It would be fair to say that the decision taken by West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan to replace the sacked Slaven Bilic with David Moyes in November wasn’t received well by the vast majority of Irons supporters.
The Scot took charge at the London Stadium with the east London outfit in the relegation zone and having taken just nine points from their 11 Premier League matches at the time.
It was certainly understandable that Hammers fans were frustrated by replacing Bilic – who had been struggling for some time – with Moyes, considering the 54-year-old didn’t even come close to saving Sunderland from relegation during the previous campaign.
His disappointing time on Wearside came on the back of poor spells with La Liga side Real Sociedad and Manchester United, and he had become something of a laughing stock for football fans in general because of his respective failings.
West Ham fans would have been included in that, and they certainly would have been horrified when they found out that Gold and Sullivan were set to appoint him as Bilic’s successor given the difficult situation the club found themselves in.
The players were bereft of confidence, while some were lacking effort and many looked unfit, and others simply looked as though they weren’t good enough or up for the fight – especially in the 3-0 and 4-1 home defeats to Brighton and Hove Albion and Liverpool respectively in the lead up to the Croatian getting his marching orders.
Gold and Sullivan obviously looked at the situation and believed that they needed someone with plenty of Premier League experience who knows how to get results at this level, and they felt that Moyes was the best option on the market at the time.
Considering former Irons bosses Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew were two of the other options, it is of little surprise that they opted to ignore those two and opt for the Scot.
While the West Ham supporters didn’t necessarily agree with the appointment, they need that they needed to pull together and support him, and that is what they tried to do even though a 2-0 defeat to Watford in Moyes’ opening match in charge wouldn’t have done anything to boost their belief.
The team was much-improved – in the second-half at least – against Leicester City at the London Stadium next time out, but then came the result and performance that suggested that the owners had got it all wrong, and that the supporters were right.
The Irons were beaten 4-0 by an Everton side at Goodison Park that had just suffered successive 5-1 and 4-1 defeats against Atalanta and Southampton respectively, and with matches against runaway leaders Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal following that humiliation the fans understandably thought they were going down.
Moyes does know how to get results consistently at this level though – as he showed during his 11 years with the Toffees – and not only did he manage to pick up four points from three difficult fixtures that looked like they would yield none on paper, his side then beat Stoke City 3-0 away from home last weekend.
Three clean sheets in a row and seven points from the last nine available have suddenly lifted the Irons away from the bottom three and the mood around the whole club, and they host a Newcastle side that have lost eight of their last nine games on Saturday.
It did take a few games, but West Ham finally have something more of an identity and all 11 of the players on the pitch know their role in the side, and they are now getting their reward on the pitch.
While the supporters won’t be quick to dish out any praise to their controversial owners given what has happened in the past, there are certainly some that will need to eat a slice of humble pie and admit they were wrong if the impressive performances and results continue over the festive period.
David Gold and David Sullivan have got plenty of things wrong since they became owners, but the decision to appoint Moyes may not only be the one that ensures they preserve the Premier League status that was slipping away from them, but it could also be the one that begins to repair the bad relationship and lack of trust that currently exists between them and the fans.
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