West Ham United: What truly has happened to the Hammers defense?

The West Ham defense has never been a solidifying factor but when David Moyes took over, it was expected that things would at least get better, not worse.

When the form or fortune of a football club starts to dip and it makes it easy to point fingers. For West Ham, that finger-pointing can go a lot of ways. However, in recent weeks and once again for the Hammers they have failed defensively leaving opponents to come back and look silly in the process.

The Hammers have now dropped 19 points for leading positions and they have finally dipped into the relegation zone. If the defense would’ve seen out those matches from leading positions, they would be somewhere around 4th in the EPL table right now.

So, we can sit here and point fingers and talk about what could have been but what really is going on? David Moyes in the past and most recently at West Ham has been known for his defensive stability. He has been lauded for his on the spot abilities to move the defenders correctly based on opponents but now, they look way out of touch with reality.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 01: West Ham manager David Moyes looks on during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion at London Stadium on February 01, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So is it the Gaffers fault, or is it the defenders? Or, is it both? This is surprising for Moyes but also due to the fact that these lads have played together for some time now. It honestly depends on the match but in the past match against Brighton it came down to both being the issue.

As the Hammers were comfortably up 2-0 at the half you would think that they would’ve come out defending well and playing to win the match but less than 5 minutes in and it’s 2-1. After Robert Snodgrass got his second ricochet of the match to go in and the Hammers were winning it out, Moyes opted to go to a more defensive look and took some attackers off.

Sitting back seems smart but in hindsight, it means that the more you have back, the less the opponent has to keep back on their end and can send the ship the other way which is seemingly what happened.

From the second that Moyes shifted the defense and brought in a new face, the mindset was way off the players actually looked like they didn’t know what to do. It is horrific enough to see grown professionals looking lost but what came next was even worse.

The Gull’s second goal was a horrific defensive mind blow but both Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna. Neither could decide who should get the ball and the result, a light roller past Fabianski and momentum that was completely shifted.

You could almost sense the third goal as the tide had turned and all it took was a few passes to spread open the defenders and free up the always dangerous Glenn Murray. Handball or not, he should have never been let in that position and after not 1 but 3 defensive errors the Hammers deserved that they got.

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The lack of communication was huge and so was the clear thought process that they just didn’t know what to do. It needs to be back to the basics for the defenders as they need to buckle down over these next few weeks. A simple fix could go along way, but it needs to be now.

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