Should struggling West Ham have stuck with David Moyes?

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 12 September 2018, 13:52

AS THE latest round of international fixtures draws to a close, club football begins to loom on the horizon and the resumption of the Premier League.

For West Ham supporters looking forwards is a terrifying prospect at the minute; bottom of the table, zero points from four games. New manager Manuel Pellegrini already in need of a worthless vote of confidence from his board of directors.

This weekend the pointless Hammers must travel to Everton, not a traditionally fruitful trip and a poignant fixture given their current woes.

Everton away was just about the point where David Moyes came in last season on a contract until the end of the season.

They were less than halfway through the season. Moyes was replacing sacked Slaven Bilic and sat in the stands at his old club to see his new team thrashed 4-0.

It was the same old West Ham; frail, flawed and short of goals. Given the fans’ craving for entertaining football, Moyes was not a popular choice.

Looking back with the uncompromising Scot Moyes now gone, the question must be asked whether replacing him with 64-year-old Pellegrini was yet another blunder in the long list of duff decisions stretching back for decades at a club which can never seem to get it quite right.

Moyes was in charge for 24 Premier League games from November 2017 to May 2018.

He didn’t lose four Premier League games in a row.

They lost only two at home after the turn of the year - one an unmitigated disaster against a Burnley team enjoying its best ever season; the other the annual thumping by a Manchester City side en route to the title sweeping everyone before on a record break scoring run.

Moyes signed off with two wins and a draw, which culminated in a vengeful 3-1 demolition of Everton - a rare thing even in the best of times for West Ham but even more so at their vast London Stadium where getting an atmosphere going is as tough as winning the Premier League itself.

West Ham finished a comfortable 13th and hardliner Moyes had brought his players into line. Record signing Marko Arnautovic had not scored a goal before his arrival in November. The only thing by his name was a three game ban for violent conduct in a shabby defeat at Southampton.

Arnautovic finished the season as West Ham’s top scorer on 11 goals and publicly apologised on the pitch to the fans for his woeful start to the season. This season so far he has two goals; one a penalty in a defeat by Bournemouth.

 

Moyes is from Glasgow and exhibits the personality traits of Scotland’s toughest city where they chew nails and spit rust. He dishes out meagre praise and is hard-to-please.

He is 55 but I still wouldn’t fancy my chances against him in a bare knuckle back alley face off. Would you? He cracks the whip and that is the sort of treatment young men on massive salaries need when they play football in the world’s richest league for a living.

Moyes did not get £100 million to spend last January during his one and only transfer window as West Ham boss. He signed Patrice Evra on a free and Jordan Hugill from Preston North End.

Yet he got the best out of what he had. Pellegrini broke the club’s spending record twice in a matter of weeks during the summer, topping it all with £47 million on a misfiring Felipe Anderson in midfield.

The most recent defeat, being turned over by newly-promoted Wolves before the international break, led to the whole performance being slaughtered by Alan Shearer, who labelled it pathetic, and lazy.

There is hope but also doubts already that Pellegrini has the energy to ignite his players. He has been back in Chile during the past week or so on personal matters even though only four West Ham players were away playing for their countries.

West Ham fans were understandably excited when Pellegrini was appointed manager in the summer - a Premier League manager at Manchester City after all.

Just a few months and several million quid later he has put West Ham in an exclusive club as one of only four teams in the top flight still boasting a 100 per cent record: Chelsea, Man City and Watford at the top, West Ham at the bottom.

Moyes’ arrival was greeted with horror last November but now it is looking like West Ham may have let a great catch slip through the net - something the goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski has done eight times already this season.

 

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