David Moyes admitted West Ham let themselves down as they slumped to an alarming 4-0 defeat at Brighton.
The Hammers are now winless in 11 away matches in the Premier League and still perilously close to the relegation zone after a feeble display.
It was another case of the curse of Brighton for West Ham – Moyes’ side have never beaten the Seagulls in the Premier League and left the Amex Stadium empty-handed, yet again, at the 12th attempt.
But this was far from unlucky. A penalty from Alexis Mac Allister, tap-ins for Joel Veltman and Kaoru Mitoma and a late strike from Danny Welbeck inflicted West Ham’s heaviest defeat since a 5-0 home drubbing by Manchester City in August 2019..
“It wasn’t good. We’ve not played well today, we let ourselves down,” said Hammers boss Moyes.
“We were always coming to play a team that would have a lot of possession so we knew we’d find ourselves having to give up a bit more than we would normally do.
“We had a couple of really good chances to equalise in the first half and didn’t take them. We went in 1-0 down, it was really disappointing. We hoped we’d come out and play better in the second half and it was the opposite.
“Certainly in my second spell back (at West Ham), it would be one of the worst performances.”
The West Ham supporters were singing Moyes’ name in the first half, but he faced chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ and ‘sacked in the morning’ in the second.
“I totally understand,” he added. “They’ve been watching a really good team for the last three years, a team that’s been finishing sixth or seventh in the Premier League, been watching a team that’s got into the semi-final of Europe, a team who’s just won the group in Europe again, so I understand it’s hard to come and watch that performance today.
“We’ve not had too many days as bad as today, we’ve not had many and you don’t get allowed many. I’ve got to say it felt a bad day for us and we have to try and get that picked up.”
Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi has no such problems, and he watched from the stands with his feet up while he served a touchline ban for his red card in the tunnel against Fulham a fortnight ago.
“It was very different,” he said. “The stadium is very nice and my place was fantastic, but I prefer my place on the bench.”
The Seagulls remain in the hunt for Europe and De Zerbi is not talking down their prospects.
“If you see the table we can fight,” he added. “It’s not right to speak about one place in the table but we are playing very well and we can try.”