The Athletic’s West Ham United correspondent Roshane Thomas has slated David Moyes for his decision to start Mark Noble as an attacking midfielder against Chelsea.
During the latest round of Premier League fixtures, the Hammers travelled to Stamford Bridge and were defeated 3-0 by Frank Lampard’s side (per BBC).
In the game, Moyes deployed the Irons in a 4-2-3-1 starting formation which notably had Noble starting in the attacking midfield role (per Transfermarkt).
The match was only the 33-year-old Englishman’s second start in the Premier League this season, with him having made seven outings in total (per WhoScored).
During the latest episode of The Athletic’s U Irons podcast, Thomas discussed Moyes’ team selection and slammed him for the decision to start Noble in attacking midfield.
He said: “Just touching on Noble’s performance, I thought it was really disappointing.
“I thought Moyes got it wrong, he shouldn’t have started Noble, especially in the number 10 role. Playing a 33-year-old in the number 10 role in 2020, that really shouldn’t be happening.
“I’d rather him play in [a deeper] role, as in sit back and protect the defence.
“In the number 10 role, you’re trying to link up with the striker – a lot of running goes on in and around that position and he doesn’t have the legs.
TIF Thoughts on what Roshane Thomas said about Mark Noble playing as an attacking midfielder…
As can be seen in what the journalist had to say, he clearly believes that Moyes made a mistake by playing Noble in attacking midfield because “he doesn’t have the legs” for it.
Certainly, Moyes’ decision did not pay dividends as the English midfielder picked up a weak 6.12/10 match rating against Chelsea and he was the fifth-worst performer to start for West Ham (per WhoScored).
Noble failed to take a single shot, make a key pass or perform a dribble against the Blues, so, it is difficult to see what he provided for the Hammers.
Therefore, hopefully, in future, Moyes will find an alternative solution to fill the gap in attacking midfield if he persists with a 4-2-3-1 starting formation.