Alf's Grumble

It’s been another frustrating week for the West Ham faithful as they look forward to the prospect of a relegation dog fight with as much eagerness as a dog being taken to the vets to have his berries lopped off. A painful few weeks in store, all would readily agree! It has been a laboured season thus far with little to be enthused about and certainly not a lot to be excited or entertained by under the Moyes mantra that has failed to deliver results and performances with any consistency!

“Let us be frank about it: most of our people have never had it so good. Go around the country, go to the industrial towns, go to the farms, and you’ll see a state of prosperity such as we have never had in my lifetime- nor indeed ever in the history of this country. What is beginning to worry some of us is ‘Is it too good to be true?’ or perhaps I should say ‘Is it too good to last?’” – Harold Macmillan – 1957.

There are those who would think that the West Ham world has never been so plump with opportunity and the move to the London Stadium would have heralded the dawn of a new era for the club…if only the team performances could match the same ambitions. However, the shop window is at breaking point and the looters are about to raid the store, from which it would not recover.

The owners have made many questionable decisions over the last few years all in the pursuit of their own agendas, but the club as a whole has suffered, the fans have been belittled and vilified, whilst the football has gone backwards in more ways than one. They’ve never had it so good? Rubbish! They’ve never had it so poor…after such high hopes were forced upon them!

David Moyes was employed to bring about stability and assure Premier League survival, however, after the severe beating away to Arsenal at the weekend, one has to wonder why would the owners wish to entertain the notion of extending his contract at the end of the season as has been heavily implied…especially after repeated defensive displays and weak tactical decision making?

Moyes may have indeed been a good choice to rescue the club mire if there were only a meagre ten games to go and the team were languishing in the bottom three, however, he was employed with two-thirds of the season still to play. He managed to stop the rot within a few games in charge but has not been able to reverse the fortunes of the club nor has he introduced the type of quality football that most fans have yearned for since ‘back in the day’.

There have been flashes of desire to go on the offensive, but those have been too few and far in between very poor displays and negative approaches. Many would look to the Southampton game and think that Moyes has the potential to engage the players to play on the front foot…but they were terribly poor opposition. Moyes failed to capitalise and go for the emphatic win in the second half, preferring to shut the game down and settle for the three goals. This game is the mirror image of the season as a whole. There have been advances and decent displays, however equally matched and overshadowed by the poor and abject.

If the club truly want to make a nuts and bolts review of the season, then the first order of business is to change the methodology and the application from the manager. These are discussions that should be occurring now between the owners and David Moyes and not wait until the summer. If he cannot deliver and will not change his negative approach to each game, then he is not the manager of choice for next season and a new man should be targeted and quickly!

The next game against Man City, one would expect to be another tough day at the office however, Moyes can make amends and the players can find the resolve to deliver a performance and get a result, if only they have a positive mentality and unyielding determination to do so. In his remaining games, he must play his best players and react quicker to adverse game conditions and bring enough points to ensure survival…to bring peace to the hearts and minds of fans…for all our yesterdays and those of tomorrow!