Sheffield United 2-2 West Ham United: Does David Moyes deserve more respect?

West Ham manager David Moyes with Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder
David Moyes’ West Ham are winless in their past four matches

It was a game that had everything.

And while West Ham boss David Moyes and his players were left questioning decisions, some Hammers supporters chose to vent their frustration at Moyes during the match and on social media – with some chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” heard from the away end.

Former Hammers and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand agreed “bad decisions cost West Ham” but also called any criticism of the ex-Everton manager “ridiculous” and “disrespectful”.

So, what happened in the final 10 dramatic minutes, how did you react on #bbcfootball and does Moyes deserve the grief he gets from sections of his own fans?

‘VAR is there to help… It didn’t’

A clearly angry Moyes was careful not to criticise referee Michael Salisbury post match but was in no doubt late refereeing decisions had cost his side.

“I am certainly not going to talk about any referees for sure, I don’t want to get myself into trouble,” he said.

“You should ask the referee and see what they think, we have got to the stage where we are settling for a level of officiating where we are all shrugging our shoulders and saying ‘OK’.

“We are shrugging our shoulders again and seeing what they do. We don’t know what they are going to do.

“We’re disappointed, we feel as if things have gone against us. We’ll only blame ourselves but ultimately we could look at other people as well.”

Moyes’ criticism comes just a day after Nottingham Forest wrote to refereeing chief Howard Webb for clarification around Ivan Toney’s first-half goal in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Brentford.

So, what did happen in a dramatic stoppage time that left Moyes so upset?

  • With West Ham leading 2-1 in the 93rd minute, Sheffield United’s Rhian Brewster was shown a straight red card for a late, high challenge on Emerson. There were few arguments about this decision although home manager Chris Wilder did suggest it was harsh.
  • Then, West Ham had a player of their own sent off with Vladimir Coufal, who had picked up a yellow card for demanding Brewster be shown a red, receiving a second booking for a cynical foul. Moyes said the challenge “didn’t warrant” a caution.
  • Next, Oli McBurnie was taken out in the area by Hammers keeper Alphonse Areola, with the forward scoring the latest ever Premier League goal by dispatching the resulting penalty in the 103rd minute. Moyes was seen protesting against the decision from the sidelines.
  • And seconds later, West Ham had a penalty shout turned down after Jarrod Bowen and Anel Ahmedhodzic came together in the area seconds before full-time.

“The last 10 minutes was chaos,” said former West Ham midfielder Joe Cole on TNT Sports. “[But the incident on Bowen], it was absolutely a penalty. I can’t see how they have not looked at that. It is a rugby tackle.

“I can only think the ref has lost his nerve. You need to be a brave referee and referee the game.”

“I don’t know how that is not a stonewall penalty,” said Ferdinand on TNT Sports. “VAR is there to help but it didn’t help. It is a massive decision.

“West Ham are sixth and fighting to get in European positions – a simple decision like that would make a difference.”

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy also sympathised with West Ham on the decision to award a penalty against them.

He told BBC Match of the Day: “When things are so blatant it must be so frustrating for the manager. VAR should have intervened, it is a clear and obvious error, it is a foul the other way, the goalkeeper has been fouled.”

Moyes out? ‘Be careful what you wish for’

At full-time, sections of the West Ham fanbase were questioning manager Moyes’ position on social media, with the Scot no stranger to critics over the past few weeks.

The 60-year-old’s decision to replace winger Maxwel Cornet with full-back Ben Johnson in the second half was met with boos and chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” by some visiting supporters.

West Ham are winless in their past four matches and were knocked out of the FA Cup last week but they are still sixth in the league table and remain in Europe having won the Europa Conference League last term.

“What are you really expecting?” Ferdinand said on TNT Sports. “I think it is disrespectful to even be asking about David Moyes.

“He is doing a fabulous job and to criticise him is ridiculous, be careful what you wish for.”

What did you say on #bbbcfootball?

Martin – West Ham fans. Neutral here. You are sixth in the league for a reason. You have one European trophy and a Europa semi for a reason. JWP was a bargain.

Mark – Watching West Ham play is awful. Fans will stomach this style of play while they are scraping wins but how long will that last? They seem to score a lot of goals from lucky deflections, scrambles and mistakes. Eventually that luck will run out.

Mo, Liverpool – Absolute nonsense the criticism West Ham and Moyes receive. In my 17 years of watching football, I’ve known West Ham to be good for two of those years. Even in the days of Ashton, Bellamy, Reo-Coker et al, they were the punchbags of the league. Be reasonable!

Ian, Cornwall – I have been a West Ham supporter all my life, the one consistent thing about us is the whining fans. Watch who is fighting for us on the pitch.

Rob, Ely – If Everton had re-hired Moyes instead of Ancelotti into 2019, we (Everton) wouldn’t be where we are now. West Ham fans need to be a lot more grateful given the state they were in when he came back.

How does McBurnie’s latest Premier League goal compare to other strikes?

Oli McBurnie scores for Sheffield United
Oli McBurnie had to wait five minutes to take his penalty from its awarding
  1. Oli McBurnie (Sheffield United) v West Ham, 2024 – 102 minutes and seven seconds
  2. Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool) v Arsenal, 2011 – 101 minutes and 48 seconds
  3. Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal) v Manchester United, 2023 – 100 minutes and 15 seconds
  4. Leon Bailey (Aston Villa) v Crystal Palace, 2023 – 100 minutes and nine seconds
  5. Juan Mata (Chelsea) v Norwich, 2011 – 100 minutes and three seconds
  6. Dejan Kulusevski (Tottenham) v Sheffield United, 2023 – 99 minutes and 53 seconds
  7. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) v Brighton, 2020 – 99 minutes and 45 seconds
  8. Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United) v Wolves, 2023 – 99 minutes and 17 seconds
  9. Yerry Mina (Everton) v Wolves, 2023 – 98 minutes and 54 seconds
  10. Alex Iwobi (Everton) v Newcastle, 2022 – 98 minutes and 20 seconds

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