Double Oh Shleven and the Diabolical Plan Published 18/04/18 on Irons United
Many would breathe a huge sigh of relief after Monday night’s performance and result against the floundering Stoke City. It was to a hotly contested affair but West Ham came out on top to take the three points…safety is assured now…but what of the future?
The fans have been feeling restless whilst waiting for affirmative action to be taken by the board, however now that the team have pulled out the results and have gained the appropriate amount of points to survive the season…is it now time to launch into protests and mass demonstrations?
On the 29th April, at the home game against Manchester City, another protest is being organised however the structure and methodology is yet to be fully realised. There are of course many fans who are still vociferously in favour of showing their displeasure of the board and their actions over the last few years, however there is an overwhelming majority who have been left dazed and confused by the previous attempts to march and now by the club’s ambition to rectify many of the ongoing situations.
What is the protest for? Why are fans marching? Do they trust the board to make rectifications and will the owners dig deep into their pockets in the summer to make big money signings? Surely fans demonstrating outside of the ground before and after a game is a good thing as it keeps the issues at the forefront of fan’s and the wider public’s minds? However, shouldn’t the protest really be about holding the board to account and extracting a timeframe for rectifications to be made…and simply wait until the summer to see what players will be sold and which will be bought in to improve the squad for next season?
For many fans now accept that the London Stadium is nowhere near a perfect theatre for watching football, however they commiserate themselves with the belief that, given time the evolution will finally deliver what was promised…or as near as possible! The club is making efforts to improve the look and feel of the ground and the approaches, however there is little they can do beyond the boundary walls of their castle…it has been an ill conceived plan from start to finish…but this is the mess the club is in and the fans have no option but to wallow in it for a while longer!
Whilst the stadium issues are of course at the forefront of many fan’s minds, the overriding concern has been with the shambolic and dastardly transfer policy and quality of signings over the last couple of seasons. Many would believe there has been a malevolent ulterior motive to see the squad stripped to its bare bones, to barely survive in the league which might be considered as an achieved success! However, whilst fans may wish to believe Sullivan is the Bond villain; Blofeld stroking his white cat and planning the doom of the West Ham world…there might also be light in this dark tunnel come the end of the season.
The owners; David Sullivan and David Gold, along with Karren Brady have acknowledged their failings and their bombastic rhetoric has diminished in recent weeks too. There is no doubt that they would aim to rectify the issues and the systems behind closed doors…but now the time for words is over, actions must prevail.
There are plans to employ a director of football and for Sullivan to release the reins from the transfer decision making. More funds will be made available but fans should not expect anywhere near what many feel should be appropriate… “World class players in a world class stadium!” will simply have to wait as the club do not have that financial strength. However, they have a manager in Moyes who might just be the right person to manage the squad and bring in suitable players that would balance the team and make it a force for next year.
Sean Dyche at Burnley has proven that a team does not need ridiculous amounts of money spent on it for it to function, however to make a team play attractive and entertaining football, will required at least a modest investment which the owners must show an ambition to realise. Moyes can function in a similar manner but will have to build his team around the key players in the squad to have any kind of success next season.
Arnautovic is the key for the team now in the attacking sense and must be ably supported by an improving Masuaku and another strike partner, whomever that is. Of course the defensive frailties need to be sured up and the goalkeeper conundrum must finally be decided upon, however the key to next season will be based upon retaining the creativity and talent within the squad. Lanzini, Hernandez…even Mario should be considered as key players going forward, however Moyes needs to invest in quality younger players to supplement and eventually replace the elder gents in the team over the next couple of seasons…assuming Moyes is the manager come the end of the summer!
The fans are looking for somebody to grab this West Ham bull by the horns and make a good charge next season. It needs heroic actions to get organised and cut out the malignancy from within the club. It needs a 007 Bond…not a ‘Double Oh Shleven’ who would be no match for any villain who conspires with a diabolical plan.