Moyes can keep the faith or face loss of goodwill



By CandH FB member Allen Cummings

It’s not been the most auspicious start to David Moyes’ managerial reign with  one draw and three defeats.

A single point haul is hardly what the West Ham faithful had in mind but despite that most fair-minded fans are in agreement that there has been visible progress in fitness and organisation.

However, with Chelsea arriving on Saturday, Moyes could face his biggest test so far – a test of his credibility.

The team the manager  sent out to face Manchester City on Sunday exceeded all reasonable expectations. It wasn’t the side he would probably have chosen with injuries intervening but regardless it produced by far the best 90 minute display from any West Ham side this season.

Rice4The spirit, determination and downright guts was exactly what the fans have been calling for. So now comes the Moyes dilemma.

Does he go with the same starting 11 for the Chelsea game? Or does he tinker? Despite not being the manager of choice for the many, the way he has set about his task has won him valuable support, and friends.

However, that new-found goodwill could be severely tested by his next team selection. Two players very much hold the key, in my opinion – Adrian and Declan Rice. With both recognised alternatives likely to be available again on Saturday, does Moyes keep faith with two of Sunday’s heroes? Surely he has to.

The alternative isn’t even an option in my view. Even though it means Joe Hart and vice captain Winston Reid will be warming the bench. Unthinkable at most times but this Saturday it’s the alternative that’s unthinkable.

Sunday saw a team of heroes, so it’s difficult to pick out individuals, but Adrian and Rice were right up there with the best of the best. To drop both these crowd favourites after their sterling efforts would be tantamount to suicide for Moyes.

It would send out all the wrong signals, to the team and to the fans. It would go against the principles the manager claimed he was keen to promote soon after his arrival. His message was clear and concise: he wouldn’t be influenced by big names and big reputations.

He was only interested in what he saw for himself on the pitch and on the training ground. That would be his yardstick, as it should be. If he were to deviate from that principle now, the goodwill he’s built up would evaporate – and possibly never return.

We’ve already seen and heard enough negativity and toxicity this season. Moyes runs the risk of adding to that significantly by making the wrong choice for this vital London derby.

The views expressed here are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect those of ClaretndHugh

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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


  • hammers64 says:

    I am an optimist and feel things are gradually turning round and the Everton thing like Rooneys third goal was a freak.Moyes is gradually realising who he needs in the team.Adrian,Rice,Sakho plus some youth on the bench and what he expects on the pitch,raised fitness levels and hopefully a productive January transfer window plus a couple of departures and i think we can steadily climb away from the basement.Next 2 home games will be huge for morale purposes though and a benchmark.

  • kevin says:

    Trying to outguess the Manager and telling him what to do , Hugh . I suppose you also made the team selection and dictated tactics for the City game . Why do we need a Manager at all when we’ve got you ?? .

  • jimbo says:

    Not another Sakho-ite, you’ve been talking to Laz haven’t you number 64?
    As far as the original post goes, I’d like to see Moyes retain Adrian in goal. But I’d think about playing Rice and Reid at the back and leaving Ogbonna out. Sure he gets the odd goal but he is prone to individual errors defensively. Then again I’d leave Zabs out because Alonso and Hazard will destroy him!

    • Dunlopilo says:

      The predictions were also that Sane was going to destroy Zabaleta. It didn’t happen. Be optimistic !

      • JRS says:

        Yep he played deeper & Rice also covered for him some worked well

      • jimbo says:

        Optimistic is something I’m finding very hard to be currently bud! Tin hat Monday mornings at work, suit of armour down the pub and now even the Mrs has started souring after games! Bloody hell, it’s a nightmare!

