David Moyes urged some of his West Ham players to “get back up to the high standards” they have set after a frustrating goalless draw with relegation-threatened Burnley at Turf Moor.
The Hammers boss was frustrated as Burnley – who have won just once in the Premier League this season – repelled his side, with central defenders Ben Mee and James Tarkowski standing up to a stream of crosses at the heart of the resistance.
Moyes admitted his team lacked quality in the final third and, after a run of one win in five league games, his side now sit a point clear of Manchester United in fourth spot.
“They’re in really good spirits because we’re in a good position, but once you set high standards, which a lot of them have, and they’ve seen the levels they can get to, I think some of them are playing below it,” Moyes told Match of the Day.
“Some of them need to get back up to the high standards if they’re going to remain in this position. I’d rather tell them that than not. There’s no point in me pussy-footing around it and not saying it. I want to win, I want us to play better and a few of them can certainly do that.”
Moyes’ side could have fallen behind early on when Chris Wood headed over, but they began to take control and headers from Issa Diop and Said Benrahma drew fine saves from Burnley keeper Nick Pope either side of half-time.
The Hammers also had a strong claim for a penalty in the opening period when Dwight McNeil caught Craig Dawson in the box.
But Burnley, to their credit, failed to give the visitors a clear opening of any sort – and time and again well-placed defenders were on hand to make key interventions.
Jay Rodriguez was inches away from tapping in a late winner for the Clarets, who have drawn seven of their last 10 league games and sit 18th – two points adrift of Watford. Their grit is obvious, while West Ham may need to find a touch more craft in the final third if they are to maintain their position.
Hammers frustration as Dyche calls for “big moments”
Hammers fans may wonder how a haul of 16 shots and 14 corners was not enough to deliver a winner but only three of their attempts found the target and Pope – who like his central defenders was excellent – dealt with them all.
He turned a Jarrod Bowen effort around the post in the dying minutes and West Ham were ultimately unable to equal their club record of nine wins in their first 16 games of a top-flight season.
But their pressure and impetus point to the unquestionable improvements they have made in recent months. Declan Rice impressed again and seemed intent on driving his side forward to a win, while Bowen, Benrahma and Manuel Lanzini buzzed around central striker Michail Antonio and linked neatly.
Moyes’ men attempted 32 crosses. Burnley left-back Charlie Taylor cleared from three yards out when Antonio looked set to tap in an Arthur Masuaku cross in the second half and Tarkowski also made a crucial intervention from a drilled Rice delivery.
Rice whistled a shot from distance over the bar late on but the draw means West Ham approach the busy Christmas period with 28 points, five more than they had after 16 games last season.
Burnley, by contrast, are five points worse off than they were after the same number of games last season. A tally of just one victory from their 15 Premier League games is their lowest at this stage of a top-flight season since 1970-71, when they were relegated.
Sean Dyche has been calm over their position and holds faith in their Premier League experience shining through to deliver wins. His side have conceded fewer goals than Manchester United and Arsenal, but it is at the other end where they have shortcomings.
The Burnley boss felt his side were “way off” in their first-half performance and afterwards said they must “find more big moments” in attack.
They hit the target just once all day and yet could have earned a key win at the death when Rodriguez was unable to reach Taylor’s fine low cross, allowing the ball to roll agonisingly across the face of goal.
West Ham United
- 6AlongBooked at 45mins
- 3TaylorBooked at 33mins
- 18WestwoodSubstituted forBrownhillat 70′minutes
- 11McNeilSubstituted forLennonat 88′minutes
- 9WoodSubstituted forOtterat 60′minutes
- 15DawsonBooked at 90mins
- 10LanziniSubstituted forFornalsat 80′minutes
- 22BenrahmaSubstituted forVlasicat 70′minutes
- Graham Scott
Match ends, Burnley 0, West Ham United 0.
Second Half ends, Burnley 0, West Ham United 0.
Attempt missed. Tomas Soucek (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Nikola Vlasic.
Craig Dawson (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Craig Dawson (West Ham United).
Nick Pope (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Nick Pope.
Attempt saved. Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Nikola Vlasic.
Attempt missed. Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Charlie Taylor with a cross.
Arthur Masuaku (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Matthew Lowton (Burnley).
Substitution, Burnley. Aaron Lennon replaces Dwight McNeil.
Attempt missed. Matthew Lowton (Burnley) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is too high.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Josh Brownhill.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by James Tarkowski.
Attempt missed. Declan Rice (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Nikola Vlasic.
Hand ball by James Tarkowski (Burnley).
Substitution, West Ham United. Pablo Fornals replaces Manuel Lanzini.
Hand ball by Michail Antonio (West Ham United).
Offside, Burnley. Ben Mee tries a through ball, but Jóhann Gudmundsson is caught offside.
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