Moyes praises players and fans after London Stadium debut
David Moyes praised both his West Ham United players and the Claret and Blue Army for helping the Hammers to a hard-earned 1-1 Premier League draw with Leicester City.
The Scot marked his first home game in charge with a deserved point as Cheikhou Kouyate’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time cancelled out Marc Albrighton’s early opener.
With the London Stadium faithful in great voice, Moyes’ team went in search of a winner their overall performance arguably deserved, but ultimately the Hammers had to settle for a share of the spoils.
“It was a start for us tonight. It’s not been the best place for us, but I thought the players’ performance warranted more. I thought the crowd were fantastic, so all the negatives I’ve heard about the crowd, I thought the opposite and that they were great, they really were.
“I think any player will tell you that West Ham has always been a tough place to come over the years, with a tough crowd and they can make it that way in this stadium as well, and I think they did tonight.
“I thought they got right behind the players, but I also thought the players gave them something to shout about as well.”
The second half may not have brought a winning goal for the hosts, but they controlled the game for long periods and went close on a number of occasions, most notably through substitute Andre Ayew’s overhead kick.
“I thought they were great in the second half and that’s why the crowd reacted so well,” said Moyes.
“I think they are low on confidence as the results haven’t gone well and they lost a manager as well, and when it goes like that it’s difficult and you need some things to go for you now and again.
“We lost a goal after eight minutes when I don’t know if Leicester had been up the pitch before that. They stuck at it though, they really did, and the second half they made a really good go of it and in the end we might have nicked it.”
Two players who caught the eye were wingers Marko Arnautovic and Arthur Masuaku, who gave Leicester full-backs Danny Simpson and Christian Fuchs a tough time with their power, pace and direct running.
The pair delivered 15 of West Ham’s 31 crosses and generally pushed the Foxes onto the back foot every time they took possession.
“Marko played really well for us on Sunday, without really getting a lot of praise for it. Everybody said he hasn’t run so I said ‘If you don’t run, we won’t play you’, so he’s running and I think, if you’re a full-back, you don’t really want to play against Arnautovic because he’s got power and pace.
“He probably prefers to play on the left-hand side but we’ve got a few people who want to do that, so at the moment we are playing him on the opposite side.
“We want him to be a big player. We spent a lot of money on him and we want him to score goals and make goals and tonight he helped us.”
I thought they were great in the second half and that’s why the crowd reacted so well
The statistics also showed that the Hammers outran and outsprinted their opponents, showing further evidence of their improving fitness levels under Moyes and his coaching staff.
So, was the manager happy with his team’s output in his first home game at the helm?
“We’ve learnt that we can run and they have now set the standard and cannot go below that. Even then, we only got a draw, so we’ll need to play better with the ball when we get it and at least keep those levels up if we are going to take something from every game.”