Arthur Masuaku

Pellegrini chastises Masuaku for red card against Villa

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Manuel Pellegrini said he was “very happy for the performance of the team” despite the 0-0 draw with Aston Villa that saw West Ham record just one single shot on target.

Still, he noted that he was less than pleased with the sending off of Arthur Masuaku, for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, the West Ham manager said the referee can be easily goaded into soft decisions against the away side by raucous fans. “It’s a typical sending off when you play away,” Pellegrini said in his post-match television interview. “With the pressure of the fans in every foul, of our players that had a yellow card – in this case Arthur Masuaku, Mark Noble, and another player in the first half, I don’t think this was a yellow card, but playing away it is very easy for the referee to send him off.”

Later, he noted that a discussion at halftime with Masuaku about his earlier booking was unsuccessful. “They [the home fans] try to do it with the pressure of the fans,” Pellegrini said in the post-match press conference. “They tried to do it with Mark Noble in the first-half, they try to get a second yellow. We [Masuaku] talked about it at half-time. We told him he must be careful.”

That didn’t pan out, as Masuaku was sent off for a second yellow card earned while fouling Ahmed Elmohamady who had just come onto the pitch moments earlier. The foul was deemed somewhat soft, but match commentator Martin Tyler pointed out – as Pellegrini seems to be indicating – that Masuaku’s mistake was giving the referee the opportunity to make the call for an otherwise needless foul.

Despite the one negative moment, Pellegrini was pleased with the team’s overall performance on the road.

“I prefer to talk about our team,” Pellegrini said when asked about the refereeing decisions. “I think we played a very good game. We had the personality to come here and try to win the game from the beginning, and the last action, the last play of the game we had a very clear chance to score. We played with 10 men exactly the same that we did with 11. We tried defending well, we tried to continue scoring a goal, so I am very happy for the performance of the team, for the personality of the team, and when you are playing away if you can’t win the game, don’t lose it.”

West Ham’s Masuaku banned six games for spitting

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Arthur Masuaku has been banned for six games, effective immediately, after he was found guilty of spitting at an opponent.

West Ham lost 2-0 to third-tier Wigan Athletic on Saturday with Masuaku sent off early in the second half for spitting at Nick Powell.

The English Football Association released details of the ban on Monday, after Masuaku apologized in a statement released on social media on Sunday. In a statement on their website, West Ham revealed that Masuaku will not be available to play again until Mar. 18 against Manchester United.

“The Football Association have confirmed that Arthur Masuaku has been issued with a six-match suspension after being sent-off for spitting at Nick Powell in Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup fourth-round defeat at Wigan Athletic. The No26 will miss half-a-dozen Premier League matches – the home games with Crystal Palace, Watford and Burnley and the away fixtures at Brighton & Hove Albion, Liverpool and Swansea City.”

Masuaku’s actions have been heavily criticized across the soccer and sporting world with the French left back lambasted for spitting at Powell.

The fact that he apologized is one thing, but in his written apology he didn’t mention the word “spitting” or acknowledge exactly what he had been banned for.

There is absolutely no place for this kind of behavior in the beautiful game and I for one would be totally with a 10-15 game ban for this kind of action.

West Ham’s manager David Moyes was disgusted with Masuaku’s actions on Saturday as his team played the rest of the second half with 10-men and were dumped out of the FA Cup.

“It was despicable,” Moyes said. “I’ve not seen it from him. We like him, he’s a really good boy around the club… it is out of character. He will deserve everything he gets and he’ll get something he deserves from us. It’s unacceptable.”

Is this the end of Masuaku’s career at West Ham and in England? It’s tough to see if he can rebuild his reputation from this as the man who joined from Olympiacos in the summer of 2016 has a long way to convince the English game this was an isolated incident.

In recent months he has shown plenty of promise under Moyes with attacking displays from left back and plenty of pinpoints crosses.

Masuaku has made a huge mistake and only time will tell if he will get a second chance.

West Ham, Barnsley red cards contest for stupider sending off

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There must be something in the air over England this Saturday morning, because a pair of players have put their teams in disadvantageous positions thanks to nothing other than sheer stupidity.

First, in FA Cup action, Premier League side West Ham was already trailing League One leaders Wigan 1-0 at DW Stadium when Arthur Masuaku lost his head. Nick Powell and Masuaku come together, but there was hardly anything in it until the 24-year-old left-back decided to spit on the Wigan midfielder.

It was a completely mindless act, and one well spotted by the officials, who immediately produced a red card, sending Masuaku off and leaving the Premier League side with an even bigger mountain to climb in order to avoid the upset.

Wigan would eventually go 2-0 up on a penalty given for a handball on Reece Burke, a poor call but also deserved by Wigan who bossed the match after going a man up.

Elsewhere, in Championship play, promotion hopefuls Fulham were down 1-0 on the road at struggling Barnsley after an incredibly poor first half. Just before the break, Barnsley right-back Dimitri Cavare was fouled by Stefan Johansen. The referee tried to play advantage, but with Cavare’s eventual pass dragging wayward, he blew his whistle and pulled back the foul. Johansen got up and had some words with another Barnsley player, and Cavare came up from behind him and shoved Johansen hard in the back, straight into the other player, and more importantly, directly in front of the referee.

Fulham had been awful the entire first half, and after going a man up, they came out of the intermission energized and grabbed the equalizer just four minutes after the break through young Ryan Sessegnon.

What’s gotten into these players? Nothing makes a manager seethe more than a player doing something needless to put the team at a serious disadvantage the rest of the match. Which act was dumber?

West Ham 1-0 Swansea City: Sakho scores late

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  • Subs Sakho, Masuaku combine
  • Swans into drop zone
  • Irons win shots 9-6

Diafra Sakho‘s 90th minute goal lifted West Ham United out of the drop zone with a 1-0 win over Swansea City at the London Stadium on Saturday.

West Ham is 15th with seven points, while Swans drop into 18th with five.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

There was plenty to like in the first half. For Swans, it was new boy Renato Sanches lively all over the midfield and Wilfried Bony cranked a shot at Joe Hart.

For the Irons, Andy Carroll mishit a promising chance from just outside 18 yards and Michail Antonio saw a bounding shot stopped by Lukasz Fabianski.

Carroll had another opportunity in the second half, but couldn’t quite get his boot to Antonio’s cross.

The late goal from substitute Sakho from fellow sub Arthur Masuaku then added to the below statistic.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

West Ham finally gets Cresswell replacement, signs Masuaku from Olympiacos

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West Ham has struggled to replace injured left-back Aaron Cresswell. After a few bids were reportedly turned down, a deal for Davide Santon fell through.

Finally, they have someone to take over.

With Cresswell out for the coming months, the Hammers snagged French left-back Arthur Masuaku from Greek club Olympiacos.

The 22-year-old signed a four-year contract with West Ham, according to the club. He cost $6.6 million according to West Ham, but some English reports consider that inflated, saying they spent anywhere between $1.5 million and $4.5 million.

Masuaku’s offensive production has been on and off. In the 2014/15 campaign, his first with Olympiacos after moving from Ligue 2 side Valenciennes, he assisted six goals in 27 league appearances. Last season, he bagged a goal but only found two assists in 23 appearances. Both years Olympiacos won the Greek league.

“For me, the Premier League is the biggest league in the world,” Masuaku told the official West Ham website. “When I was 18, my target was to come here, so now I am here, I have to prove myself to the fans and to the team.”