West Ham United are sleepwalking into Premiership relegation and the very real threat of Championship Oblivion? Can David Moyes save them from the nightmare fate?
West Ham: Championship Bound?
Many fans of West Ham are sufficiently concerned to break cover and openly criticise what’s happening behind the scenes. Excuses don’t wash with the fans, results are all that matter!
Twitter is filled with messages berating boss David Moyes and his mismanagement of West Ham since he took over. Are they right to be so flippant?
Back on the 29th of December, we were thinking that he was the man to steady a sinking ship, one that seemed to have been fatally torpedoed by the awful lack of cover in goal that saw Roberto having a nightmare that never seemed to end in goal.
The lack of quality goalkeeping cover threatened to end any hopes that Hammers fans might have harboured of a decent season – no fan truly wants to be involved in a relegation dogfight and surely not many fans saw this coming at the start of the season.
Since December, things haven’t improved much. Three wins in 13 matches is relegation form, but strangely, there’s not been much focus on this in the mainstream media. The expectation is that West Ham have a squad that is “too good to go down”.
Now we all know that this concept is utter rubbish. We’ve all seen many squads filled with talent but lacking the fight to stay up and we all know the consequences of relegation with what that can do to a talented team.
Incidentally, if you haven’t read “Too good to go down” yet, please do, it’s instructive and still relevant even in today’s game.
What about the fans? Do they think it’s inevitable?
Clearly, there’s a lot of worry. And justified too. There’s a lot of tough matches there in the run in – Spurs, Chelsea, Manchester United.
Some other fans’ hearts are in their mouths and potentially with good reason. It may be tighter than a low spending scrooge in a pound store at the end of it!
On paper, at least, it’s an easy-ish run in. There are games against the likes of Norwich that you’d expect to win (they look dead and buried, no fight at all in ’em), but there are other games against relegation rivals that could easily see the team lose their bottle if they go a goal down early. (I’m looking at you, Watford and Villa).
David Moyes, for me, isn’t a good manager any more. He used to be, but the squad don’t have the same level of respect for him. Almost everything he’s touched since Everton has been a disaster in some way and the stats don’t lie here: there hasn’t been a turn-around in form. If anything, it’s got worse!
Do they have fighters in their squad? I’d argue no, outside of Mark Noble, who else do they have that’s willing to roll up their sleeves and have a go? Michail Antonio? I can’t see it, I just can’t!
They definitely have some talent in their squad. Player by player, they’re the equal of Bournemouth and certainly superior to Aston Villa.
Does this West Ham team have bottle and the nerve to do it? Time will tell!
For the same reasons that I’d argue Watford are in bigger trouble than they think, I believe that West Ham could very well be playing in the Championship next season. I don’t see big characters in the dressing room or in the dug out that can install that belief and fight in them.
I hope that I’m wrong. I worry that I’m not.