After a solid showing in the matches leading up to the Premier League’s hiatus, optimism was high among David Moyes and West Ham supporters but the last week has been a bitter disappointment.
Any hope David Moyes had of quickly creating some space between West Ham and the drop zone quickly dissipated as the club suffered consecutive 2-0 defeats to Wolverhampton and Tottenham and the threat of relegation became more of a reality.
Even more frustrating than the scoreline was the nature of the performances. They were always going to be difficult matches, but it was important that the squad show the motivation, determination and organization that is necessary for a relegation scrap.
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Instead, West Ham looked listless in the Wolves match, the tactics were an absolute shambles (more on that later) and while effort levels improved for the Tottenham match, the in-game management was only reactionary to the opponent’s changes. There was very little evidence that the club was properly prepared for a relegation battle.
This has left David Moyes squarely in the cross-hairs for pundits and supporters alike, many who had issues with his reappointment back in January. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been supportive of Moyes 2.0, but after the last two matches, it is impossible to defend the man with the self-proclaimed reputation for winning.
With seven games left to save their Premier League status, the big question now becomes: Can David Moyes turn this around? While I likely find myself in the minority, I believe there are ways that the Scotsman can turn around the display on the pitch which will surely rebuild confidence in his abilities among supporters.
To begin with, the Scotsman has to handle his media engagements far more thoughtfully than he has after the previous two matches.
There is nothing more disheartening than hearing a manager bemoaning injured players or complaining about a controversial VAR decision for his team’s performances rather than taking accountability for the result.
The manager’s job is to create an atmosphere of confidence and every time Moyes chooses to play the blame game in the media he erodes his credibility with players and supporters. At this level, the buck stops with the gaffer and he needs to simply accept the responsibility that the tactics and performance weren’t good enough.