Jarrod Bowen responds to concerns over David Moyes’ tactics and approach at West Ham after surrendering lead in opener.
In a league now full of Pep Guardiola disciples playing a possession-based attacking style, it is easy to understand why.
Moyes’ risk averse approach was heavily criticised when it stopped getting results last season. But that was partly down to his failed attempts – by the Scot’s own admission – to change the team’s style.
While a point away from home should always be considered a decent result for a club like West Ham, the 1-1 draw at Bournemouth drew criticism for the manager once again.
Jarrod Bowen responds to concerns over David Moyes’ tactics and approach at West Ham after surrendering lead in opener
After taking the lead through Jarrod Bowen’s brilliant second half strike, West Ham looked in a great position to pick up an opening day victory.
But many supporters felt Moyes’ side sat off to try and defend the lead while the manager’s substitutions were also criticised.
Bournemouth’s equaliser was lucky in the extreme but not undeserved as West Ham struggled to keep the ball.
West Ham once again surrendered the lion’s share of possession (63% vs 37%) having had the second worst possession stats in the top flight last season.
And the Hammers completed 213 less passes than the Cherries (517 vs 304), with Moyes blaming his side’s inability to keep the ball as a key reason in conceding the equaliser.
Focus on Moyes’ style and approach have not been helped by Declan Rice’s recent declarations about seeing football in a completely different way since working with Mikel Arteta.
But now Bowen has responded to concerns over Moyes’ tactics and approach at West Ham after surrendering the lead in the season opener.
‘We don’t have to score in three seconds when we turn the ball over’
Speaking to the club’s media team, Bowen insists West Ham do have a very clear idea of the style of football they want to play and their identity.
And he says there were plenty of signs of it coming together at Bournemouth and the back end of last season.
The attacker also raved about the group and team spirit at the club despite the departure of Rice.
“We’ve been a really good counter attack team and we don’t want to lose that,” Bowen said.
“But also it goes back to managing the game, when we turn the ball over it’s about keeping that ball for the first couple of passes, you know we don’t have to score in three seconds we can keep the ball and work our way…
“I think since we’ve come back from the World Cup and we were in a bad position from the start of the season, I think it all started to click together and come together.
“And I think you see Lucas at the back end of the season really start to mark his ground in this team and really show his quality. And a few others players as well and it takes time, coming to the Premier League, it’s the hardest league in the world, everyone wants to play here…
‘Everyone wants to play for this football club and that’s the main thing’
“Going into the (Europa Conference League) final, coming here today I think you can really start to see that we’re getting an understanding of each other, getting an understanding of how we want to play and we want to build on that moving forward…
“Every single person (in this team) will run for everyone and the boys that come on who aren’t involved, everyone runs for each other and I think that’s the main, really good thing about this group.
“Everyone wants to play for this football club and that’s the main thing. Since I’ve been here there’s a real family kind of structure and you take pride in wearing this shirt and the fans love you for that, they love you for working hard, running through a brick wall for this shirt and these fans.
“We’ve got a really good group and like I said it’s starting to come together now.”
Spoken like a man who is becoming a real leader on the pitch for West Ham.
And a player clearly still brimming with confidence after his heroics in Prague.