Moyes on the brink as Hammers flounder?

Brian Jeeves
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Nottingham Forest v West Ham United – Premier League – The City Ground – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

Whether you favour the Moyes-in camp or are calling for the Scotsman to depart, there is little doubt that the pressure has significantly ramped up on the man in the West Ham United hot seat.

Unquestionably, David Moyes had money in the bank, what with his achievements during both spells with the East London outfit. But of late, criticism towards the Hammers style of football can not be whitewashed by results. Indeed, the 6-0 Premier League battering at the hands of Arsenal last weekend was West Ham’s heaviest home defeat since Blackburn Rovers recorded a resounding 8-2 Division One success at the Boleyn Ground on Boxing Day 1963. 

A significant portion of the London Stadium crowd had seen enough and left the stadium before half-time. No doubt, the natives are restless and Moyes might well be skating on thin ice.

As harsh as that might seem, what with West Ham sitting eighth in the Premier League and through to the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League, that might not be enough from Moyes, with former Brighton and Chelsea Head Coach, Graham Potter, amongst the names banded about as his potential replacement.

Despite leading the club to the Europa Conference title last season – their first silverware in for than four decades – the past, however recent, is exactly that. The Arsenal defeat extended West Ham’s winless sequence to seven matches and they were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup in the third round stage by Championship side Bristol City. The knives are out and show little sign of retreating any time soon.

I don’t think Moyes’s commitment to the club and the supporters can be questioned: “I want to apologise for today’s performance and result,” he explained after last weekend’s walloping.

“To be part of a football club and be a big football supporter, there’s tough times and West Ham will know that more than anybody.

“I look back and when I came in we had to try and avoid relegation, and we avoided relegation. The journey we’ve all been on in the last three or four years trying to qualify for Europe, getting to a semi-final, and you all know the good times we had in Prague about six months ago.

“That will not make people feel too much happier with today’s result, but I think it’s just important that we remember that those good times in football can also be bad times and today was a bad day for us.”

Moyes insisted that everyone was in it together, adding: “It’s all about ‘we’ now.

“It’s not about the players and not about the manager. It’s how we all get together and I’ve said that to the players.

“How we respond now is really going to be big and probably the levels we need to show we’re going to have to show, we’re going to have to show a bigger level of fight and commitment.

“Over my time here at West Ham, whether it be this period or the one before, I really can’t remember too many of my teams performing as badly defensively and if we have done in the past maybe we maybe didn’t quite the same level of defenders or maybe not the same level of players.

“We’ve got international players in just about all the slots, but I thought we were we weak in our defending, as we were at Manchester United last week as well.”

Whether another winless weekend will see the West Ham board call time on Moyes’ tenure is up for debate. But of late, an otherwise useful squad has looked tired and devoid of ideas, leaving a potentially decent campaign set to run aground way ahead of its conclusion. Defeat on Saturday at the City Ground, against a Nottingham Forest side, nervously looking over their shoulder towards the dropzone and having suffered three defeats in their last four outings, could leave the hierarchy with little option but with an unclear pathway just over the horizon.

Jeevesie’s prediction: Nottingham Forest 1-1 West Ham United

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk