Getting hammered

Published: Wednesday, 08 November 2017

If the faithful at West Ham don’t get behind David Moyes their team is sunk. Why is Moyes getting hammered in the manner that he is?

He’s a good man. He’s an honest man, so that makes him something of a rarity in football, and he’s a smart man. He’s also a man that’s been badly abused and more than a little bit used since leaving Everton, where he’d done an outstanding job on buttons.

He made mistakes at United. He’s said so himself. To many of us, it was quite obvious early that his appointment there wasn’t going to work out - not because he couldn’t do the job, but because he wasn’t getting the backing he NEEDED to do the job. When the end came it was a relief for everybody.

I think he was badly advised over taking a job in Spain and the decision to follow Sam at Sunderland was plain madness - especially when he had so many other offers. Paulo DI Canio and his cronies messed that club up big time. Sunderland are still paying off debt racked up at that time. I heard last season that they were paying for 27 players no longer at the club! What chance have you got in those circumstances? There simply was NO money to make the team better.

Now Moyes has rolled the dice again and decided he can restore his battered reputation at West Ham. Everyone connected with that club had better hope that he does.

I have no doubts that he can, but come January The Hammers need to spend - and let Moyes do the spending. Everyone previously connected with transfers needs to step away. Everyone.

The owners at West Ham had also better start being more realistic about their ambitions. Who on earth convinced them that moving to an athletics stadium would be the key to CL football? Oh, and on the back of a spend around £40m or so in each season since.

Look. West Ham is a fine football club. Bobby Moore was my first footballing hero. I loved the guy.  Geoff Hurst won England the World Cup! Billy Bonds was a warrior and a leader any team would’ve wanted. There was Devonshire, Lampard, Brooking and the brilliant Cottee and McAvennie, who fired John Lyall’s team to the club’s best ever finish. Lyall, of course, also won the FA Cup twice. There was also that Cup Winners’ Cup success in ‘65.

These were the days of ‘The Academy’, when West Ham did things the ‘West Ham’ way - days that have long since past. Long since past.

Big Sam would often refer to ‘winning’ football when he was at Upton Park. Quite right too.

As I grew up the Hammers seemed to spend more time in the old second division than they did the top league. Brooking was in charge when they slipped back again. Sam took over when it happened again, after a close squeak under Alan Curbishley. And we all know what happened when Sheffield United cried ‘foul’ that season.

Yes, West Ham are a fine club, rich in tradition, but stuck in a time warp. CL football is not achievable on a £40m/year spend. And look closely at what they buy - ageing mercenaries, on average at £12m each, whose contracts are never renewed. That kind of policy will work for a while but eventually it’ll bite you.

There is nothing more certain in the East End right than the club’s current owners are wanting to sell up, for huge profit, and get out of town. I don’t blame them. The UK is a capitalist society and profit shouldn’t be a dirty word. How you achieve that aim can be though.

If West Ham’s loyal fans want to vent their anger - do it at the Boardroom, not David Moyes. If you don’t rally behind your new manager, I repeat, you’re sunk. These are critical times for West Ham. Get behind the manager, get yourselves safe, get hammered in celebration and you’ll know who to blame if it doesn’t work out. It won’t be David Moyes.