  • JRS says:

    Have to keep the same minus might have to change based on Kouyate but Adrian is a must. Rice I agree with as well Ogbonna had brilliant game.
    I like the 4-4-1-1 its adaptable can defend deep or attack its Moyes 2nd choice to the 4-3-2-1 which turns into a 4-3-3 for us.
    Stick w Formation & if Kouyate is out slide Antonio to RM which he likes & put Fernandes in Kouyates position they are built the same & he has pace & his a CM. Then but Sakho up front.
    Like him or not Sakho is our most rounded CF & can be a lone striker get in behind & work the channels. He score does well & we sell him for more in Jan.

    But agree I have said if Moyes doesn’t start Adrian & others keep the Spine then he will contradict what he has been saying in media

  • kcockayne says:

    I did not want Moyes (big time”; but I have to say that, despite not having a win yet & only one draw, he appears to be more effective than Bilic. I agree on Adrian & Rice &, whilst Ogbonna had a very good game on Sunday, he is due another stinker ! It will be a temptation to keep the same team, of course, & the only change I would make (apart from Reid for Ogbonna), would be to start with Sakho – but who makes way for him ?

    • JRS says:

      If Kouyate is out Fernandes drops to CM like said above & Antonio to RM leaving Sakho to Striker

  • jimbo says:

    Blimey, another Sakho convert. Tough enough trying to convince Laz his bromance is doomed without you guys supporting one who has made it all too clear he wants out and will jump at the first opportunity. Why can’t I forgive him too? Bitter, twisted and no vision!

    • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

      😂 give up jimbo ! The visionary’s rule 😉

      • jimbo says:

        Exactly right Laz. No place for old timers like me. Be telling me I can’t bring my rattle any more for fear I’ll wrap it around someone’s head!
        Come on Mr Moyes, play Sakho!

        • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

          😂 memories lol . some of them rattles was a big as us 😂 offensive weapons today . many a smack round the head !

    • kcockayne says:

      Yes, I know he has his problems, & attitude, but to me he looks our best bet of scoring. And, there are two sides to every story. You have to ask why he has acted as he has.

    • JRS says:

      They were going to sell him but move fell thru.
      Regardless of that & he will leave in Jan Brady has said some players will be sold & he wants to go. Can’t blame him with chic & AC out he is our only out & out CF & w them most rounded CF. When he plays he impacts the game & scores.
      Ayew alone up front doesn’t work Antonio can but having him w Sakho more pace & attack.
      So let him play & score some will help him get a move & us more money for him

  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    put Lanzini in the middle for Kouyate and play Sakho up top in a 442 with Arnautovic Central,,Adrian and Rice stay in the team Zab captains. Adrian, Cresswell,Oggy, Rice, Zab, Masuaku, Obiang, Lanzini, Antonio, Arnie anf Sakho.

    • JRS says:

      I like that. But Lanzini might so well w Sakho up front but like it Arnie is good but Masuaku looks right on left. So if Arnie & Lanzini can link up well.
      Pace up frontn& on both sides. Could work well

      • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

        Just my opinion but I always feel Lanzini affects the game more in a deeper position than at number 10, yes he scores the odd goal but he doesn’t actually create that much for all of his neatness on the ball, when he is deeper he can run past midfielders and provide an easy outball for defenders… it is one of those catch 22’s of course because he is not as physical as some of our other options in central midfield but he reads the game well so makes his share of interceptions, funnily enough Carrick never made that many tackles he always made interceptions so just being big and a hard tackler isn’t the be all and end all of playing central midfield, likewise Modric who is probably more similar to Lanzini although a lot more polished he is another interceptor for the most part that intercepts the ball and distributes it well starting off attacks.

        • JRS says:

          Agree with that tho he likes to get fwd & if he can does well especially if has someone creative to link up with.
          His best for assists was still his first season with Payet. Last season he scored 1 more but had 3 less assists.
          So having another creative outlet makes him better

  • jimbo says:

    Perhaps we should play Lanzini a little deeper then, so he is protected better, can make runs earlier and can still play those killer passes? Bit like those Italians do when moving their best players back ten yards. Didn’t do them any harm in qualifying, did it!

  • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

    They always retreat jimbo when the going gets tough 😂

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