David Moyes turned his frustrations on the quality of the London Stadium pitch after West Ham were twice pegged back to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace.
The Hammers’ intensity dropped as the game wore on and saw them squander leads forged in either half, to drop their first points of the season in their third game.
Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna appeared especially off the pace and were caught out by Conor Gallagher who netted both of the visitors’ goals at the Olympic Park, before Moyes took aim at the stadium’s playing surface for the difference from their 4-1 win over Leicester five days earlier.
“We didn’t pass the ball as well as we did the other night,” he said. “There’s several reasons for that. It was made a bit difficult.
“I’ve got to say the pitch is very poor, the pitch at the London Stadium is really, really poor. It’s not an excuse because we played very well on it on Monday night. Today in the dry, a bit of heat it is not good.
“You could probably see the amount of times the ball bounced over people’s heads and it was very high off the ground. I think we never really got a good enough rhythm in our play.
“I’ve not enjoyed the quality of the pitch at all. It’s not good enough and below Premier League standard, that’s for sure.”
With four days left of the transfer window, Moyes also hinted at his desire to bring in another striker to add support to Michail Antonio after his 50th Premier League goal for the club. The Hammers boss had instead turned to Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini to provide more attacking support as his side searched in vain for a late winner.
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“Yes, I think if we had another centre forward we might have looked to change something, but we don’t,” he added. “Yarmolenko and Lanzini are good additions to most clubs, we gave them both a chance and Yarmko had an opportunity on his left foot.
“I think I have a really good team and a really good squad. Could we do with extra numbers on that? Yes, we could, but the team I have got and the way they have been performing with seven out of nine points the first three games, I am really happy with how they are doing.”
Vieira delighted with Gallagher impact
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Gallagher’s double finally got Palace off the mark with their first goals of the season at the fourth time of asking, after drawing blanks against Chelsea, Brentford and Watford in their three previous games.
His first equaliser brought an instant improvement to Patrick Vieira’s side, while his man-of-the-match performance earned his manager’s praise after the game.
“He has the ability to remain calm in the box, he’s a really good finisher,” Vieira said. “He has a lot of energy and works hard for the team. When he’s in this kind of situation he scores goals.
“Conor had a good loan last year. He did well. He’s a player who needs to play week in and week out and coming to us was a smart move for him. We will give him time to keep playing and keep performing. Today he showed a lot of quality on both sides of the game.
“What we needed to change was being too compact, we needed to run in behind. In the first half, it was easy to defend as we always wanted the ball at feet. In the second half we stretched them more, and our forwards created situations inside the box and created those chances.
“I think we have to realise the changes going on at our football club. The process of building a team that can challenge in the Premier League takes time. The performance that we had today, especially in the second half, shows the team is improving game after game. We build confidence and then we will be competing for more in the Premier League.”
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