Divided Not United

16 Feb, 2024
written by Nigel Kahn

 

Divided Not United

 

For once in my life, I’ve got something to say
I want to say it now for now is today
A love has been given, so why not enjoy
So let’s all grab and let’s all enjoy
If the kids are united, then we’ll never be divided
If the kids are united, then we’ll never be divided

The old Sham 69 punk anthem from the late 70s, which can still be heard belting out around the London Stadium at times, is a rallying cry that encourages understanding between people speaking up for what they believe in. Unfortunately, that is far from the truth currently with the West Ham fanbase.

Quite how Moyes became so hated by factions is seen by those who look in at the odd occasion to be mad. Many in the football pundit world seem mystified that the manager who helped to keep the club in the Premier League in 2020, then guided us to our two highest consecutive positions ( we had never finished in the top 7 ever two years running), and despite struggling in the league last season took us undefeated all the way to a European Final and a long-awaited trophy.

Fast forward now eight months from that day in June, and the heat is being turned up on Moyes. His style of football may be a means to an end, but it doesn’t excite me in quite the way other managers have achieved at West Ham, and at the stadium, the atmosphere is so flat that even the singing of bubbles seems to burst itself before the end.

Atmosphere, I find, is generally generated by what the fans see on the pitch, and you can see that at the London Stadium, where the fans can’t even seem to raise themselves, stung into silence by the slow play tactics set by the management team and the lack of effort from the players.

While there have not been vocal calls on masse in the stadium for Moyes to go, dip your toe onto social media, it won’t take a little while to see many of West Ham seem to have enough of Moyes and his way of playing.

To emphasise the divide, there are a fair number of fans who back the manager. Certain accounts enjoy the back and forth with those that feel opposite, with both sides complaining of the other. Some, though, complain about Moyes and the divide he has caused. This baffles me.

Moyes himself has done nothing to divide the fanbase, he has carried on doing what he does in the same way he always has. The divide they are complaining about is solely fan-led, so those that complain about the divide, while propagating the divide, are as much part of the problem currently afflicting the fan base as David Moyes tactics are.

I don’t expect fans to sit back and accept what they see, and maybe those walking out at half-time on Sunday v Arsenal were the fans with the right idea, not those that stayed to the bitter end. As the fans leaving got to show the club perfectly what they felt about that performance.

Those of us that publicly sit on one side of the fence or the other and publicly voice our opinions can have no complaints that the fans are divided, as it us that have caused it.  The media stories highlighting Moyes’s tactics and the divide in the fanbase are just manipulating that situation for the sake of content. There is no such thing in the media as a slow news week regarding West Ham these days.

Maybe it is time we stop and listen to the words of Jimmy Pursey just one more time.

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