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Reflections on a season gone wrong

By Clive Budd

West Ham United Football Club’s turbulent season is finally drawing to a welcome close.

Fans, owners and players have been getting on each others’ backs and after some awful performances, everybody wants to put this campaign behind them and come back stronger next season.

West Ham have gone through their fair share of managers in recent times, with Slaven Bilic starting the season at the helm only to be sacked in early November and replaced by David Moyes.

Moyes had a point to prove after his well-documented failure at Manchester United and a less than successful stint at La Liga club Real Sociedad.

His achievements at Everton, where, during his 11-year tenure at the Toffees, turned the club into a stable top eight team still needs to be applauded.

He unearthed few gems in the form of Seamus Coleman and Dan Gosling and the Hammers have looked for the same especially with the club’s track record when it comes to producing youngsters – notably Declan Rice so far – given the relatively modest budget.

Where’s it all gone wrong?

Official attendances at the London Stadium passed 1million recently despite the dislike of the Stadium by many.

Tension between owners and fans has boiled over and results haven’t exactly gone to plan on the pitch with the club in and around the dreaded drop zone all campaign.

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The factors above of course contribute to West Ham’s downfall, but less than inspiring recruitment always meant a tough season lay ahead. Most West Ham fans would argue that it shouldn’t have been this bad.

The move was intended to take the club to the next level and enable them to attract big names and deliver a few signings that’ll put bums on seats. Arnautovic aside, have the club’s hierarchy delivered on that promise? Probably not.

Looking Ahead

The Hammers head into their final fixture of the season with safety secured.  Judging by some of the events that have unfolded at the club this season, relegation wouldn’t really have come as a surprise, but if you look at the size of the club and the bold announcements made to fans, then it would have been a shock.

While the battle for survival has in theory gone done to the last season, Swansea are all but down, as reflected in the football betting predictions.

West Ham fans can’t have enjoyed their second season in their new home. With off-the-field issues hogging the limelight, on-the-field success is craved. With survival secured, this season will be followed by a period of self-reflection rather than celebration.

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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

2 comments on “Reflections on a season gone wrong

  1. There has not been a downfall . We couldn’t and shouldn’t have expected anything else .
    We were always pretty sure of surviving ( rightly or wrongly ) and we have . … if anything we have made some important strides to making us a better Club and team . We have suffered the past two years but have come through . The big Task is still ahead of us . All we really need is a squad that don’t suffer so many injuries …. + three or four new sighnings .
    There is too much talk surrounding David Moyes in my opinion . Did we survive the threat of Relegation ? ; Yes …. are we a Premiership Club ? ; Yes …. , so what’s the problem ? .
    Heroics like Huddersfield surviving , Brighton & Newcastle are no real surprises . West Ham’s survival is also no Surprise . Letting Bilic go was a decision well timed and needed .
    I think we would have finished the season weeks ago as a relegated club under Bilic .
    Too many clubs now have managers that can’t even speak proper English . We have good managers that speak the language and West Ham are blessed with one of them . It’s a very difficult league ,, you only have to see how lower clubs have been bettering upper clubs .
    There is no League in the World that can be compared to the Premiership . Communication and transfer of desire through language is paramount . Keep Moyes and let’s go for it . After all the effort the David’s have demonstrated during these past two to three years we should at least give them the benefit of the doubt and support them and whomever they decide should be Manager ,,, and give it our best support . But , I remain firm in my belief that it should be an English speaking person with the ability to communicate properly …. you only have to look at Chelsea & Arsenal . Forget Man Utd & Man City because with so much Money they don’t enter the equation . Klopp speaks perfect English .
    West Ham 2 – 0 Man Utd . COME ON YOU HAMMERS .

  2. Primarily, the amateur recruitment system. Bilic’s poor eye for a player, Sullivan searching for monetary value because it is his money. However, there was clearly a lack of communication in the attributes what we’re needed in identifying a style we wanted (square pegs round holes). I will say that it was clear bilic never had a style demonstrated by bilic’s ever hoping change of formation ever since we moved into the stadium and I don’t blame sullivan for not trusting bilic after tore, nordveit and arbeloa. Moyes, had no power in january to argue for funds as he was trying to look favourable to the board with his minimal costs, although hugill will go down as one of our most ridiculous signings.

    Whatever happens next season, the board need to delegate appropriately. There needs to be full confidence in the manager. A clear procedure in recruiting players between the director of football, the manager and scouting network. There should be fixed budget of £60m + sales given to the manager and the board should step away from transfers and speculation entirely.

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