Much too Much and Much Too Little! Published 02/05/18 on West Ham Matters
As the dust settles after another woeful performance, many with the West Ham fandom are beginning to ask whether the safety by a narrow margin is even really possible. Whilst the manner of defeat was indigestible, it was not without expectation however the team’s abject displays and results against the lesser entities have created the mess the club now finds itself in.
Many fans might justifiably feel that the game was lost even before a ball was even kicked because too much respect was paid to the visitors…the performance was flat and the atmosphere was representative of faithless masses witnessing the final waves crash over the sinking ship. Moyes had a game plan to prevent the Manchester City players from advancing into the penalty area too often, thus would limit their opportunities to score goals…however the final stand was too late as their midfield ran riot and stole the show.
Whilst there are those that would have sympathy for the devil on the sidelines who would stand a lone figure in the face of such torture, there are many who would condemn the man for gross misconduct and failures in all areas. The preparation for the game was unfulfilled…who would honestly believe that training without a ball is the correct course of action? It identifies that Moyes would start the game accepting that the City players would have the possession, so the strategy would be to not play football at all but rather chase the jockey as the horse had already bolted!
The preparation was unacceptable, the training for the task was woeful, the execution was apathetic, pathetic and dyslexic. Both manager and players bought into the notion that they were undeserving to be on the same field of play as the visitors, they paid them far too much respect and allowed Pep Guardiola and his merry men to play freely without contest.
Of course, the season has not been lost based upon this performance, however it has been so because it is based upon multiple failings over a long season that most fans would rather forget now. There have been too many games where the defence has let in more than three goals…and this is from a reputedly defensive minded coach. The midfield has been weak and has been let down my inconsistency and below par performers.
Kouyate has had a shocking season however Moyes has persisted with him. Time after time he has failed in his duties, but still he retains his position in the starting line up! Mario and Fernandes are making the kick off whistle but have repeatedly failed to make inroads and have faded fast within the first quarter of the game.
Many fans would look to Arnautovic now to rescue a point or even lead the team to the well…but nobody is drinking! Some fans would even point fingers at the Austrian but who would fail to see that he is alone and unsupported in his role…just as Hernandez has been for most of his appearances this season. He has become frustrated as most fans have become now and is wondering where has all the quality gone, where is the attacking intent and why should he continue to work for the good of the team when the manager and the rest of the players are simply holding back?
There are defensive frailties all over the pitch, the defence is vulnerable but have battled as best as they could but overall the players have ceased to play as a unit and are lost sheep in a field of fallen poppies. They needed strong leadership to pick them up and point them in the right direction…but Moyes has once again failed to be the ignition to restart their engine.
Moyes has not done enough since his arrival that would ensure Premier League survival, nor to convince any fan that he is the right choice for the future prosperity of the club. His tactics, formations and starting selections have been ineffective and abysmal at times, whilst his substitutions have been all too late to make a real difference.
He would bank upon points being earned in the next three games, but the performances would not lead to that prediction nor make it probable although anything is still possible…well in his mind certainly!
There have to be root changes for the next few games and Moyes has to prove every fan wrong now, go on the offensive and take the game to the opponents or at least challenge every player on the pitch as opposed to move forward rather than simply to patrol the marking zones with little resistance after the first of second wave. He has to change his starting line up and formation that would have Hernandez and Carroll or Arnautovic as a front two. He must have an attack minded midfield that would advance rather than solely contain…and he must charge his players to defend from every position. They have very little time to rectify the failings, much too much respect has been paid and much too little has been paid in return. Time to change!