Tony Gale was absolutely furious with Dominic Solanke for his attempt at defending as West Ham claimed a 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Sunday.
The Hammers claimed a comfortable victory on the road to ease concerns around their Premier League status for next season as Michail Antonio, Lucas Paqueta and Declan Rice found the net in the first-half, before a scorpion kick from Pablo Fornals claimed all three points.
But while doing commentary live on Peacock (23 April, 14:04), Gale was raging at the defending of striker Solanke for the opening goal, calling it “appalling”.
“It’s appalling defending in there isn’t it?” he said. “It’s a great delivery, really good header from Antonio but I think it’s Solanke who’s picking him up and he actually gets nowhere near it.
“Doesn’t get even a challenge on him. That’s the danger when you’ve got centre-forwards coming back defending and they don’t defend in the right manner.
“Good delivery, plenty of pace on it but look at this. Doesn’t even have to jump Antonio.”
More like it
That was a performance that was far more like what we should be expecting as European cup semi-finalists for the second year running.
So far this season it’s been poor for the most part in the Premier League, and tricky away games like this have caught us out far more often than they should.
But the performance on Sunday was very professional and West Ham showed our true quality, limiting their chances on our goal and being clinical in taking our own.
It’s convincing to see our better players turning in the good performances also, with many like Paqueta and Rice criticised at times for not doing enough this season.
But they’re dragging us away from this relegation battle now and with a European semi-final to look forward to in the coming weeks, we can start to look up the table instead of behind us now for a strong end to the season too.