Why have West Ham hung Moyes out to dry?

Published: Wednesday, 08 May 2024

It took a millisecond for David Moyes to reply - ‘Declan Rice’, he said.

The question was ‘why have West Ham conceded so many goals this season?’  

It’s 70 now. Only the bottom 3 have conceded more. That’s a scary stat.

Moyes wasn’t blaming Rice of course - he was bemoaning the fact that Rice isn’t in his team anymore. Losing Rice isn’t the only reason West Ham have come up short, but more on that in a moment.

Rice is a Rolls Royce. I said as much earlier in the season when I blasted him for being Declan Nice. He was tippy-tappying about in midfield, playing second fiddle to Zinchenko, playing sideways and backwards.

That’s not his game. I know it’s what he was being asked to do, but it was frustrating to see such a talent being wasted.

Arsenal have looked so much better when they’ve played with Jorghino or  - freeing Rice to get involved all over the pitch.

Thank goodness Arteta’s obsession with Zinchenko, in that pointless inverted role, seems over. If they don’t win the title I wonder if he’ll berate himself for playing the wrong team v Villa? I said on the Monday after that defeat he’d got it wrong so I’m not trying to be clever now. 

Playing Zinchenko meant anchoring Rice and also giving Havertz a different role. It didn’t work. It doesn’t work. Havertz is an 8 1/2 - 9. On that subject - do Arsenal really need a proper 9? They’re the league’s top goal scorers - so why?

Anyway - it’s great to see Rice back doing what he does best and of course West Ham have missed him.

But as I said - he’s not the only reason the Hammers’ form has dropped off. Clearly the players have switched off. And whose fault is that? Obviously David Sullivan’s and Karen Brady’s.

What are they thinking? Perhaps they’re not? But why have they hung Moyes out to dry? Tony Cottee eloquently made his feelings known at the weekend. ‘Absolute joke of a Board’ he wrote on X. He didn’t hold back adding ‘publicly courting and talking to other managers (who aren’t as good as Moysey) is really poor and classless’. Here here.

Never before have West Ham enjoyed an era like the one Moyes has delivered. Never. Yet the brains-trust continue to prevaricate on whether to offer him a new deal. Perhaps they’ve got Manuel Pellegrini lined up? Oh no - wait a minute…..

If I’m Moyes I would tell them to fuck off - just as Big Sam did. The way he’s been treated is a disgrace and the main reason why the players have now got their flip-flops on. They know Moyes is leaving. We all know he’s leaving. And West Ham will know it when he has.

If Sullivan or Brady were to talk right now they’d probably tell us that they ‘want to take the club in a different direction’ (again?). Good luck with that. I remember Charlton doing it - and look at the direction they went in.

Congrats to Andy Woodman and Bromley. Bromley - of the Football League. What an amazing story this one is. Well done guys. Enjoy the ride.

What are your thoughts on gambling in football? There’s been talk on the subject - not enough in my view - but PL clubs have banned match-day front-of-shirt sponsorship deals with gambling companies from the summer of 2026.

It’s not much, but it’s a step in the right direction and followed discussions between football and a Boris Johnson led Tory govt in 2020, who announced they intended to launch the biggest overhaul in sports gambling legislation in 15 years.

Of course that didn’t happen.

But this has - I noticed a line at the weekend that Johnson has landed a lucrative deal to star in Paddy Power’s advertising campaign for the Euro’s. As Richard Littlejohn would say ‘you couldn’t make it up’.

Do Bayern Munich really want Erik ten Hag? If I was Jim Ratcliffe I’d be driving him to Germany myself. Today. 

I was interested to read Ten Hag revealing at the weekend that United had indeed tried to sign Harry Kane last summer. They failed. Why? We don’t really know, but they did sign Rasmus Hojlund. That deal was negotiated by Kees Vos, co-founder of the Dutch agency SEG, which also represents ten Hag. Vos also acted for United in the deal. 

Andre Onana’s deal was also negotiated by SEG - so too was Sofyan Amrabat’s. All a happy co-incidence I’m sure. Kane has his own representatives.