David Moyes said he was disappointed with West Ham’s “big players with big reputations” after his first game in charge ended in a 2-0 defeat at Watford.
The Scot’s hopes of a winning start in his 500th Premier League game as a manager were dashed by goals in either half from Will Hughes and Richarlison that left his new club in the bottom three and the size of the task facing him even clearer.
For the hosts, it was another energetic and clinical performance that highlighted why coach Marco Silva is coveted by Everton.
Moyes, appointed as Slaven Bilic’s successor on 7 November, can feel aggrieved at an unpunished handball in the build-up to Richarlison’s strike, and lost £25m striker Marko Arnautovic with a suspected broken thumb in the second half.
He will have to build on an improved second-half spell by the Hammers, who were spectacularly denied by Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes.
Moyes, 54, said: “I always thought this was a big job. Some big players with big reputations disappointed me a lot.
“I thought they would show me more. They need to show me why they have got that reputation.
“I don’t enjoy the performance and I expected us to do better. We tried to stay in the game and give ourselves a chance – and we probably did – but overall it was not good enough.”
It was an impressive return to winning ways for the Hornets, whose early-season momentum had stalled with defeats in their previous three games, and the victory moves them up a place to eighth in the table.
Hughes, the 22-year-old £8m summer signing from Derby County, scored with his first attempt on goal in the top flight, latching on to Andre Gray’s scuffed effort and smashing it past Joe Hart.
The England goalkeeper was also beaten by Richarlison, who was a constant threat but did well to stop Adrian Mariappa’s header to deny Watford a third after an hour.
Source: BBC Sport