David Moyes discusses West Ham and Tottenham team selection
By Josh Heycock
West Ham boss David Moyes has shed some light on Nuno Espirito Santo’s decision to make bulk changes to his Spurs side during their 1-0 loss to Dutch outfit Vitesse on Thursday night.
The Hammers also continued their European campaign mid-week, dominating Genk 3-0 at the London Stadium to maintain their reign of Group H. Moyes deployed a much stronger starting XI in comparison to the Spurs team picked by Nuno, with starts for regulars Declan Rice, Aaron Cresswell and Jarrod Bowen.
None of the players to feature in Spurs’ 1-0 win over Newcastle last weekend featured in their mid-week game, showing the differentiating approaches taken by the two managers.
Talking to the press in his pre-game conference Moyes said: “I felt like I wanted to continue. I wanted to keep the good momentum at the club. I want to challenge on all fronts, if I can.”
When asked about the contrasting approaches from his opposing manager, he said: “Teams like Tottenham have been in Europe much longer and more often than we have in recent seasons. Maybe they understand more than we do.
“But at the moment I want my team to win in Europe and I want them to win in the Premier League. I am trying my best to get the balance right. Nuno will have his own reasons.”
A balancing act?
However, does Moyes need to take a leaf out of Nuno’s book regarding rotation? We have seen many times before teams burn out trying to balance their squad between midweek and weekend fixtures and unless you have a roster like Manchester City’s it can prove difficult playing your best players all the time.
It is important to note that Spurs’ mid-week game was part of the new ‘conference league’ for teams who didn’t qualify for Europe’s main two competitions. A tournament which has been neglected so far by bigger teams to give younger players a run out, so his rotational tactics could of altered should they be playing in the Europa League.
Sunday’s game could be a telling sign as to whether Moyes’ ‘all out’ tactics are going to work in the long run, as Spurs’ star players will be fresh for their Premier League clash, whereas West Ham’s players could still have a European hangover.
In other West Ham news, Frank McAvennie makes his prediction on the Tottenham match.