The game against Manchester City at the London Stadium was supposed to be an opportunity for David Moyes to convince the West Ham masses that he would be the right and proper choice to take the team forward into next season and lead the faithful into the promised lands of a top six finish…but that dream recoiled into a hardened shell as the cold winds blew across the game and  all faith from the delusional did disappear along with it!

Whilst most of the West Ham fans had already admitted defeat within the first 30mins of the game, there was an expectant loss too, however most would not accept the manner in which the lashings were handed out. Moyes had set up defensively once again but the players failed to defend along their two rows of day dreaming toads which allowed the Manchester City players to stroll around in free space as if in a dream like trance.

It was a pitiful display from the players, however it was obvious they were marching to the beat of the drummer boy who got it all wrong. Moyes was banging the drum but he’d lost his sticks and the dull sounds he made did nothing to rouse the senses or the spirits. Containment was the order of the day, however they did not contain nor did any of the players feel it necessary to press high up the field or put any tackles in before it was too late.

Once again there were some good performances from the reliable, but even they struggled to get a foothold in the game as they were marginalised by the failings in the tactics and the floundering comrades who seemed all at sea. Arnautovic tried as he could but was a frustrated figure all alone in the final third. Lanzini attempted to find a pass or space but was overwhelmed by City players or the lack of support. Noble was the terrier in the centre that could not stop the rot…and Obgonna, Zabaleta and Rice tried to hold the rear guard as best they could but were overrun in the end too.

Many fans were not expecting the players to come out and play Manchester City at their own game but at least bring the fight to them. They would be Viking hordes who would chop and slash with wielded axes at the flighty and feathery city folk…but there was nothing to even resemble that…and that is what pains the most.

The defeat was coming, however it was not a requirement for the victory to be handed to them on a silver platter. It was more than a capitulation, as that would imply there was a height to fall from grace. It was a performance that never got out of first gear, when almost certainly a top selection would have sent their back lines into reverse.

The tactics were wrong, the players looked dazed and confused and were off the pace…too old, too bone idle and too rancid! It was apathy personified, it was playing for points to be earned in later games, it was merely to contain and preserve a weeping goal difference…however it achieved little and only confirmed what many had feared and most knew what had to be done. Moyes was the wrong choice for the task and he should not be the manager come next season…and the players need a long hard look at themselves and a mass clear out is required to get this ship back on course.

There were a few optimistic fans who thought that if Moyes would attack an untested City defence, then there could be hope of a victory or at least a draw. The plan would hold water if only Moyes had been courageous enough to enact it! There was opportunity to launch forward and attack in numbers with purpose, to harass their players and close down space which would have generated error chains in their plays. For most of the match that did not happen, although for the last ten minutes of the first half, it seemed that both Moyes and the players suddenly woke up to that notion and pulled back a goal.

However, instead of the starting the second half on the front foot as they had ended the first half, Moyes and the players opted to hold back once again and let the City players control possession and weave their way through the defences. The goals were conceded when shouts from all around the ground were calling for early substitutions to be made. Even Carroll was a frustrated figure on the bench who could see an opportunity to trouble their back lines, but Moyes delayed and then opted for a trio of changes that did nothing in the end to appease the agony or add any potency to trouble the rampant northerners.

The Vikings can to town but were wounded and weak…like Norwegian rats jumping off a sinking ship they hid from their tasks and all were complicit, to a degree, for the malaise still lingers. Both manager and the floundering players were dazed and confused, high on their own importance but drained of energy in a drugged state…only the golden brown pipers played their songs…and it was terribly out of tune!


By Gonzo

West Ham fan for as long as I can remember. I was flukey enough to watch The Irons beat Bury 10-0 in my first ever game . . . True to form, West Ham then went out and signed their central defender 😬

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