West Ham United must win their remaining three Premier League matches to secure a place in Europe next season, and their crucial season-ending run starts with a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion tonight.
The Irons dropped down to sixth place in midweek as Liverpool came from behind to defeat a full-strength Manchester United side at Old Trafford. David Moyes’ side are now six points adrift of the top four and have fellow European chasers hot on their tails, with Spurs just two points behind them.
The 58-year-old will need to get his team selection spot-on following three defeats in their last four matches, including a devastating loss to Everton last time out. West Ham were not on their game at the London Stadium whatsoever last weekend, so it leaves Moyes with plenty to ponder in terms of team selection heading into tonight’s clash at the Amex Stadium.
The Hammers embarrassingly failed to register a single shot on target despite a total of 11 attempts against Everton, whilst they also dominated possession (68%) against the Toffees but struggled to turn their authority into anything of note.
Amongst the worst performers was Said Benrahma, who earned a shocking 6.1 rating by SofaScore, and further misery was piled onto the Algerian winger by the Evening Standard‘s Jack Rosser, who wrote in his post-match column: “Failed to back up a strong performance at Burnley, proving Moyes right over his criticism of inconsistency. Missed an absolute sitter at the far post in the first half.”
Indeed, the £18m-rated dynamo appeared weak in his battles, losing five of his ten duels and relinquishing possession a whopping 17 times, and he failed to create much in attack by not registering a single key pass and only completing two of four dribbles, as per SofaScore.
In such a crucial game, Moyes cannot risk carrying a passenger once again, so he must be ruthless and axe the 25-year-old from his starting XI at the Amex Stadium tonight.
It’s not as if he’ll be short on options as Jarrod Bowen has been snubbed from the off in the last two matches, whilst Andriy Yarmolenko is available and Ryan Fredericks can play further forward if need be – or Moyes could even turn to wing-backs instead.
While he should come on strong in the next few years, he should not feature in the Irons’ starting line-up against Brighton given his poor display last weekend.