The West Ham Way has vanished from the scene and will not return whilst the demons rule the nest and the down and out impresario is left in charge! Yes, that is the feeling amongst many of the claret and blue faithful…however hope is eternal as the flame of optimism would not be blown out by such a shuddering chill of a Ural breeze.
The last few performances have highlighted that although David Moyes favours his defensive formations…the team is poor at defending. This is not a defensive error per say but rather a failure of every player on the pitch to defend the ball and retain possession. The reason why West Ham have conceded so many goals over the recent weeks, and indeed over the season which has resulted in a negative 21 goal difference, is that they have not taken full advantage of opportunities and have invited teams to apply pressure until the cracks finally appear.
The manager is not positive enough to affect change and is slow to react to the nuances within the game. The fans objectively view from afar and are able to see clearly what must be done…but on the sidelines the view is less forthcoming and decisions are harder to make…it would appear!
There are four games left in the season and whilst it may appear that Moyes may have done just enough to save the day, it still isn’t what the fans were looking for, nor anywhere near what was promised. This is not the next level, this is not what the move from Upton Park was supposed to be about and Moyes is not the manager that would entertain the support with attacking and thrilling football!
The season will terminate in a hot sticky mess with fire breathing dragons just waiting at the gate, wanting answers and seeking justice. They know the problems stem from the very top…but just throwing money at the malaise will not fix the issues at the club. Fans have been calling for root canal therapy…core changes to the club, but how much traction will their protestations gain is anyone’s guess?
For many fans the answer is simplistic, “Sack The Board!” and “Moyes Out!” Well, we all know that the owners will not relinquish their grip on this cash cow whilst Premier League football is assured and if rumours are to be believed then the Moyes deal was done a couple of months ago after the Tony Henry scandal…hence why the Director of Football role has been scrapped.
The question now is whether Moyes can bring about quality football with a modicum of success…however you might gauge that…and whether it will be positive and attacking as opposed to drivel and dross? Perhaps he does require the summer transfer window to truly stake his claim to the throne, however if the signings are not ambitious enough and if the dead wood still remains, then the fans will not be supportive in any way and they will voice their displeasure as soon as the first bad results come in at the start of next season!
Everyone within the West Ham universe simply wants to go back to a time when the football was relatively carefree and the home ground was a fortress of noise and intimidation. Regardless of the result or the league standing…that feeling of ‘home’ made all the bad days seem less important or gave the strength to start again and fight another day. That is impossible now, so there are two major goals that need to be achieved in order to relive the pressure on the board and of course the manager and the players…and bring some cheer back to the faithful.
The stadium issues need to be addressed during the summer and there has to be a concerted effort by the club and the fans to generate a cacophony of noise in every future home game. It has to start feeling and sounding like the West Ham ‘home’ whether superficial or not. It has to be intimidating…in a sporting sense, for opposing fans and teams, that will give the players the encouragement to fight for every ball and not lose focus. The atmosphere has to be positive in every single outing, regardless of the feelings towards the manager of the day or the current ownership…however the protests should remain before the matches and afterwards too, to make sure the club are held to account.
The squad needs a major overhaul in all positions, not only for this next season but also for the next five. Most fans would accept the deficiencies in the stadium now but will not accept under investment in the squad, so their decisions have to be calculated and focussed on attracting players that will entertain as well have defend the castle walls with their honour and their lives if necessary…or nearly so!
There are so many demons within the club and they all need to be vanquished, but it will take many stages to get the club back on track…but they need a positive first step forward. This is not the playground for the rich and blue blood elite, this is the need of the everyman and the passionate Hammers’ supporter that needs to be addressed. The problems need to be thrown into the fired up cauldron and the hoity-toity necromancers of Eton Wick need to step aside and let the hard ball witches come in, do their thing and cast the spells that would hoodwink the negativity into hibernation and allow realised ambition to bubble to the surface!