Alf's Grumble

Rhubarb, Custard and the No News Day!

As the West Ham legion look forward to the crunch game against Leicester tomorrow, many are wondering what the hell has become of the football club loved by generations of fans and what will the future hold under the guardianship of the Peter, Mary and Paul folk trio.

There are so many issues that need attention, too many failings and too much finger pointing, that most fans are at a loss to find the best course of action to take. Do they protest? Do they march? Do they boycott games or not renew season tickets? Do they hurl abuse at the ownership, the manager and the players? What will any of it do?

With everything that has been happening at the club, one would imagine that the manager and players would be doing everything they could to put on a fighting display in the remaining games. It started to come good against Southampton, was just about worthy against Chelsea but the wheels really came off against Arsenal…and the match last Sunday against Manchester City was just an embarrassing display from start to finish.

The expectant fans would ask many questions of the manager’s tactics and the players’ endeavour but the situation has turned into a farce. The players are once again revolting against the manager as they did with Bilic, the fight would appear to have gone from many of the ‘flippy flops’ and the plan of attack would seem to be one dimensional, delusional and defensive.

Everyday, there is something new that rattles the cages of the West Ham universe…whether the abject performances, the lacklustre results, the club statements, the ownership scandals or whether it’s the in fighting…it has now started to drive long standing fans away from the club and forcing many not to renew their season tickets. Has the club been so blind this whole time? Did they think that their actions would not go unnoticed and the loyal fans would simply stand by and watch the club persistently ridicule them for ever more? It is judgement day now for the club…and for the manager and the players. No more excuses, no more delays and false displays of affection! The fans are speaking, asking and demanding answers and results…it’s time to answer!

Instead of Moyes giving his post-match press conference against Manchester City and almost throwing in the towel before the trip was made up the M1 towards Leicester, he should be optimistic and positive. He must take the responsibility as well as the players…none of them can hide from the failings…they win, lose or draw together. However, Moyes would separate himself from the bilge and seek to draw attention to player’s misgivings and errors. This is not positive management that the team need right now…no wonder Carroll and other players are starting to fall out with him publicly now.

West Ham fans would welcome a quiet day when there is little to bemoan and much to rejoice, but the wait will be long and the summer cannot come soon enough. Every fan would implore each and every player to go all out in the next game to get the win…not a draw or even accept a loss, as Moyes would imply is still acceptable…It isn’t!

The club has some fine players, however, most have been off-colour for too long. It is time for all to show what they’re made of, in spite of the manager and in spite of his negative tactics. They must be mutinous on the field, go their own way with Noble to lead the pirates to walk upon the golden wonder shores. They need Lanzini and Arnautovic to lead the charge, find that connection that worked so well against Huddersfield Town earlier in the season…they need to be bold, aggressive and ravenous for the win!

Most Hammers’ fans would only wish for a well-fought battle tomorrow, regardless of the result. The team cannot afford to deliver an apathetic display, although the challenge will be a lot stiffer than many would imagine as Leicester would be looking to rebound after their humiliating defeat to Crystal Palace the week before.

The fans are not looking for sweet football or even fresh cream turnovers…they need their tarts on the field to get back to basics and fight for every ball. Simple and effective play, traditional aspirations and execution…some good old fashioned rhubarb and custard…without the sour aftertaste! They want to sing the players’ praises and talk of nothing more than a West Ham – No News Day!