The Angel on your shoulder and the devil on the other

It’s the age old battle between good and evil, the conflicted souls that would be nudged in a particular direction, influenced to make judgement and coerced to do right or wrong. The West Ham universe has been in a conflicted state for some time now and not totally of their own making either.

Every fan is carried along with the consensus opinions to a certain degree and social media does have a way of warping the sense of reality or the balance in the middle grounds too. However, when the pillars of the club are rocked at the foundations…then there is cause for concern and proclamations of distrust must be made.

Overall, the team have not performed well enough for the last two seasons and that is the reason why West Ham are merely hovering above the relegation three. Of course there have been woeful transfer deals and many missed opportunities to buy in the right calibre of player that would sure up particular positions…but the players have not performed consistently enough and the manager has not been ambitious enough to capitalise on glaring chance.

There are many fans that would believe that David Moyes is doing a noble job as manager considering the players at his disposal and the lacklustre transfer deals in January. However, Moyes was employed with 27 games to go in the season and has largely struggled to make the team tick and play with any kind of cohesion that would threaten the opponent’s goal.

However, in his defence it has only been six months in charge of a squad that have been shambolic for some time. He has had to rebuild them as players and as individuals just to get any kind of performance out of them. Obviously Arnautovic has prospered and Masuaku started to explore with his talents, whilst Noble regained his leader’s role in the middle of the park. 

However there have been too many failings over his tenure and many of the players that have not performed as they would have wished either. Of course, the curse of the season has been the injuries that have thwarted ambitions and momentum, but Moyes was also complicit in that regard also with his anaemic team selections in the EFL and FA Cup ties which were lost with a whimper.

Over the season, it hasn’t always been that bad…but it hasn’t always been good either! In many of the games there were chances to win but they ended in draws. There were also humiliating losses both home and away…but overall whilst some of the passing has improved, the defensive tactics and lethargic attacking intentions and delayed substitutions have resulted in poor performances when really they should have been a lot better.

Day to day it would appear there are whispers that Moyes will be made permanent manager and for some that will be well deserved, however for others it will be another long nail in the claret and blue coffin. Whilst there is indeed sympathy for the craftsman who has had to toil with dulled tools, he also hasn’t noticed there were other tools in the box that were sharp and shining…all that was required was for him to choose them…which he didn’t!

Moyes’ decisions have been a mixed bag of good, bad and absolutely diabolically ugly. One might have the impression that his victories have been in spite of his tactics and the players even surprised him…less by method and more by fortune! Whereas the failings were written on the walls for some time but he was too stubborn to make the changes that might have stemmed the flow.

Many of the faithful would look to the heavens before the Manchester City game and wonder where it all went wrong. Well, it wasn’t to be at the game and it wasn’t with the player’s endeavour in the face of the swaggering Citizens. It has been in the decisions over the season, the starting team selections and the negative formations that have left strikers isolated in advanced positions without support from midfield.

Whilst Moyes does have to take some credit as he has thus far fulfilled his obligations to the club and the owners, but he has not produced entertaining football or quality performances filled with confidence, strength and honour. His players have failed him and he has failed them in return, however he should not be overly criticised for he was severely hampered by the policies in place and the choices available to him. But, he has consistently failed to deliver an attacking intent and has resorted to holding back and defencing when really a decent attacking mind is what was called for.

In every game there are always opportunities and Moyes has overseen his players create numerous but chances which have not been converted. The boundary between triumph and defeat is a thin blue line which Moyes has yet to master…perhaps he will in the remaining games and into next season if he is ultimately chosen for the lead role in this West Ham school play…heaven help the fans!

The fans may be split over the Moyes successes and failings and one might stand with the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other when heaping praise or hurling criticisms…however the performances and results have spoken for themselves. Moyes has succeeded but it has not been anywhere near convincing and if the owners wish to retain his services, then he must be fully supported in the transfer market and he must be encouraged to alter the playing style of the West Ham team next season. 

Whilst the fans may wish him gone in the summer, if he is still in post come the start of next season…he will have the backing of the fans for a very limited period…if at all, however only as long as there is adventure in his play and the quality of performance is vastly improved. It’s a massive task to get the job done right and he will be pressured along every step of the way. Nobody would wish to see him fail…quite the reverse actually, however most fans will expect to see a continuance of his negativity and ultimately to ensure his own demise. It is time for a change…and the change must be for an attacking manager and a squad of players who will lay it all on the line in every single game!

3 thoughts on “The Angel on your shoulder and the devil on the other”

    1. Certainly not! In fact I do not think we are anywhere near safe and relegation is a realistic possibility, however there is weight in the argument that Moyes may just have done enough to keep the club safe in spite of his failings and mostly because there are the three teams that are only marginally worse than West Ham. Leicester will be the match that could decide it now…otherwise it’ll probably go to the last match against Everton

  1. Neither Leicester nor Everton will be push overs. Huddersfield’s run in is worse than ours so there is some hope. However relying on other teams results is never ideal. With Larry,Moe and Curly in the driving seat I really can’t see that next season will be any better unless their thinking drastically changes.

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