"That's what I do; I win". But can David Moyes ever really win with West ham fans?

Just a Moyes-specific thread, given that he seems to be under more scrutiny again, and to keep other threads on topic.

I'll start by saying that, generally, he's done a fantastic job with us. Kept us up, twice, and then took us to 6th and 7th place finishes and a Europa League semi-final. An incredible achievement really given where we've been for a number of years, particularly for a man who was, in the main, not considered good enough for us both times he joined the club.

But, like all of us, he's not without fault. I look at those 6th and 7th finishes and wonder, perhaps unfairly, whether they could/should have been 4th and 6th place finishes. We had great momentum going into both January windows of those seasons but fell away in the second half of the both of them as injuries and fatigue took hold, with Moyes reluctant to bring in new players, or indeed use those already at his disposal.

And there have been some doubts creeping in about his transfer judgement, too. We saw 50% of his main summer '21 signings not play and binned off this summer, and despite seeming to take the position that he only wants to sign players that improve the first team, we're now seeing comments about Downes not being ready, about the new foreign players not being ready. His use of substitutions, particularly last season, have also drawn criticism from a lot of people, and there seems to be something of a contradiction when he says things have gone stale and need changing and yet he keeps playing largely the same players whilst keeping those that he signed to freshen things up on the bench.

His biggest success, IMO, has come in creating an almost unrivalled team spirit. Over the last two seasons he, his staff and the players have all talked about that spirit, but to me that hasn't been evident during pre-season and the first three league games of this season. The players have looked lethargic, slow and, in the case of our captain, hugely frustrated. There could be many reasons for this; Noble leaving, Pearce leaving, but I wonder whether the public criticism that Moyes delivered after the Brighton game, and his treatment of some of the players (notably Benrahma and Kral), has had an effect on morale.

Obviously no-one on here knows what's going on at the club, how the players feel, or indeed how Moyes feels. But it looks like he's under pressure, probably for the first time, because people's expectations have been raised. He may become a victim of his own success in that respect.

This is a big season for him, I think. We've tasted relative success, and are on course to spend well over £100m on improving the squad. He's on record as saying that the board have been really good and backed him, so any blame for an underperforming season will, fairly or otherwise, likely sit with him.

I wanted to open a discussion on it in here because generally it's a lot more balanced and, well, grown up; Twitter and other forums are a bit of a divisive battlefield where it's either 'In Moyes We Trust' or 'Moyes Out' with very little allowed in-between. I like to think here we can have more reasoned conversations.

So, can Moyes ever really win with West Ham fans? Even with two really good seasons in the bank, he has his doubters and plenty ready to knock him. With our poor start to this season, the old opinions will come to the fore and already we're seeing comments like, 'let's just get Potter in', or 'I wonder if Poch would be interested' across West Ham social media.
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Comments

  • He is not without fault and is stubborn to the point of frustration. He has, overall done really well. Part of me agrees with a bit more, we could have finished higher in both last seasons and I am very concerned about our form, not just this season but the end of last. With this in mind, I would have bitten your hand off for the last two seasons finishes 4 years ago. I am still pro Moyes but am concerned for this year as I think we have been worked out and not sure he trusts the new players enough to change a losing formula, think we will finish 10 or 11th this year which will lead to an exodus of players.
  • I do worry that the pattern that we have seen with a few managers is starting again. Where we seem to do well for a season or two and then things go stale and the manager is eventually sacked.
    I really hope Moyes can get the boys playing again.
  • You have to be be able to accept that the trajectory we were on is not going to happen every season. It’s not sustainable. Over a 10 year period, or even a 5 year period, it’s highly unlikely West Ham will finish in the top 7 every one of those seasons, for a variety of factors (injuries, transition, better teams, confidence, lack of form, selling key players). So the danger we have this season is after the success of the last two, there is an entitlement (I’d call it, more than expectation) from some fans that we will again be (or should be) competing at the top 1/3 of the league. It is quite possible sides like us can suffer poor/underwhelming seasons, which result in mid-table or bottom half finishes, & we have to be prepared for that & find solutions for it. Everybody moaning about how bad we now are is not going to resolve that.

