‘Moyes mustn’t overdo tough love treatment of Said Benrahma’

The gaffer believes praise makes players soft but maybe Said needs more to reach new levels

Said Benrahama (WHU) dejection at the West Ham United v Leicester City EPL match, at the London Stadium, London, UK on November 12, 2022.

Said Benrahma has been a huge topic for debate amongst us fans over the past couple of years but the Algerian seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue this season for the right reasons. Benrahma is having a great season so far and he has proven to be a shining light for fans in what has been a pretty dreadful league campaign to date.

More often than not it has been the Algerian who has brought the spark to our front line, and he looks like the only capable attacking outlet at times. The main point of debate surrounding the former Brentford winger is the seemingly harsh treatment from David Moyes.

Throughout his career with us Benrahma has often been unceremoniously dropped regardless of his form and will remain out of the starting weeks, being limited to substitute appearances usually when it is too little too late. To the press, Moyes will also criticise the number 22 or fail to praise him after a good performance.  

It has been more prominent than ever this season, especially with the football the 27-year-old has been playing, and it is safe to say that fans are starting to lose patience with Moyes’ treatment of the player.   Frustrations reached a high point in the 1-2 home loss to Crystal Palace in November when Benrahma was replaced by Manuel Lanzini after just 60 minutes despite having opened the scoring with an absolute rocket.

The substitution was booed loudly and fans singing in support of Said echoed around the London Stadium in protest.  The player himself must be baffled that he can’t get a decent run of games to cement himself and there have been several instances where he has made his frustration known to Moyes after being substituted.

It’s even more confusing considering that out of form players including Michail Antonio, Aaron Cresswell and Tomas Soucek will all keep their spots with little reasoning but our standout player can’t. His frustration is shared by the fans but there may be a reason behind this treatment. In Moyes’ appearance on Steven Bartlett’s “Diary of a CEO” podcast, the Scotsman revealed his thoughts on praising players.

Moyes said: ‘One of the worst things you can do to people is if you keep praising them all the time. I think it makes you soft as well so I think there’s a level of praise you can give people, but I think you’ve also got to be really tough on your players as well and I actually think as I’ve got older, I’ve got better at giving praise. I think there’s some of my players, I’m sure at Everton, (who) would say I very rarely gave them praise because I was always looking for better from them.’

These comments could explain why Moyes seems to single out Benrahma after games and would imply that he believes the fan favourite is capable of much more. Moyes is a top manager and he clearly knows what he is doing but It is quite clear that the Algerian is a confidence player so a little praise now and then surely wouldn’t hurt?

Given our league position, Moyes needs to ensure our best players remain in form so his man-management of Benrahma will be crucial. A little more appreciation and trust in him could take Benrahma to a new level. Our magician is on course to have his best season as a West Ham player should he continue to add to his current tally of eight goal contributions in all competitions.

Benrahma scored 11 goals and registered six assists in 48 games last season and whilst he hasn’t reached those numbers yet, his overall game has come on leaps and bounds. The quality of his goals has also risen this season, with the sweet freekick against Anderlecht in the conference league and that belter against Crystal Palace both coming to mind.

Benrahma is definitely improving but Moyes must be careful that he doesn’t overdo the tough love treatment. If the Algerian keeps getting dropped and dug out in the press then he may well start looking for a club where he feels valued by his manager which would be disastrous.  

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