Former West Ham United star Don Hutchison has defended his criticism of “friend” David Moyes following the penalty controversy against Manchester United.

West Ham lost in absolutely agonising circumstances against Man United on Sunday.

The Hammers had led 1-0 through Said Benrahma. But goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and a last minute dagger through the heart from former hero Jesse Lingard – who else – sealed a 2-1 win for the Red Devils in the 89th minute.

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League
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But not before West Ham added to the agony themselves when Moyes brought on captain Mark Noble to take a 93rd minute penalty which was saved by David de Gea.

Some have been critical of Moyes’s decision to bring Noble off the bench for the spot kick. Others have said it was logical – given Noble has not missed a spot kick for seven years – and brave.

Match of the Day pundits Alan Shearer and Dion Dublin slammed Moyes for the decision.

Newcastle United v West Ham United - Premier League
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Former Hammer Hutchison, who had two spells at the club, was also critical of the Scot.

“The most ridiculous thing I’ve seen in football that,” Hutchison said on Twitter.

“Bringing on a player with his first touch to take a pen!!!!!”

Hutchison’s comments sparked an angry response from some West Ham fans.

Indeed some pointed out that statistically Noble was West Ham’s best bet given he has not missed a penalty in five years while de Gea had not saved one in 40 attempts.

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But the ex midfielder has defended his right to criticise Moyes in a neutral way despite being friends with the West Ham manager.

“What your not taking into account is, something stats don’t tell us Mark Noble would have had the feeling “if I miss this”,” Hutchison added.

“So that in itself puts more stress on an already nervy scenario. David Moyes added more pressure onto him. Even if it’s by 1% then that’s a bad decision IMO.

“I’d class myself as a friend (not close at all) to David Moyes. I texted him a ‘well played gaffa’ after the Zagreb game.

“But my job (as a pundit) is to be as honest as possible. That’s all I’m doing here. Stats are NOT the be all and end all in that pressure cooker scenario.”

In other news, Ferdinand offers West Ham some perspective after Man United defeat.

And £33m new boy explains reason for underwhelming debut and vows to do better.

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