So it finally happened, West Ham have dispensed with the services of Slaven and the David Moyes era begins. Moyes’ appointment has been greeted in a thoroughly underwhelming manner which is perhaps on balance a little unfair. Moyes is not a sexy or trendy appointment, his teams are functional rather than fluent but we should not forget that he was once seen as a good enough manager to take over at Manchester United.
The Scotsman is an experienced, competent coach, and perhaps most importantly he looks hungry for the challenge. Who were the alternatives, Ancelloti? A great manager who has achieved great things but he is not known for having an iron fist, and stories coming out of Bayern criticise him for being too laid back with the players. Mancini? Again a successful manager but has had a history of disputes at all his clubs. Neither Italian is a perfect fit nor most importantly do none have experience of a relegation fight. The other point West Ham would do well to remember is that we aren’t that much of an attractive proposition at the moment. The club is in turmoil, the stadium which apparently was meant to be one of the club’s selling points i, in fact, a heavy burden. So is the approach of the owners, every decision played out in the media spotlight, it would only be a hungry, determined character who would take the mantle and Moyes fits the bill.
What West Ham need is structure, stability and a game plan, these again aren’t sexy but are vital. As much as I loved Slav, it was clear in the end that we were sadly lacking in all 3 areas, the stats don’t lie we aren’t working hard enough and we are conceding pretty much two goals a game, Moyes will not allow that to continue.
Encouragingly Moyes has a history of buying effectively and bringing through youth players, two things Slav didn’t do, but first and foremost we have to stop leaking goals. On paper, we have the players, the fact that without any discernible plan we still aren’t bottom of the league shows that, but they need to be given a guideline to work within and I think Moyes will provide that.
So it’s Watford first up for Moyes’ boys, and they are in a bad run of form having lost 3 on the spin since beating Arsenal and losing to Everton, having thrown away a 2-0 lead. Led by the much vaunted Marco Silva, they have some very talented players and have caused some of the top six with the exception of Manchester City some headaches, two teams lacking confidence and in need of a win.
West Ham’s season starts here, Moyes has had the international break to impose his ideas and recruit his staff. He has stated that everyone has a clean slate, a number of players owe the fans a performance, let’s hope the brave new world starts positively on Sunday.