    I don’t underestimate the last two seasons, they were phenomenal. A European semi final, a league cup 1/4 final, one game away from an FA Cup 1/4 final, qualification for the ELC, added to the year before where we finished 6th, throughout both seasons spending significant time in the top four spots. Incredible. If you can’t see that as incredible, maybe football isn’t for you.
  • Is it true that we've only had 6 wins this year?
  • I wish you hadn't chosen that quote for the title :-(
  • edited August 22
    But Lukerz, no-one's arguing they weren't incredible (I literally used the word). But, equally, do you think they were the absolute peak of what we could have achieved? Because even Moyes himself was disappointed we only finished 6th, and was evidently gutted when we finished 7th.
  • Hamstew said:

    Is it true that we've only had 6 wins this year?

    Correct 👍🏻
  • 6 league wins
    10 in all comps
  • MrsGrey said:

    I wish you hadn't chosen that quote for the title :-(

    Why?
  • edited August 22
    One of the problems for football managers is the lack of job security, as it's difficult to look beyond this season as, if it goes badly, you might not be here to see next season. A lot of the current problems stem back to last summer. Admittedly the Lingard situation then (Moyes holding out to the end of the window in the hope that he'd be available) didn't help, but, with an ageing squad, to only bring in 2 new permanent players was poor planning, and made worse by the fact that one was barely played and has already been shipped out. Added to that, no signings in January, and suddenly we're looking at a heap of signings just to have any sort of a squad.

    Last summer Moyes, I think, was targeting Lingard, a CB and a CF. He held out and got probably his first choice CB in Zouma, missed out on Lingard meaning a very hasty pursuit of Vlasic (seeing as Perriera had opted for the cash in the sun), and couldn't find a CF anywhere that was good enough even to provide cover. He did at least try to provide cover for Rice and Soucek, but Kral didn't work out at all and barely got a minute.

    So Moyes was focused on what would help him last season, but it couldn't have escaped anyone's notice that numerous cans were being kicked down the street, and that's why we've such a rebuild going on this summer, and, potentially, next summer too. Unfortunately rebuilds take time to come together, and obviously we've been very unlucky with Aguerd's injury (the one key bit of business we did get done early) especially given the other issues we've has at CB as well. However, a couple more successful signings last summer or in January (Moyes's fault, or Sully's?) and the job required this summer would have been that much smaller.
  • MrsGrey said:

    I wish you hadn't chosen that quote for the title :-(

    Why?
    Because it's been taken out of context many times in the past and used as a stick to beat him with.
  • edited August 22

    However, a couple more successful signings last summer or in January (Moyes's fault, or Sully's?) and the job required this summer would have been that much smaller.

    And this is where I have some question marks over Moyes's judgement. If, as has been stated, he has the final say over transfers, then Kral and Vlasic reflect badly on him. If Downes isn't ready for the PL and he's our only CM signing, it reflects badly on him.

    If, however, he's suffering the same fate as previous managers under Sullivan and having players forced on him, but comes out and says the board are being really good and backing him, then it still reflects badly on him, IMO.
  • But Lukerz, no-one's arguing they weren't incredible (I literally used the word). But, equally, do you think they were the absolute peak of what we could have achieved? Because even Moyes himself was disappointed we only finished 6th, and was evidently gutted when we finished 7th.

