West Ham confirmed David Moyes is the man to replace Slaven Bilic as manager on Tuesday after the Croat’s two-and-a-half years in East London was brought to an end on Monday.
That decision has been met with sheer disgust by Hammers fans, who believe the co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan have showed a complete lack of ambition by seemingly opting for the cheapest possible candidate to replace Bilic.
Of course, Moyes’ managerial reputation has been severely damaged in recent years after failed spells with Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland, hence the anger and confusion over the decision to trust him to save West Ham from relegation this season.
But could he turn out to be a good appointment? Our writers have had their say on the matter below…
Over the past few months it’s been striking how both Everton fans and West Ham fans seem to view themselves as competitiors for the same space, just below the top six. Neither club is anywhere near that at the moment, but in terms of sheer size, that’s broadly an accurate description.
It’s not surprising that David Moyes’s appointment at West Ham has created so much anger and despair amongst Hammers fans, given his two high-profile Premier League failures in the last four years, but following Alex Ferguson was probably an impossible job, and Sunderland may well have been, too.
That’s not to say that this is an imaginative or exciting appointment, but perhaps he does deserve one final chance to prove that his time at Everton is really the level he should be at. And if that’s true, then the Hammers may well have made a more shrewd choice than it looks on first glance.
Given how uninspiring West Ham’s start to the season has been, it seems equally uninspiring to hire a man who has failed overwhelmingly in his last three managerial roles.
While Hammers fans have every reason to be perplexed at the appointment, they now need to get behind Moyes to ensure that this campaign doesn’t end in disaster.
The former Everton boss must make the most of the international break and find a way to turn a bunch of underperforming players and underwhelmed fans into one positive unit, and given the understandable fury of the supporters at his appointment, it may be a tougher job than he realises.
Is it really that bad? Yes, Moyes was probably out of his depth at Manchester United but he was also treated unfairly considering they were in a transitional period and didn’t have the quality of players that they had under Sir Alex Ferguson previously. While he did also struggle with Sunderland, their current position in the Championship table suggests they were a sinking ship that just couldn’t be saved.
It’s a different story with West Ham, though, who have a decent squad that should be able to secure a mid-table finish under the Scot this term.
We have already seen in the early stages of the campaign that organisation and almost anti-football (sit behind the ball and hope to nick a goal) seems to be key for those clubs outside of the top six (see the positions of Burnley, Brighton and Huddersfield in the table), and Moyes should not only make the Irons tough to beat, but he also knows how to play effective football at this level.
Rather than the appointment of Moyes being a concern, the biggest worry for me would be the six-month contract he has been given which once again highlights the short-termism and poor planning at the top.
The bigger problem than David Moyes is the lack of faith West Ham fans have in the board.
Sure, it may not be the most inspiring appointment but Moyes is a decent manager who should be able to keep that squad in the top flight at a bare minimum – something that seemed a risk with Slaven Bilic still in charge due to the sheer inconsistency of performances and clear disorganisation behind them. And yet, West Ham fans aren’t even willing to give the board’s decision a chance – they’re already condemning it with predictions of a doom-and-gloom campaign.
Perhaps Moyes has that effect on fans after his torrid Sunderland spell, but other fan bases of other clubs would at least wait a few games before passing judgement, to see if the board’s thinking behind the appointment becomes more evident.
Take Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace as the most recent example; Eagles fans weren’t overly impressed, but still waited to see if it was the right call from Steve Parish and most would now back the decision.
The hugely negative reaction to Moyes shows how West Ham fans don’t trust their board and how little legitimacy David Sullivan and David Gold still have. Of course, that hasn’t started with the Moyes appointment; from the stadium move and promises of European football to failed club-record striker bids and shameless digs at Bilic in the media, the relationship between the fans and owners has been deteriorating for some time.
West Ham United can confirm the appointment of David Moyes as the Club’s manager. pic.twitter.com/AIOWnHWn27
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) November 7, 2017
The fact that there has already been such a circus surrounding the Moyes appointment cannot be good for West Ham.
Moyes would have seen the reaction, and it is hardly the ideal start to his tenure. The Scot was so impressive during his time at Everton, but his reputation has been damaged following spells at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland.
It might well end in more disaster at West Ham, but on the other hand, the 54-year-old has the chance to rebuild his career at the London Stadium. Whatever happens over the next few months, it is vital that Moyes gets the West Ham fans onside.
If you look at Moyes’ recent record since leaving Everton, it’s not the most exciting of appointments. In 2013 the Scot signed a contract at Premier League champions Man United until 2019. Since being sacked in 2014 he has failed at Real Sociedad, got Sunderland relegated and now taken charge at the London Stadium, and he still has a year left.
However, if I was a West Ham fan I’d be looking at his time at Everton for inspiration. He took over with the club just out of the relegation zone on goal difference and turned them into a team challenging for Europe.
I think this is the last chance for Moyes, but if he can guide the Hammers to at least a 15th place finish this season and is given time, he will have all the ingredients to make his future at the club a success.