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Great Irons season but let’s heed past warning signs

It’s been a great, great season – memorable indeed!

But I hope it won’t be a case  of deja vous and a replica of what happened to Slaven Bilic and later Manuel Pellegrini in their second year,.

The received wisdom appears to be that we are on our way at long, long last to the next level and under a born-again David Moyes I believe that could well be the case.

His first job on arriving at the club for the second time was to repair what had become a badly damaged reputation and he has succeeded brilliantly.

His second job was to ensure that he became clearly in charge of all football matters and he seems to have managed to as well. His fingerprints are all over the gaff.

His third task was to restore the spirit of a badly damaged squad – job done and his fourth will be to maintain the incredible momentum and take us forward. and  into the top six on a regular basis.

Right now Moyes is the man of the moment and rightly so but let’s be careful before getting too carried away because second seasons can often be chastening experiences.

It found out Slaven and it certainly kicked Pellegrini up the butt and the same has been seen elsewhere as was the case with Chris Wilder  at Sheffield United.

He too was knocking on the Euro door with his first season Blades team – second time around they were horribly relegated.

I expect nothing of that nature to befall the Hammers but down the years – like so many Irons  – I’ve learned to be very circumspect in  making hugely optimistic predictions.

It’s also as well to remember this has been a far from normal season with the absence of crowds somehow – I believe – producing results far from the norm.

It’s impossible to explain the whys of that but I think it’s unlikely to truly see how far we have come until a dozen of next season’s games have been played.

We know that we have a great midfield when Dec and Tomas are together and that by and large the defence is now pretty well organised.

We need additions and the board needs to build on what’s been achieved with some wise investment.

I believe in Moyes – I also believed in the other two – and I am more than cautiously optimistic we are finally on our way

Whatever happens next my heartiest congratulations go out to the boss and the boys on a season when at long long last one could do a bit of bragging.

But the acid test for the team and club will come next season in my view so we are hanging in and hoping for the very best.

COYI

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About Hugh5outhon1895

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

11 comments on “Great Irons season but let’s heed past warning signs

  1. Too right Hugh, back in 2002 we ended the season in seventh place, if memory serves me correctly. By the end of the 2003 season we were in the Championship!
    As we are all enjoying this season so much, should we count this as Moyes’ second season as technically he was in charge for half of the past campaign 😉.
    I can see a much improved team collective and hopefully we have learned our lessons from resting on our laurels.
    I too believe that we really are on our way to a less turbulent existence for a long period of time.

  2. At the start of the season the ‘next level’ was mid-table. Moyes has done a fantastic job to achieve a likely top 6 finish. He has twice saved the club from relegation, something neither of the other two you mentioned would in my view have achieved. I reckon we’ve got the manager Alex Ferguson wanted for Man U. This season ain’t no flash in the pan. But he’s operating with limited resources until GSB sell. Then we can see about the next level. Just a bit worried a richer club might tempt the guy…

  3. Good post, Hugh. I agree, we need to be cautious and remember what our recent history has been. Which is why I don’t really care about whether we get European football – it’s too soon for this particular squad. I’d much rather Moyes build on a very solid start.

    By the way, I had no faith on the other two – Pellegrini and Bilic – even when things were going well, but I do have faith that Moyes can prove that he’s the best manager we’ve had since 1989.

  4. I feel David Moyes is a different calibre to our other recent managers. He has had the experience at Everton in building up a solid team and structure over 10 years. The disapointment of not getting the time or resources to sort out Man U., confirmed by the fact they are only just beginning to get back to the level expected. The disaster of Sunderland with dodgy owners etc and look where they are now. He had a go in Spain at another chaotic club.
    All this gives us an experienced manager who is not fazed by the challenges of managing. Compared to the Guardiola’s, Mourinho’s and Pellegrinis who have always managed highly successful clubs with loads of money so achieving results is much easier I believe David is the right man for our long term development and hopefully success!

  5. Good piece. My main concern, which I’m sure has been expressed here before, is that if we don’t get into the Champions League, then we lose Dec, we lose Jessie, we lose Tomas (and possibly Vlad follows). Someone reassure me I’m being too pessimistic…

    • You are being too pessimistic

    • Trev – can’t see the Czechs leaving. More likely to be welcoming more…Vlad was more upset than anyone yesterday. My Hammer of the Year. No coincidence that we mostly concede on the left of defence. Has made a massive difference.

  6. Great piece Hugh and great responses too. Harry Redknapp finished too high in his last season. Think Wee Davey has done well and will do well. Maybe 15th next year? I’d take that if we’re playing good, honest attacking football. That’s how we’ve gone about it for most of this reign. Would absolutely love it if we manage top 6 this year and next.
    COYI

  7. Interesting post Hugh – I agree with some of the other posters that Moyes will be very focussed on seeing that the “second season syndrome” does not happen – I think his statement that he would not buy a striker in January if he could not get the one he wants shows that he is carefully planning for teh long haul. I did believe in Slav – but his scattergun recruitment in his second season (Nordvedt, Arbeola, Goklan Tore, Feghouli, Andre Ayew, Edison Fernandes etc) sowed the seeds of his failure. I think that Pellegrini is one of the biggest charlatans that it has been our misfortune to come across – even in his “successful” first season we suffered the MK Dons humiliation in the FA cup
    SO Hugh I understand your apprehension but I am cautiously optimistic that Moyes will avoid that

    COYI

  8. West Ham will continue to improve under Moyes next season. Let’s not give up on fourth place this campaigh, eh? FA Cup Finalists Leicester have to play Man United, Chelsea and Spurs. West Ham are up against pretty much safe Brighton, relegated West Brom and Southampton, who will already be on holiday by then. Liverpool play Man United on Thursday. Remember, Man U will never lie down against their biggest bitter rivals. Three wins for the Hammers, two defeats for Leicester, and a loss on Thursday for Liverpool sounds like a plan to me. Keep the faith. COYI

  9. Great piece Hugh food for thought. One of the key indicators could be the next three games before DM goes into the market. Previously we had warnings by losing the last 4 or 5 games in the good season, which seemed to carry on at restart. Let us hope the managerial team and the players all stay focused, and the scouts do their bit! COYI.

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