Alf's Grumble

The glorious victory against Leicester City last weekend has certainly lifted the spirits of many of the West Ham faithful and has relieved the pressure from the impending doom that many thought was a foregone conclusion. However, most of the Hammers’ fandom are now looking toward the next step, the summer…and who will be the West Ham manager come next season?

There is no denying that David Moyes has accomplished what he was tasked to do…but was that ever enough for an expectant set of fans that have been force-fed deceptions, disappointments and delusions for too long? We must not forget that he has only been in post for six months and did not fare well in the January transfer window either. Perhaps his style of management and the manner of the performances have been indicative of the situation that he found himself in and the calamitous actions of the board?

As Manchester United arrived at the London Stadium yesterday evening, many fans were hopeful that Mr Kool and the Gang could raise their game to offer any suggestion that next season might be a lot different if the board decided to go with Moyes for another term…or if indeed he would even wish to stay? Perhaps the hopes were misplaced but it wasn’t a totally dreadful affair either!

However, for an overwhelming majority of fans…if recent polls are to be believed, no amount of glorious finale to the season would ever change their minds…and Moyes would have to go! Whilst most would be thankful of course to the man who has managed to keep the club safe in the Premier League for another season…however, it has only been just about accomplished and in no way convincing.

I stand in the middle at the moment regarding Moyes, irrespective of last night’s performance and result. I do not believe he is the right manager to take the club forward and to be part of the major regroup in the summer as has been promised. However, he has been judged rather harshly albeit with a board that has not supported him totally and with a squad of players that have been largely misfiring all season.

One thing is for certain, the quantum changes at the season end cannot come soon enough and perhaps as well as Moyes, then many of the players must be rooted out and the club really do need to start again. New emphasis, rejuvenated focus, swap out players and given a different direction to follow by a new manager who is fully supported with a positive net spend in transfers without sacrificing the best players in the squad.

Moyes had an opportunity last evening against the Red Devils to showcase what he might be capable of and what the team could produce. There was nothing to lose and much to exploit as the opposition would be in wind-down mode until their FA Cup final clash in just over a week’s time. It would be the same opportunity against an apathetic Everton next Sunday on the last day of the season too. Just imagine, two amazing victories and finishing 10th in the league…surely Moyes would be the man for the job? Surely…Absolutely Not!

The game was marginally entertaining in parts and both teams had chances to score but both failed to capitalise on the acres of space left in midfield. In reality the lack of need to gain a result was telling as the game lacked urgency and intensity and could not be judged as a true test of the players nor of the manager. Of course that is not to say that there was not endeavour or commitment lacking from the team, but Manchester United would be happy to settle for a point whilst Moyes would have liked to win but it wasn’t the ultimate goal either…just as long as the overall performance was acceptable and the team didn’t lose.

The claret and blue masses have had the expectation for the team to deliver more all season. Greater passion, better performances, increased intensity…regardless of results…overall it has been a damn poor show with a limp display throughout. The fans want two gangs of New York to face off with each other, go hell for leather, bleed for this and give everything for that…but mostly have been fed on tripe delivered by the boys from Pudding Town.

The manager, the players, indeed the whole club realise that the ambitions of all concerned have fallen short of what was expected and loosely promised. However, now that the club have finally limped over the line, there is one final opportunity to correct the wrongs and make a big play in the summer to launch a telling charge for next season. Is Moyes the right man to take the club forward into these promised lands? Perhaps not, but the club must be decisive and act quickly from Sunday evening. They must not delay the decisions but must back the manager…whomever that will be and substantially spend in the transfer window to improve the squad. However, ultimately they need to bring back the adventurous spirit and the West Ham Way that has been lacking for too long…perhaps this time, the club will finally get it right!