Cowardly Moyes so fortunate!


Cowardly Moyes so fortunate!

by CandH Facebook follower Daniel Hill

Cowardly  David Moyes can count himself fortunate that the majority of fans and pundits were distracted by yet another VAR controversy at the end of the game, having again demonstrated why he is not the man to take our club forward.

Our first half display capitalised on a sluggish Villa side who struggled to deal with the indomitable Coufal time and again marauding down our right flank.

His crossing was superb and, perhaps if he’d not had a sulk over being ignored moments earlier, would have scored his first for the club when the ball broke loose on the edge of the area. His shot was vicious; his follow-up, typical. Bless!

All looked good going into half time, with a refreshing and perfectly reasonable blend of high press, low block and attacking flair, giving Villa a perplexing conundrum to resolve.

But, like all good managers,  Emery did, by making two substitutions at half time in a bid to address the deficiencies in his side.

Moyes parks the bus and Hammers are beaten

And it worked, with Coufal quietened and Villa reminded of their capabilities and ambition. As the half wore on, it became increasingly clear that the Hammers had lost their sense of adventure. As we’ve seen so often this season, we shrunk, regressed, and invited a highly capable Villa front line to attack.

It’s standard from a team who, despite possessing a potent attack of our own, decide to allow all the pressure to fall onto our defence and an erratic Alvarez and a clumsy Soucek. Words fail me.

As a side note, someone needs to have a word with Alvarez about his conduct. He picks up too many unnecessary yellows for stupid challenges and petulant reactions. Now he’s out for our next two. It should be docked wages and the naughty step for the young man.

And how does Moyes react to Villa’s changing fortunes? He returns to type; failing to protect our lead by opting to dismantle our front line and defend at all costs. He replaced a revitalised Antonio, who again had been a powerful focal point in an exciting front four, with… Ings? Nope… Mubama then?

Wrong again. With Ben Johnson, a defender, who entered the field with a spray can and promptly added the standard writing on the wall: “Attack & you shall score!”

There was only one outcome and it was duly realised when yet another swift, cutting Villa attack ended in a well worked slick Zaniolo goal. Unlike Ward-Prowse’s later effort, there was no-one available on the penalty spot to block it.

Emery – a coach I admire greatly – made well thought out attacking substitutions and, despite being the AWAY team, throws everyone forward in search of a winner having equalised, pinning us in and empowering his charges to actually play football.

And yes, I know we could’ve won it at the end, but it would’ve been a ‘snatch and grab’, and I’m just not sure that’s the way I want us to win a home game against a team who, on paper, should be our equal. I’m envious of Villa fans.

It yet again highlights what we’re missing. A coach with vision, guile, endeavour and smarts.

And it’s all such a shame. Yet another false dawn. Yet another opportunity for Moyes to show that perhaps he listens. Perhaps he can change, especially off the back of our emphatic midweek win.

But no. Despite having proven against Brentford, in the second half against Burley and against Freiburg that we’re better at attacking than defending, the old leopard shows there is just no changing his spots.

A bit like our lead, Moyes’s decisions today were indefensible and it is an opportunity wasted to prove that our recent progress isn’t a flash in the pan.

Moyesball has its place. He has undoubtedly moved us to a different level and I’ll always be grateful to him for that. But if we want to move on, and not regress, it’s time for change.

Players, 8/10. Moyes (and his clearly cowardly backroom team), 3/10.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • hammerpete6 says:

    Agree mate, he couldn’t wait to bring on W-P and Johnson for two attacking players and surrender all hope of forward progress for the Moyesball wall. The most ineffective use of subs in the Premier is us by a mile.

  • master says:

    He just couldn’t help himself.
    Terrible approach to 2nd half.

  • winchester hammer says:

    I absolutely agree 100% with this. You could clearly see from the players’ body language and lack of desire to win the ball back, that they had been sent out in the second half with the express instruction just to get in the way of the opposition and stop them from scoring.

    There was nothing more certain than that Villa was going to equalise. We have given so many points away by inviting the opposition on to us, and keeping our fingers crossed that we could hold out. It’s painful and incredibly predictable to watch.

    As you say, it’s fine to play like that against the teams that are actually better than us, and it’s worked very well against Arsenal and Spurs away. But, to treat every Premier League team we play against as if they’re Man City is frankly pathetic. 30% possession at home, against a team that isn’t actually any better than us, is just embarrassing.

    You know, people who don’t support West Ham say to me that you can’t argue against being 7th, in Europe three season running and winning a European competition. But they don’t see the games and how negative Moyes’s tactics are and that we would be in the top five if we hadn’t lost so many points through Moyes’s cowardly tactics. Rant over, but this manager must go.

  • simonm says:

    Wow. Harsh, but so true.
    Only positive was that Moyes did substitute Kudus this time.
    Also what gets to me is that Bowen plays all of 90mins plus every week, but disappears for most of the 2nd half, esp the last 10 mins, and esp does not tackle.
    Add this to the soft WH midfield, and see why most teams overrun us in the 2nd half of matches.
    Yes indeed, sadly Moyes cannot make us consistent, and unable to take us over the next hill.

  • Hammeroo says:

    Agree with everything you say, Hugh. I think we all knew what was going to happen as we defended deep yet again in trying to defend a one goal lead. The second half was nerve racking and in the end all I have to show for enduring it is some shortened fingernails. Yet we looked pretty good going forward in the first half despite having little possession. In the end it was another opportunity missed when trying to consolidate our 7th position in the table. David the Dinosaur manager needs to be consigned to history!

    And I also am annoyed with Alvarez’s lack of discipline. He goes off like a Mexican jumping bean with a hot chilli up his backside. Why? Now he’s out for the next two games and we are really going to miss his competitive skills.

  • Wizza says:

    If anyone is cowardly mate it’s you. Your narrative towards Moyes we can clearly see but the reality and objective facts are very different. I acknowledge that at times I’d like him to maybe take the handbrake off but show the bloke some respect for the job he’s done. I’m not his greatest fan but I know the difference between a winning feeling and a losing feeling with no hope. (Which we’ve had many many times)

    The vitriol from you is weak and driven simply by commercial gain. Being controversial and generating debate and good honest dialogue is a skill. You have neither pal. You are washed up and struggling,

    You may ask why I bothered reading and replying if I feel like I do about your website. Well the answer is simple…..I’ve been meaning to post for a long time but refused to engage with you because I posted something a while back criticising another one of your ego fuelled rants and you took the post down.

    I’m sure the same will happen with this post but if a few people get to see it I’m happy with that.

    Ban my if you like because after today I won’t be posting again.

    Far as I’m concerned point made!

    Keep going Moysie you are doing a great job!

    COYI ⚒️⚒️

    • Mr Buddy Lurve says:

      In Hugh’s defence, Wizza, I wrote the article (Daniel Hill / Mr Buddy Lurve) and not Hugh. I sent it to him and he posted it, so if anyone is cowardly, then evidently it’s me… although I’m not at all sure why…

      I wonder if perhaps you’re so angry, that you both missed who wrote it in your race to reply, and also the point of the article. Never mind – anger has a way of blinding us to reason.

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