David Moyes urges West Ham players to take responsibility for Chelsea thrashing

David Moyes accused his West Ham players of lacking “mental toughness” as he urged them to take responsibility for Sunday’s hammering at Chelsea.

The Blues ran out 5-0 winners as goals from Cole Palmer, Conor Gallagher, Noni Madueke and a brace from Nicolas Jackson put Mauricio Pochettino’s side firmly in the race for Europe.

West Ham’s hopes of a fourth straight season in Europe, however, are in tatters after a run of one win in ten matches and Moyes now appears certain to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the campaign.

Following on the back of a 5-2 defeat at Crystal Palace last month, the Irons have now conceded ten times in their last two away games, with the defensive resilience usually associated with Moyes teams nowhere to be seen.

“It’s happened several times this season, which I’ve certainly not enjoyed,” Moyes said. “I didn’t enjoy today at all. Players not in their positions, running out of position, opening up too easily.

“We were lacking toughness, leadership, mental toughness. We’ve now had two away games where we’ve conceded five. The manager will always take the responsibility because that’s what you do in this job, you have to prepare them and get them right, setting them up.

“Somewhere along the line the players have to take responsibility for doing their jobs, being hard to play against, being aggressive and competitive. I question if we were all that in the first-half.”

David Moyes looks destined to leave West Ham this summer (AP)
David Moyes looks destined to leave West Ham this summer (AP)

Only the current bottom three have conceded more goals than West Ham’s 70 so far this season and there has been a particular trend of chastening defeats away from home, including a 5-0 reverse at Fulham before Christmas and a 4-3 defeat at Newcastle earlier this year in which Moyes’s side blew a 3-1 lead in the final quarter-of-an-hour.

Asked if he could explain his side’s apparent frailty, Moyes pointed to the sale of club captain Declan Rice, who joined Arsenal in a £105million deal last summer.

“When you’ve got the best midfield player in the country protecting, probably limiting 50 per cent of their attacks it makes you much a better defensive team,” he added. "We’ve lacked protection in front of the back four, lacked good enough defending, not been good enough at those things in many games.”