Not many West Ham fans can argue with the season that the club has had so far, but David Moyes proved against Brighton that he can still get it very wrong.
After his lackluster performance in West Ham’s 3-0 loss away to Chelsea on Monday night, it was presumed that Mark Noble would be demoted back to the bench in what was seen as a winnable fixture against a Seagulls side who had won only one of their past 11 fixtures.
But to the dismay of the majority of Hammers fans when the teamsheet got released an hour before kick-off, the captain had somehow retained his place, meaning that Sebastien Haller and Jarrod Bowen were the only two attackers on the pitch as Moyes reverted back to a five-at-the-back formation.
The first-half played out in the way in which everyone expected, with Brighton dominating the ball and West Ham having no shots on target before the away side took the lead on the stroke of halftime.
It was all far too predictable, which begs the question, why couldn’t the West Ham manager envision this outcome?
Some may give the Scot credit for his two half time changes as he took the laboured Mark Noble off along with Bowen and threw Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko into the mix to help change things. But should Moyes really be given any form of praise for rather obviously rectifying his own mistake that he should never have made, to begin with?
The two substitutes did both make an impact to help set up the Irons’ first equalizing goal as Yarmolenko whipped in a cross that Lanzini prodded back for Ben Johnson to smash home – his first goal for the club that he has been at since he was seven-years-old.
Brighton, through the aid of VAR, inevitably scored again which prompted the not-so-imminent substitution of Said Benrahma.
This was, however, halted by Tomas Soucek‘s goal to make the scores level yet again, whereby Moyes had clearly decided that a point was more than enough at home to Barcel… I mean, Brighton.
With other teams in the top half racing ahead and extending the gap between the Hammers and the European spots, it is a mystery as to why Moyes didn’t fancy taking all three points to at least make up for the fact that he started Mark Noble.