David Moyes hit out at the Premier League for making West Ham play three times in a week after Leeds United dented his weary side’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
West Ham were unhappy after their rearranged fixture against Norwich City, which was postponed last month, was played last Wednesday. Moyes had hoped he would get a free week following the busy festive period and he felt that his side, who were without five players, suffered because of the schedule.
“We did not agree with why we had to play Norwich when we did,” West Ham’s manager said. “We missed one game and not by our doing and we were made to go again at this point in the season. We had a busy Christmas period like everybody else, like Leeds, but Leeds have two games to play, and were not asked to play midweek.
“I cannot understand it and it only tells me that the people making those decisions do not understand what recovery means, what it means to play games on a regular basis and the people putting the games are getting that wrong for sure.”
Moyes was reluctant to say whether the rules are being abused after Arsenal’s game against Tottenham was postponed yesterday. “I don’t really care about that,” the Scot said. “Maybe we are not being tough enough, maybe I am not being tough enough in saying we could have done with the game against Norwich being off and we could have fought harder for it.
“Maybe I will have to do that in the future because it put us under pressure to play today. Leeds had a full week to prepare. But it is done and I can’t put the result solely down to that. It is down to us not playing well, making mistakes, missing chances.”
West Ham, who remain fourth, were cut apart by a Jack Harrison hat-trick. Leeds, who moved nine points above the bottom three, were missing nine players due to injury and suspension, but their manager Marcelo Bielsa said that he did not consider asking for a postponement.
Bielsa, who filled his bench with academy products, also saw Junior Firpo and Adam Forshaw limp off in the first half. “There are rules to ask for that type of thing and we did not meet the criteria sufficiently to ask for a decision of that kind,” he said.