    OCS, He might have been disappointed & gutted but he didn't appear to improve his chances of finishing higher by making a couple of new signings. What is it that they say "he who hesitates is lost". Other clubs sign better players David Moyes complicates things by having a much stricter process. IF the fee is correct we could have tried to sign Bissouma for example, I know it's a controversial example, but we didn't as people said he wasn't a type of signing we should be making.
  • MrsGrey said:

    MrsGrey said:

    I wish you hadn't chosen that quote for the title :-(

    Why?
    Because it's been taken out of context many times in the past and used as a stick to beat him with.
    In the context of this title it's just a play on words that Moyes will probably never win with the fans. Feel free to edit it if you'd rather.
  • I think this side has overachieved for 2 years, with some very good periods of form from certain players elevating our levels (Coufal, Soucek, Lingard, Bowen, Antonio, Rice) but ultimately it’s two years older &, like anything, things tend to depreciate over time. Did I think we would finish top four in either of those seasons? No. Even with January reinforcements, I don’t feel we would have finished top 4.

    Where we are now is about our level; a great season equals qualifying for one of the Europa League competitions. We all want to push on & move on another level, we don’t ever want to settle. But this side has come a long way in a short space of time, with a load of games played by the same players, some of them are now a little older (Fab, Oggy, Dawson, Cresswell, Antonio) & less impactful (Zouma, Coufal, Soucek).

    What I am not sure about is Moyes wants to change the approach of the side, but I am not sure that is a summer process. We have become so accustomed to being a counter attack side, changing that over pre-season (hence the reason we brought in Warburton) is going to be a stretch, especially when our midfield contains Soucek (who is not a comfortable passer). Our counter-attacking has been less successful of late so I can see why Moyes wants to evolve us but, like anything, it takes time. I don’t think the signings we have made our going to offer us attacking control of a game, so I am surprised we’re yet to sign a CM/AM.
  • If he doesn't turn it around soon his old form won't be enough

    But im confident he will, the club have made some good moves and the lads are clearly not firing on all cylinders

    But I'm not too worried

    I do have my reservations about Moyes, his use of subs, playing out of form players is frustrating but he's the best we've had in a long time and life isn't always greener on the other side

    I also dont expect us to come 7th every year, football just isn't that easy and if it was it wouldn't be the best sport in the world

    Moyes is going to be under pressure soon, hope he thrives under it
  • MrsGrey said:

    MrsGrey said:

    I wish you hadn't chosen that quote for the title :-(

    Why?
    Because it's been taken out of context many times in the past and used as a stick to beat him with.
    In the context of this title it's just a play on words that Moyes will probably never win with the fans. Feel free to edit it if you'd rather.
    No, it's ok. :+1:
  • Kral I believe was a Moyes pick, he even mentioned him on TV or in an article before the Euros as "one to watch"; obviously watching him at close hand on a day-today basis Moyes didn't see what he wanted. Vlasic is a strange one; I think by that stage of the window, with Lingard not coming and an acceptable CF not available it was a transfer borne out of optimism/desperation. We had to get someone in, even Moyes could see that, so, especially given how Kral was treated, I do think this is on Moyes.

    Downes is an odd one, but not one I've got a problem with. I'm not sure he was on any of Moyes's lists for this summer, but he was obviously on someone at the club's radar (Newman?) and the fact that he was about to move kinda forced our hand. However, imo he's come in as one for the future and not as our main CM signing this summer, as our subsequent attempts to sign Onana tend to back up.

    I don't blame Sully (that leaves a bad taste in my mouth) for any of these picks, but possibly for not backing Moyes with a big enough budget to get a CF in last summer.
  • I blame Lingard
  • edited August 22
    It’s the point I made yesterday. Moyes wants us to be a more possession based side, but the 11 he is picking doesn’t allow for that. Coufal, Soucek, Zouma, Antonio are not the best with the ball & Fab doesn’t have the best distribution. Fornals & Rice are not going to be creative CMs who can build attacking moves.

    I would be looking at moving to (for the short term):

    Areola
    Kehrer - Zouma - Ogbonna - Cresswell
    Downes/Lanzini - Rice - Fornals
    Bowen - Scamacca - Benrahma

    I am happy for us to be a counter-attacking side. Let’s be what we are & not what we aren’t. But Moyes is the one who wants us to develop into a possession based team, so we need to select players that allow for a steady build-up of play. When you make changes to philosophy, you have to make key changes; thinking Pep at City when he removed Hart.

