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Man United ‘inquest’ shows how far Irons have come


By CandH’s top blogger Allen Cummings


We’re midway between the last game and the next – so perhaps today should be the dividing line between looking back and looking forward.

Let’s move on from analysing our last game to anticipating our next. David Moyes never set out to lose at Old Trafford – even his harshest critics couldn’t accuse him of that.

The main criticism has been that he should have adopted a more proactive system and plan to win the game.

Of course we now know what he went with didn’t work out the way he would have hoped. That’s fact!

What we can only guess at is had he been more adventurous would the outcome have been any different?

Missing Jesse Lingard and Pablo Fornals was clearly a double whammy to his strategy. He chose to go with Mark Noble and Ben Johnson, leaving Said Benrahma and Manuel Lanzini on the bench – switching to plan ‘B’ with 30 minutes remaining.

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Too cautious to start with? It’s an accusation that has been levelled at Moyes in the past and no doubt will be again in the future. Critics have said the same this season about Jose Mourinho, likewise Sunday’s victorious manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The truth is as supporters we have nothing to lose – we can be as bold and as adventurous as we like because the buck doesn’t stop with us.

When your head’s on the line, as it is with professional football these days, life’s not quite that simple.

Perhaps the most telling factor in all this, and something we can all agree on, is that right now we have a team lots of us felt could go to Old Trafford, a graveyard for so many West Ham teams of the past, and actually expect to get something from the game.

The universal disappointment that in the event we came away empty handed serves to underline just how West Ham’s fortunes have changed dramatically this season under David Moyes. We’re in a place right now the vast majority of us never dreamed we would be.

Let’s draw a line under the inquests and all hold onto that positive thought as we look forward to the visit of Arsenal this Sunday.

The Gunners will be buoyed by their north London victory over arch rivals Spurs  but in truth they are very hit and miss this season.

Hopefully with a full-strength squad to choose from again, Sunday could provide us with the ideal opportunity to climb back onto that winning bicycle.

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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

7 comments on “Man United ‘inquest’ shows how far Irons have come

  1. Spot on Allen. Excellent views – well expressed. Thanks for this read.

  2. Much appreciated Taffyhammer. Onwards and upwards – long may it last.

    • I’m for giving Moyes one year contract for his work well done then goodbye his not as shown a top coach for west ham tradition which most old school fans made our club the only one to follow from family to family like my own from Greenwood lyall onwards. Doesnt learn one iota after playing same way again as before negative against a beatable manure team. Noble for christs sake and I like him but his gone two seasons ago and now should be learning his coaching skills. Leaving without lingard benrahma and lanzini the only technical players around on the bench was once again typical Moyes. One year only then let’s get in a bielsa who plays the west ham way and entertains but give him the tools to play that way COYI

  3. To avoid getting into a losing habit we just must beat Arsenal on Sunday . We can’t afford another cautious tactical blimp because we may find ourselves spiraling instead of staying with the pack . Of course we shall never know if we approached the Man Utd game differently whether the result would have been different or not . I rather suspect not , Man Utd have a very strong squad . Hard to blame Moyes for that result . But the fact remains we need three points against Arsenal and a result in game in hand if we are to realize our dream of European football .

    • Follow you’re reasoning here Kevin. But Arsenal is just one game. One game doesn’t determine our future. If we are totally hapless and continue to be so for the rest of the season, you’re probably right. I can’t see that happening. I see the plan – but there will be blips along the way. With a little more luck we might have beaten Man Utd in two games rather than them shading 1:0 victories. Fine margins. We’ll do well this season regardless of the Arsenal result. That being said, I’m expecting a win!

  4. I think the nail was truly hit on the head with your comment about the absence of Fornals & Lingard. We obviously knew beforehand that Lingard couldn’t play but the training injury to Fornals must have been a major blow. To a very large degree the tactics we adopted, because of those two absentees, were forced upon us. Let’s be brutally frank. Lanzini hasn’t been the same player since his injury unfortunately and imo Benrahma is still trying to come to terms with the reality of playing Premier League football.

    Important now to get a result against Arsenal. Another defeat could start to see confidence evaporating.

  5. Can’t understand that view point Geoff. If we lose Fornals for a lengthy period, will we play like that every week then? Don’t you think we looked much better and more threatening after the subs came on? We could have started with the team we ended up with.

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