David Moyes must swallow his pride and start Said Benrahma after the Algerian brought an immediate spark to West Ham United’s offence at Southampton on Tuesday night.
The Brentford loanee was forced to settle for a seat on the bench at St. Mary’s with Moyes favouring a recall for Pablo Fornals on the left-flank, while handing Manuel Lanzini a first Premier League start of the season besides Tomas Soucek.
Lanzini rarely saw enough of the ball to make a telling contribution as the Irons were forced to settle for a scoreless draw on the south coast, where Soucek ran for miles to aid defensively on a night his offensive contributions were often ineffective.
Fornals also let Moyes down on his return to the starting line-up with the Spaniard frequently drifting into a central role and vacating his duties on the wing, ultimately restricting the visitors’ efforts with no true outlet to spring attacks down the channel.
Moyes ultimately saw enough from his starting options to replace Lanzini with Benrahma in the 60th-minute and immediately saw an uptake in West Ham’s attacking threat, with the summer arrival’s direct runs adding a different dimension to the side.
Even still, Moyes was not totally impressed by what the 25-year-old produced against Southampton, feeling the Algerian – who Paul Robinson believes can be a “fantastic” No. 10 – had to do better when denied a first West Ham goal by a fine close-range save from Alex McCarthy in the 85th-minute.
“The minute I saw it break to him I was expecting the goal,” Moyes said, via quotes by the Newham Recorder. “I haven’t had a chance to look at it back yet, but I am told the keeper made an excellent save.”
Moyes has been claimed to not fancy Benrahma’s talents, hinting toward the reasons behind the 6-cap international only starting two fixtures since moving to the London Stadium on an initial season-long loan.
But the former Manchester United boss must swallow his pride and accept that Benrahma must be starting for the Hammers, as the 25-year-old wizard has once again proved why he has to be playing in either a central or wide role and not from the bench.
No West Ham player recorded a higher number of accurate passes than Benrahma in the final half-hour at St. Mary’s on Tuesday night, where he completed each of his eight efforts of which six came in the final-third, per WhoScored.
He additionally beat his marker with his sole recorded attempted dribble and took a game-high two shots with one on target, double the total efforts attempted by Lanzini during his hour on the field.
AND in other news, a £7m-rated West Ham dud betrayed David Moyes with a sloppy Saints horror show.