David Moyes bemoans Premier League rescheduling as leggy West Ham slip up against Leeds

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

David Moyes has hit out at the Premier League for their decision to make West Ham play two games in five days after fatigue played a big role in their defeat to Leeds United.

The West Ham boss says those at the Premier League deciding when games should be played lack the understanding of what is required to prepare and play games at this level.

The Hammers had the chance to open up a gap over their top four rivals Arsenal and Tottenham after Sunday’s north London derby was postponed at the Gunners’ request, but after facing Leeds in the FA Cup last Sunday and Norwich on Wednesday - with their own Covid and injury problems - Moyes’s men could not cope with the energy of the visitors, who had the benefit of a full week’s preparation despite having two games called off themselves.

West Ham were told to play Norwich on Wednesday after the original fixture, which was scheduled on December 18 last year, was postponed following a request from the Canaries. West Ham were unhappy with the inclusion of injuries in the count of unavailable players at the time of the postponement.

Asked if the strains of three games in eight days played a role in the defeat, Moyes said: “I think it was a huge factor today.

“We didn’t agree with it from the start why we had to play Norwich [midweek]. We’ve missed one League game and not by our doing and it was made to go in at this time in the season.

“We’ve just come out of a busy Christmas period, like Leeds United and everybody else, but Leeds had two games to play and they weren’t asked to play in midweek and we were.

“Cannot understand it. It only tells me that the people that are doing that can’t understand what recovery means, what it means to play games on a regular basis and the people who are putting the games in place are getting that wrong.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Moyes revealed that West Ham challenged the Premier League on the decision to make them play on Wednesday night, which turned out to be a 2-0 victory for the Hammers, but that they were knocked back.

The Premier League, who have postponed 21 games so far this season, have said they are aiming to get games rescheduled as quickly as possible to avoid a pile-up late in the season.

Moyes added: “With what we had available against Norwich we had Covid and we’ve also got injuries, we’ve got a player away at the Africa Nations as well but I wanted to keep going if we could do, I didn’t see any reason [not to].

“Today was really tough for us to get back out, we didn’t feel the Norwich game should have been put in, we let them know that but they refused our request on even a thought, they wanted it played but it’s had an effect on today’s game.”

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