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West Ham leave it late against Nottingham Forest

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Tomas Souceck scored late to give West Ham the three points against Nottingham Forest, pushing the Hammers into the top 10 after three straight defeats. 

It was an essential win for West Ham and David Moyes who faced questions over his future after a run of defeats raised doubts over his long-term future as manager.

However, back-to-back home wins is sure to release some pressure on the experienced manager as West Ham look to get their season back up and running.

However, despite the three points, it was a sluggish game with the team lacking ideas once again.

Whether that’s down to a lack of direction from Moyes, or low confidence mixed with a huge exertion against Olympiacos in midweek is another question.

A fast start slowly dampened down after Lucas Paqueta scored after just three minutes before Forest scored twice, putting Moyes’ side on the back foot.

Despite a lacklustre display along with tired legs, it was a resilient performance that will breathe confidence into the players after a tough run of form heading into the international break.

Should West Ham do better?

If the Hammers are to become a regular figure in European football, they need to be more consistent, organised and ruthless and at the moment, they lack that.

Speaking after the game, Moyes highlighted some of the issues they faced with the schedule of European football and their need to continue adapting to the schedule: “It’s really difficult to win Thursday, Sunday football in the Premier League with the level of opposition you’ve got to play on a Sunday.

“We’ve done that for two seasons now so I’d like to say we were getting good at it and getting used to it but it’s the quality and sometimes that’s why you’re having to change your players but I just think the two-day recovery is really tough on the players but today it didn’t show.”

This is an issue but it also needs to be pointed out that Moyes and West Ham can do so much better. They were poor for large periods in the league last season, with a Europa Conference League glossing heavily over a poor domestic season.

Man City remain interested in signing West Ham ace Lucas Paqueta

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Lucas Paqueta

Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City are reportedly still interested in signing West Ham maestro Lucas Paqueta, with a January move on the cards.

The Brazilian has been a fabulous signing for the Hammers since arriving from Lyon last year, oozing quality with his technical ability and intelligence in the middle of the park.

Paqueta has arguably become one of the first names on David Moyes’ team sheet at the moment, and he has forged a strong understanding with the likes of Edson Alvarez and James Ward-Prowse in West Ham’s midfield.

The Brazil international was strongly linked with a move to City in the summer transfer window, but the transfer seemingly fell through after he was investigated for betting activity.

According to a new update from UOL, Pep Guardiola is still eyeing the signing of Paqueta moving forward, assuming he is cleared of the allegations.

A move in the January window is far from out of the question, putting the Hammers at risk of losing one of their star men.

Paqueta has been such a fantastic signing by West Ham, not only bringing so much quality but also a strong work ethic, and losing him midway through the season would be a significant blow for Moyes.

He adds so much guile in attacking areas, not to mention an ability to retain possession, and he has scored four goals this season, in all competitions.

The lure of moving to City is great for most players, considering the trophy-winning capabilities that they have, as well as having arguably the world’s best manager in Guardiola, so it could be difficult for Paqueta to turn down a switch to the Etihad.

The hope is that the 26-year-old stays put at the London Stadium for at least the remainder of this season, though, before potentially moving on in next summer’s transfer window.

The betting allegations hanging over Paqueta certainly don’t seem to be affecting his performances, and while the ongoing issue could put City off, almost acting as a bonus to West Ham in some ways, it is important that he is cleared sooner rather than later.

Michail Antonio on borrowed time after latest miss

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Michail Antonio

Michail Antonio has become a hero for West Ham for his exploits since his arrival in 2015. 

To date, the former Reading and Nottingham Forest attacker has made 284 appearances, scoring 77 goals for the Hammers whilst becoming a cult hero among supporters.

However, there has been a notable drop-off in form this season with David Moyes relying on the hardworking forward for a number of seasons, with that now seemingly catching up on the 33-year-old.

That’s by no means a criticism of Antonio, he has been a reliable performer over recent years, but if West Ham are to capitalise on the quality they currently have, they need to look elsewhere for a forward.

Ironically, five months after Antonio revealed Ricardo Scamacca wasn’t David Moyes’ type of forward, he’s exactly the type of forward the players around him need.

A player capable of playing with his back to goal, who likes the ball to feet will undoubtedly allow the likes of Mohammed Kudus, Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma to thrive.

