Hammers boss David Moyes pointed the finger at defender Issa Diop for the defeat which saw West Ham dumped out of the cup by Spurs.
West Ham were the better side on the night but Tottenham managed to hold on for a 2-1 win and a place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals thanks to two moments of woeful defending from Moyes’s side.
The Hammers dominated a goalless second half. But with Michail Antonio missing due to a positive Covid test, West Ham looked utterly toothless – a recurring theme for the last six weeks – with the baffling decision not to sign a striker in the summer being painfully exposed YET AGAIN.
That abject failure in the transfer market has directly cost West Ham – a club that is without a trophy for over 40 years – a place in the semi-finals of a cup competition.
After beating Manchester United away and holders Manchester CIty at home, for West Ham to surrender their run in the competition due to the club’s failure to address the glaringly obvious striker issue nearly a year since selling Sebastien Haller is difficult for fans to take. Especially against bitter rivals Tottenham.
Speaking after the game Moyes rightly highlighted the many positives from the performance.
But that will only count for something if the team gets back on track in the Premier League against Southampton next time out.
There were some very questionable individual performances too. Notably hapless duo Arthur Masuaku and Issa Diop.
Once labelled a ‘monster’ Diop was poor and his rash defending showed why he has been fourth choice under Moyes.
The manager was full of praise for his team.
But, without directly naming him, Moyes clearly singled out Diop for criticism.
David Moyes points the finger at Issa Diop for West Ham defeat to Spurs
The centre-back completely lost his head and rashly went diving in on the edge of the box to gift Spurs the opening which saw them score their first before contributing to another shocking piece of defending which laid another tap-in on a plate for the hosts.
“They kept going and were very good, but we gave them two terrible goals defensively, which in the big games you can’t afford to do…” Moyes told whufc.com.
“There were long periods when we played well, and there were times in the first half when we needed to dig in too.
“That’s what we needed – us to defend well and do the right things and it comes down to small distances. A couple of inches, not diving into a tackle and staying on your feet. It’s the small things that make the difference.”
Diop has had plenty of chances to rediscover the form that saw him win high praise in his debut season.
But his concentration levels are simply not at the level required. He was lucky not to give away another two goals as a direct result of giving the ball away with completely unforced errors.
Declan Rice was visibly exasperated on more than one occasion with Diop’s play and decision making.
The January window cannot come quick enough and Moyes needs to be ready to get a Nat Phillips or James Tarkowski over the line if West Ham are serious about maintaining the high standards that have been set over the last two years.
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