David Moyes has criticised Michail Antonio after substituting the striker in West Ham’s 3-1 defeat at Spurs.
It was a massive game for West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur in the race for the European places.
And it was the hosts who came out on top as West Ham put in a lethargic display following Thursday night’s extra-time Europa League win over Sevilla.
West Ham have two bites at the Champions League cherry with the winners of the Europa League automatically qualifying for Europe’s top competition.
But the Hammers’s hopes of making the coveted fourth spot now look bleak after losing this six-pointer against their bitter rivals Spurs.
Arsenal have two games in hand and Tottenham have a game in hand on West Ham who will have to regroup after the international break and focus on trying to secure a Europa League place and the quarter-final against Lyon.
Striker Antonio has a great record against Tottenham for West Ham.
He looked back to something like his hustling, bustling best in the Europa League win over Sevilla on Thursday night.
But he cut an agitated figure against Spurs and spurned a golden chance to equalise as he continued his Premier League goalscoring drought.
Moyes hauled Antonio off for Andriy Yarmolenko just 10 minutes into the second half with the score at 2-1.
David Moyes criticises Michail Antonio after substituting striker in West Ham defeat at Spurs
It was a bold move from Moyes and one that was sure to prompt questions after the game.
Particularly after West Ham went on to lose 3-1 without ever really testing Hugo Lloris.
But speaking to Sky Sports a blunt Moyes criticised Antonio when explaining substituting the striker in the defeat at Spurs.
“No (it was not a pre-arranged substitution) I just didn’t think he was contributing enough to the team,” Moyes said on Sky Sports.
“We needed to try something else. Mic’s played a lot of football as well so I’m always thinking about his hamstrings and not overcooking it.
“But we had to try and step it up and I actually thought the subs made a difference, especially Pablo Fornals when he came on.”
Studio guests Jermain Defoe and Jamie Redknapp also both criticised Antonio for his poor finish which saw him blaze that golden chance over the bar.