West Ham were never close to sacking boss David Moyes.
This comes despite poor form shown since the turn of the season.
With any team in a downward spiral, there will always be second-guessing. There will always be doubts about whether the infrastructure is in place for success, not only now but for the foreseeable future.
Despite a horrible 2022, one sprinkled with some amazing nights, like beating Lyon and Sevilla en route to the Europa League semi-final, manager David Moyes had about as bad a year as any manager could have in the league. He survived it. Just as West Ham had survived it. A poor finish vanquished their chance at Champions League qualification and instead settled for Europe Conference League. No matter, West Ham would be seeing European football 2 years in a row.
It meant despite the additional funding they received from selling out London Stadium, they’d be getting extra revenue from additional games played. When it comes down to it that’s what spoke to the ownership group more than the struggling squad. According to a source, owners David Sullivan and the late David Gold were on the same page. “As long as Moyes brought them European nights, Moyes was here to stay.”
Now an unnamed source tells Greet Street Hammers that their late-night board room meetups to discuss future managerial candidates never actually happened. “Nothing about Rafa Benitez, nothing about Mauricio Pochettino, seriously there was never anyone in serious consideration.” The source goes on to say that not only were these names never talked about, no team officials had reached out to gauge interest.
While those European nights are in danger of disappearing from next season’s schedule, Moyes has the board convinced they can win the Europa Conference League, and gain qualification for the Europa League next season, despite having a poor showing in the Premier League. While the board and owners are all willing to give Moyes the season to work himself out of this, there is one way where it can still all go wrong for Moyes. Winning silverware doesn’t guarantee him his job. While the board will accept a tournament win and ride that into next season, it’s all moot if the squad is relegated.
“There’s no coming back from that,” the source says. “But everyone is on board with Moyes surviving the season. They believe not only will he have a strong chance at silverware, but that he and the team will compete enough to stave off demotion.”
If Moyes should suffer an earlier exit from Conference league play and he continues to nose dive in league, the whispers will come back. Our source says some fans will think its too late, but then and only then, would there be discussions about a new manager before the season ends.
Moyes will have to do it while his squad continues to be in flux. Gianluca Scamacca, Kurt Zouma and Maxwel Cornet are all currently out of the lineup with various injuries. Both GSB and Moyes believe the key to the season is a fully fit team. A healthy Cornet and Scamacca can change the pace of the game and give West Ham more scoring opportunities.
No one can be sure that it goes that way, but what is certain is Moyes will get to see it through.