Off Target with the seedless Jaffa Cakes Published 01/05/18 on Irons United
Oh what a palaver, what a dire show…what an absolute disgrace! This was the feeling from many of the West Ham faithful after the drubbing received at the hands of the visiting Manchester City at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
West Ham were a shadow of any team that would put up any kind of resistance to the marauding pirates who travelled down south in search of some loot to fill their treasure chest and puff their chests even more…but they came and got the lot and it was handed to them on a plate!
Moyes once again set up to be defensive with two rows of defenders and Arnautovic as the lone striker with Lanzini to support, if and when able. However, nobody told the players how to defend, how to work as individuals or as a collective unit. Of course Manchester City are a great team, but they were allowed to be so by a team of apathetic trojans and tactics that would never dare to strike at their hearts.
It was a pitiful display from all and sundry…even the substitutes appeared to be out of breath on their introduction to the tragic goings on and nobody seemed willing to chase down opportunities, harass the opposition players in possession or simply work hard to close down any threats. The defeat was largely expected by most fans, however the manner of the defeat was downright disgraceful. The tactics were shameful and the players’ execution was shambolic, however most players and management were quick to deflect their own failings by lording over the brilliance of the opponents.
Again and again the fans were left breathless and could not believe what was transpiring in front of them. They expected the West Ham players to put up a stiff test but all that was returned was an anaemic response and an impotent attempt to attack the Champions of the Premier League. Prior to the match the visitors were rightly given a guard of honour by the West Ham players, however it almost appeared that the respect shown beforehand was a precursor for what was to occur during the match.
Whether Moyes had any attacking intentions of not, the fact remains that his tactics, formations and team selection did not function in any manner and certainly did not ask any questions of the Manchester City midfield or defence. Of course the players are world class, however who said that it was supposed to be so easy for them to be so? When quality players are allowed too much time on the ball, then it follows that they will have success with it, and that is exactly how it came to pass.
Moyes languished on the sidelines whilst Guardiola was ever vigilant…and even plotting and scheming to improve on what had already become a dominant display. Moyes could not compare ambitions nor did he have the arsenal at his disposal to make the good fight. His substitutions were late, criminally retarded and once again there wasn’t any sense of urgency to inflict pain upon a wounded animal.
For most of the first half, Pep’s gladiators were allowed to tip toe through the Hammers’ midfield and defences, whilst all gladly stood off. The game plan was to stop the ball reaching the West Ham goal, as it should always be. However instead of defending high up the pitch or pressing the opposition into unforced errors, they sat deep and stood off. It was as if the naughty boys at school were all passed secret notes before the game to let them know that their time was up and they were all being expelled in the morning. The had given up the fight as they were mentally shackled and physically hindered in every aspect of the game…and this continued into the second half too!
One might be charitable and believe that Moyes had set up the team to be a force to be reckoned with, as he had implied they would be when he delivered his press conference. However, watching from the stands, the fans could see a man frustrated by ineptitude and his ashen complexion revealed the loss of opportunity and the screams of impending defeat…and he was hapless to do anything about it.
His mentality to defend the castle walls has enabled the players to rest upon failure as an expected outcome, instead of charging his men to strike forward and create opportunities. He was right not to go toe to toe with the visitors, however both he and the players failed to recognise that to have any chance of getting a positive result either as a win or draw, then they had to stop City from playing, however it appears this was all but forgotten.
The team were wholly inadequate and vastly outplayed by a rampant opposition, however they did not seem to have the desire to at least poke the grizzly bear with a pointed stick…and the conductor Moyes was ravenous to curl up in a foetal portion and let himself be thrashed with pointed claws without riposte. It was shameful, distasteful and totally uninspiring!
Moyes is reaching the end of his tenure and whilst rumours are abound that he will be offered the manager’s position on a full time basis come the summer, the fans are questioning how can this be warranted? He has had a diabolical record since his arrival, possibly one of the worst managers the club has had in its history…statistically speaking and he has not found the right formula to get the players functioning as a team that would make and take advantage over any weekly foe. He has been off colour and off target all season long and he has failed to get his seedless Jaffa cakes to grow new shoots or yield fruits for any of their lumbering labours.