unjustified.
Surely the Scot can see that now.