    Moyes has kept faith with the same team, I assume as he feels the others aren’t physically ready. Given we have signed 6 players & he wants to change our style, I would assume most of those will find themselves in the 11 when fit.
  • I think part of the frustration is that there is a real opportunity to finish top 6
    Man U are in disarray. Leicester I think will improve once the window closes due to the uncertainty over some of their players but without any new signings probably won’t do as well as I expected.
    Palace and Brighton just don’t have a decent forward so I think there challenge will fade.
    So top 6 for me is there for the taking. Yes the first team has been improved but as others have said, by not acting sooner and getting them ready and integrated for the start of the season, 3 games in and no points/goals it’s feels very unlikely.
  • Good thread btw OCS 👍🏻
  • Ravel49 said:

    I think part of the frustration is that there is a real opportunity to finish top 6
    Man U are in disarray. Leicester I think will improve once the window closes due to the uncertainty over some of their players but without any new signings probably won’t do as well as I expected.
    Palace and Brighton just don’t have a decent forward so I think there challenge will fade.
    So top 6 for me is there for the taking. Yes the first team has been improved but as others have said, by not acting sooner and getting them ready and integrated for the start of the season, 3 games in and no points/goals it’s feels very unlikely.

    There is but then there will be other sides who will improve this season & do well. Fulham, Leeds, Brighton have all had good starts, Newcastle etc.
  • Newcastle is a good shout, they need to keep Wilson fit.
    The others u mention I think will fade
  • edited August 22
    Lukerz, I think I've seen the comments from Moyes talking about possession/the counter not working but I do wonder if they're misleading. He might be saying we've ended up a possession team but I think he is trying to develop a counter-attacking team again.

    I think we ended up not being able to counter anymore once teams sat deep against us at the very end of 20/21 season - you saw that Lingard, in particular, became very ineffective.

    I think getting Soucek higher up the pitch in the last couple of games (though we didn't get any crosses in yesterday), and buying a few faster players is a sign he might be looking at that. The number of CBs also potentially suggests a back 5, which we used very effectively at the beginning of our good spell. None of it suggests possession-based football to me.

    What I think Moyes needs to sort is sometimes our composure to build that counter in games where we don't have the ball. Against Brighton yesterday, in the first fixture against Wolves and in some other games against the top sides, we've sat very deep waiting very long for a chance to win the ball but not really getting close enough to press them and then slightly panicking when we do get the chance.

    Even yesterday, which was very poor, in the second half we had moments. We were actually on top until their second goal but deflated after that. Moyes still has an impact on them but I think needs to shake things up. Maybe a few need a bit of a jolt before the Villa game, perhaps by being dropped.
  • Lukerz, Aren't those teams playing their new signings?
  • They are but I don’t know what their fitness levels/conditioning are.

    Cornet signed the eve of the new season with 0 pre-season minutes. Scamacca signed 10 days before the season with 0 pre-season minutes. Kehrer signed last Thursday. Aguerd’s injured. Downes is injured & Areola was here last season anyway.

    Not sure what more Moyes can be expected to do.
  • Lukerz, I really hope that I am not the only person who thinks this, I am pretty confident that I am not, but he could have got his transfer business done far earlier than he did & then he wouldn't need to roll out the excuses he is currently using.
  • Ravel49 said:

    Good thread btw OCS 👍🏻

    Cheers bro
  • Lukerz, I really hope that I am not the only person who thinks this, I am pretty confident that I am not, but he could have got his transfer business done far earlier than he did & then he wouldn't need to roll out the excuses he is currently using.

    I’m sure he’d have liked to & I’d like an Aston Martin but won’t be happening any time soon.
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