With today’s match v Fulham billed as another must-win game for David Moyes, the pressure is really biting on the scot.
Gone are the days when West Ham fans were more forgiving, but this is more indicative of modern football itself than a sea change in the make-up of West Ham fans.
Since the start of the season, 12 managers have lost their jobs in the premier league, mostly from clubs currently occupying the bottom half of the table. Still, then again, it is rare to sack your manager during a season other than you are in turmoil.
Of the ten teams in the bottom half of the table, West Ham & Nottingham Forest are the only two yet to make the change, and Southampton, who are bottom, has done so twice.
You may be told that changing the manager will bring a change of fortune to us, but in reality, only Aston Villa, who made the change in October, have kicked on and changed their fortunes. The majority of teams in danger of relegation that have made the change have not managed to break themselves free of trouble.
Looking at the last five games form table in the Premier League, West Ham has two wins and a draw to achieve 7 points. Chelsea, in 11th spot has managed to earn 8 points. Leeds match West Ham’s 7 points total. The other seven teams have less.
That is no defence of how we are playing, but with the negativity emanating from sections of the fanbase, you would think we were rooted to the bottom of the table facing armageddon. That is not the case at the moment. I am not naive enough, though, to think we are not part of the battle to stay up as that is evident, but I still believe that we will not be plying our trade in the Championship next season. I have faith in the player’s abilities to get the points to see us ok while keeping the European dream going.
The defeat to Newcastle was a harsh lesson to the players, and I can’t remember a game where so many individual mistakes have directly led to goals. No manager can legislate tactically for that; not that Moyes hasn’t got questions to answer in how he sets the team up, as that is something that is frustrating to nearly everyone I know. The use of just one striker upfront is not for me, but I was brought up in the day of two strikers, a big one and a little one, partnerships whose names trip off the tongue.
Cross and Goddard, Mcavennie and Cottee, Hartson & Kitson.
Ings is in that mould. He needs support & Moyes statements last week on the fact they are still working out the best way to play Ings baffled me.
Every fan who has watched him in the Premier League knows he didn’t really do it in the lone role. That’s why Villa was happy to sell him.
I was not at the Newcastle game, but when you are bringing on subs to try get you back into it, or even just for pride, you have to make a change to the formation that is not currently working. Taking Antonio off for Ings in a like-for-like move did nothing to change that, not for the first time.
The fanbase, it seems to me, has now lost any faith in Moyes, many want him gone, but while us fans can bring some influence on the owners to make the change, they are known for being stubborn and loyal to their incumbents. That is not conducive for a happy fanbase, and some to me, give off the air of disappointment with every must-win game Moyes pulls off.
Lastly, there has been a lot of chatter about who comes next in the short term. Some may speak with authority, but let us remember that conversations take different twists and turn every time they get repeated like the warped game of Chines Whispers played in school as a kid. There is no way we’re appointing a man that hasn’t managed for the past decade, even for ten games.
With West Ham, I find the truth is actually madder than the fiction.
Keep the faith