Alas, that ship has sailed but it does highlight West Ham’s desperate need to drop into the transfer market to recruit another forward in a similar mould.

A side pushing for regular European qualification just cannot simply rely on a striker who is in his twilight years and whose best form comes while playing on the counterattack.

The Brentford game was an example of the need to recruit a forward capable of being clinical and coping with the press that comes with a side playing in Europe. The 33-year-old produced an all-time shocker of a miss when lunging ahead of Benrahma and missing an open goal and will almost certainly drop out of the side when Lucas Paqueta returns to fitness.

But all this does is shine a light on recent failures on recruiting a player good enough to play in the David Moyes system, with Antonio the only one thriving in recent years.

West Ham defeated by London rivals

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A disappointing defeat away at Brentford concludes what was a positive week for the Hammers after midweek cup success. 

West Ham were leading 2-1 before Brentford fought back in the second half to give the West London side the three points.

It was a flat second-half performance that gave Brentford the onus in the second 45 after a decent first-half display which saw a Mohammed Kudus special along with Jarrod Bowen scoring for the sixth away game running.

To compound the defeat, Michail Antonio missed an open goal with the Hammers 2-1 ahead which would have almost guaranteed a win with the two goal lead.

However, it was a collective failure within the performance as opposed to the miss from Antonio. It was another example of West Ham floundering after sitting on a lead.

While sitting on the 2-1 lead, David Moyes’ side were unambitious, their threat on the counterattack nonexistent, coupled with a misguided plan. It could not work with Kurt Zouma absent in defence and the suspended Edson Álvarez unable to provide security in defensive midfield.

Brentford took advantage of the obvious frailties leaving West Ham and Moyes wondering if they could have done more when leading.

West Ham wilted in the second half, with Emerson Palmieri receiving no protection from Said Benrahma, as well as Tomas Souceck and James Ward-Prowse failing to get close enough to Mathias Jensen who was pulling the strings for the Bees.

What happens next for West Ham?

It’s important not to get too carried away with the defeat. Brentford are a good side, and there is a League Cup quarter-final to look forward to thanks to the midweek win over Arsenal.

But there needs to be serious learnings for Moyes to take otherwise his tenure could come to close sooner than many will want and anticipate.

Big expectations will follow and Moyes has to deliver.

Significant update emerges over David Moyes’ future at West Ham

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West Ham manager David Moyes is losing a “power battle” with Hammers technical director Tim Stiedten, according to a new update.

The east Londoners may have beaten Arsenal 3-1 in the EFL Cup in midweek, but they have suffered two hugely disappointing Premier League results in a row.

Last weekend, they lost 1-0 at home to struggling Everton, while on Saturday afternoon, Brentford came from behind to win 3-2 at home.

It means that Moyes is under pressure to keep his job as West Ham boss, despite last season’s UEFA Europa Conference League success, and on X, the reliable West Ham Football provided a big update over the Scot’s future:

“Behind the scenes, there is a battle for power at West Ham, but there will be only one winner when push comes to shove. That power battle is between the manager, David Moyes, and the new technical director, Tim Steidten, and it is really a case of winner takes it all.

“Steidten has been publicly and privately credited for the signings of Kudus, Alvarez and Mavropanos, and the board is delighted with his start to his new role. He has quickly installed himself as the number two to David Sullivan in all footballing matters, leaving Mark Noble slightly in the shade to deal with Academy matters.

“Steidten will draw up the short list of the next manager, whenever that might be, and the relationship between the manager and the technical director will be a crucial one, whoever is the head coach. Moyes will need to work closely with Steidten come December in advance of the January transfer window; if he does not, we could find ourselves in a shown down com Christmas time over transfer strategy.

“If it comes to that, over the festive period, there will be only one winner, and it will not be David Moyes, so the big question remains whether the current manager can be open-minded to other ideas and share the power of the footballing side of the Hammers.”

It does certainly feel as though Moyes is running out of time in the West Ham hot seat currently, in what is his second stint in charge.

In order for him to keep his job, there must be far more consistency on show in the Premier League, with the Hammers too often flitting between good and bad.

West Ham now sit 11th in the league table after 11 matches, which has to be considered disappointing, given some of the quality in the squad these days, whether it be Lucas Paqueta, James Ward-Prowse or Jarrod Bowen, to name just a few.