The Ferryman and the peeling paint!

The Ferryman and the peeling paint! Published 07/05/18 on Irons United

This is the end my friends! The torture is almost done with and the fate of West Ham United has unfolded before our eyes, but whether relegation was ever realistic or a certainty…the fact remains that for most fans the last two seasons have been an absolute horror show.

The mood of the fanbase has shifted over recent weeks from embittered yet hopeful to apathy and a resignation to forces beyond the fan’s control. Nothing that David Moyes seems to do fills the souls with adventurous spirit as every outing is much of the same defensive drivel. So the trip up to Leicester on Saturday would surely be another exercise in how to defend the ball really quite badly by a collective of the inept.

Kouyate would likely start, whilst Hernandez conveniently picked up a knee injury…so he’ll likely not be seen ever again in a West Ham shirt. Hart would’ve returned to keeping goal if not for a late illness, so Adrian filled in to good effect and Arnautovic would be the only one who would display any aptitude for attacking the Leicester defence. Many fans would consider it fortune to return with victory or even a draw as the way the team have been playing as of late could only spell defeat once again…however the fortune did not cower behind the cover of a summer shade in this game.

Could the manager finally change tactics and go on the offensive, to strike a wounded animal before it recovered from such a wicked blow? Could the players retain possession, pass and move with conviction and press the opponents all over the pitch? One assumes that is what Moyes wanted to do when he had the team training without the ball in the lead up to the Manchester City game…but that was another embarrassing failure.

As the two teams lined up at opposite ends, the fans took a deep intake of breath and waited for the referee to blow his whistle. Could they deliver what was promised but would they fail to do so as all most certainly would assume be the case?

In this latest encounter, unlike in most other games, the players upped their games and performances to out gun a Leicester City side that were never really at the races. In fact the 0-2 shoreline would tend to flatter a semi buoyant West Ham who would come away with victory and the other results of the days would ensure that the season was saved and the Hammers would battle once again in the Premier League again next season.

Let’s take nothing away from the players today who were able to better a poor team and did respond after the latest two defeats to Arsenal and Manchester City, however let all know that merely surviving in the Premier league is simply not good enough for the fanbase, nor the players or the club as a whole.

Whilst the one hand raises a flute of champagne to cheer on the day, the other wags the finger at an incompetent board and shambolic season or two from both players and manager. The fans have been more than patient with the team, they have supported and cheered in these few remaining games and the debt has been paid until safety was assured…however that time is now…and the club must make restitutions to the loyal support who have endured too much and have been betrayed beyond which is even reasonable in the footballing world.

Mark Noble asked for the fans to be patient until the deed was done and then the questions could be addressed come the summer. Well, regardless of the victory and the final league position, the club must realise that there are wholesale changes required now and the managerial situation must be confronted before a new season starts if indeed the club is wanting to take the very next step as was promised.

A singular win or a short series of victories can mask many horrible truths and the fear of most West Ham fans is that the owners will breath a huge sigh of relief but once again fail to fix the problems at the club, not invest properly to bolster the squad and retain the services of Moyes who will ultimately bring about regressive football that will ultimately see the club relegated next season.

It is time for many home truths and it is also a time for Moyes to prove what kind of manager he can be in the next two games against Manchester United and Everton next weekend. Can he deliver quality and effective football and can he organise the team to have a balance in defence with an attacking potency that ultimately entertains the loyal paying fans? It is time to cross the river and pay the ferryman but the peeling paint on the barge would make us take stock and wonder is there a last roll of the dice that would serve us better. That is a decision for the board in the summer…but the team must do mightily better next season and must play better and more attractive football if the fans will feel anywhere near more comfortable.

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