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The Moyes problem

Filed: Monday, 23rd April 2018
By: Jamie Norwood

So defeat to Arsenal yesterday ended another poor week for West Ham United.

Don’t get me wrong - Arsenal are a good side and very rarely do they get beaten at the Emirates. However the whole set up and mindset of ‘try and nick a draw' left me (and I assume many others) shaking my head.

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Arsenal have a big game on Thursday, a Europa League semi-final vs Atletico Madrid. They made quite a few changes, no Cech, Ozil, Wilshere, Aubameyang. With one eye on their big game on Thursday, I felt it was an opportunity for us to give them a game and really go for it.

Hernandez up top with Arnautovic, Lanzini in for Fernandes, giving Arnautovic more support than he had against Stoke on the Monday night! As I’ve said no-one really expects us to get anything at Arsenal, its almost like a ‘free hit’, so why not just go for it?

Arsenal’s defence has been very shaky recently, just look at the goals they conceded against Newcastle and Southampton. Moyes instead stuck with a defensive line-up with Fernandes, Kouyate and Noble in defensive midfield, in front of a back five, leaving Arnautovic even more isolated than usual.

During the game I thought we played ok, but we have to wait until the opposition scores before we make a change. Why wait until we’re chasing the game to make a positive change?

Hernandez and Lanzini finally came on and straight away we looked threatening. Arnautovic finally had quality players around him, on the same wavelength. Within five minutes of those two coming on, we score and both were involved in the build up.

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Declan Rice then makes a mistake, whether it was mis-communication with Hart or just a mistake, either way we were 2-1 down and then we just fell apart.

The comments after the game from Moyes about Declan Rice are, I think, shocking. "The young centre-half should head the ball away and it wouldn't have even got to 2-1, it was that easy. Why he would duck in the box I've got no idea’’.

He completely threw him under the bus to deter from any criticism he may face. He reminds me of Sam Allardyce where nothing his is fault.

Declan Rice has been outstanding this season and especially in recent games he has proved he is more than good enough to play at this level. Any manager worth their salt would say ‘yes he it was a mistake but he’s been great for us and it isn’t his fault we lost the game’. Something along those lines.

My argument would be if we weren’t so deep the whole game he wouldn’t have to do so much defending and make so many last-ditch challenges. A poor result and a real missed opportunity, in my opinion.

Now back to Monday night where we ‘saved’ (!) a point at home to 19th-placed Stoke City. Where once again we set up with a flat back five and three defensive centre midfielders with Hernandez and Lanzini on the bench.

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This was a team set up not to lose the game – not one chasing the win and securing our Premier League safety’. Another game where the opposing manager made an attacking change first, when everyone could see the team were crying out for Lanzini and Hernandez to be on the pitch.

You can see why Moyes’s nickname is ‘Dithering Dave’. We went 1-0 down and he had no option but throw Andy Carroll on. We played route one football all game and finally bring someone on to suit that style. Luckily for Moyes, Carroll scored a great goal and the point he wanted before the game, he gained.

To set up so so defensively at home to Stoke is unacceptable.

What I find hugely worrying is that a lot of the talk coming out of the club is that the Board are looking to keep Moyes on. We left Upton Park to move to this ‘next level’ and we’ve gone back to the Sam Allardyce days.

What I really don’t like is Moyes claiming that he has saved us, when he’s been in charge since... November. This hasn’t been a ‘great escape’ like he makes out. When he took over we were one point off West Brom (who were 17th) and four points off Leicester (who were 12th).

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We need a massive shake-up at this club in the summer and if the owners are to stay (let's hope not) then the first thing that needs changing is the manager. We need to get out of this mindset where we think staying up is a good season and ‘oh well, no harm done, we’ll try again next year’.

I think this starts at the top with the owners and filters down to the manager and players. We need a top manager to come in and change that attitude. Moyes is not that man. Thank him for doing an ‘ok’ job and move on.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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