The ultimate test of Moyes man management


By Gonzo

There is talk of rebellion in the ranks at West Ham. Rumours of mutinous discontent amongst the players have surfaced in recent days, and as a result manager David Moyes has found himself under siege from all angles.

I witnessed the crowd voicing their displeasure towards the manager in person last Saturday against Brighton Hove Albion. And if reports are to be believed, the coaching staff and players are also unhappy at Moyes ‘negative’ tactics and are demanding positive change. It’s worth pointing out that there were also eye witness accounts of a heated exchange of words between captain Declan Rice and the Hammers gaffer against the seagulls, although I didn’t see that myself.

All of this leaves the manager under serious pressure and not for the first time. The reports of clandestine player meetings will be familiar to Moyes because exactly the same thing happened at Manchester United. I do have a degree of sympathy for Moyesie in this instance, It can’t be easy to be in a situation where you lose the support of the fans and where your coaching team and players lose faith in your ability.

However, how Moyes deals with this uprising will be key to his future and the clubs Premier League survival. His job has now become far more about man management than tactics, Moyes will have to demonstrate character traits which may well be alien to him.

Screaming at the players in a dictatorial manner and barking orders to follow his tactics without question won’t wash anymore. He’ll need to show some humility, swallow his pride and actually listen to the individual concerns. Crucially the manager will have to hurriedly create an environment whereby the squad can feel free to articulate their thoughts without fear of retribution.

It’s not going to be easy for a stubborn man, who is set in his ways to listen to criticism and harder still to implement any tactical suggestions. But I feel that’s precisely what he’ll have to do. The alternative is to carry on, shut-down and continue on his path to destruction with basic defensive tactics which don’t work.

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  • Hammers in the blood 1 says:

    It’s painful to see us in this position, we need to alm work together to get the results we need !

  • stubbo says:

    Trouble is Moyes whole match preparation focusses on spoiler tactics rather than our own game.

    What can we do to stifle. What can we do to counter. What can we do to negate.

    There is almost no focus on ‘what can we do to impose our way of play on them’….the reason….we don’t have a way of playing. His whole ethos is about spoiling and nicking something off the back of it, from a breakaway or a set piece.

    That’s simply not how top teams operate. It’s not a winning mentality, but a subservient mentality. It assume the opposition are stronger and can’t be over powered by force of performance, and it will never harness our own talents fully, because it focusses so much on trying to stop theirs.

    The man really has to go.

    • Mr Buddy Lurve says:

      I love this, Stubbo – you’re spot on. Many of us see it, but you’ve articulated it beautifully, so hats off.

      I manage an U13 team and, despite it being worlds apart in terms of gravitas, it has given me a new perspective into the pressure and balance between listening and reacting to the team’s thoughts and feelings, and guiding them with my own tactics and advice. Fortunately, our results are also worlds apart from West Ham’s, because we go for it, rather than sitting back.

      Footballers want to play football, with the ball at their feet. Be part of slick moves that result in goals that win games. They want the thrill of the fight running through their veins. To feel they can affect an outcome. Moyes is the antithesis of this, and with players having such short top flight careers, every game matters.

      He needs to listen, change or leave for someone who will. We’re better than this.

  • Clive says:

    When Declan Rice was asked about criticism of David Moyes and his manager being under fire in the post Brighton interview he said “It’s all noise. I don’t really listen to the opinions of other people. If they were experts they’d be playing on the pitch, and they’re not,”
    That sounds pretty much like a player getting defensive about his manager to me. Certainly doesn’t sound like a player who is having heated rows with his boss. Any exchange between players and management during that Brighton game I would expect to be angry anyway. The players should have been angry, the staff should have been angry, god knows the fans were angry. We were being played off the park and beaten four nil. I would fully expect them all to be angry and if they wasn’t I’d like to know why not.

  • hammerpete6 says:

    I see it as more a test of Moyes character than his man- management. The truth is he has shown his judgement, flawed, shown his reading of a game, flawed, shown his substitutions, predictable and flawed, and his man-management, nonexistent. He has shown personal favourites and dislikes, stubbornness and tunnel vision. He now needs to rise above all of that, seek advice, select attacking players and back them, and be humble for once.

  • johnham1 says:

    We were indeed played off the park and as I was watching the game all I was thinking was the world of difference between the two managers, the Brighton manager had his team playing with purpose, confidence, style and were tactically brilliantly set up by a really good coach and manager. On the other I was looking at our clown, he had his team playing with no purpose, no confidence, no style and he had them set up tactically so poorly it was like he had set us up to lose (I know that sounds mad !!). The difference was just incredible. Lets be clear we are talking about a Brighton manager who has had a lot less time to get his teams playing the way he wants and who is also new to the PL. Fair play to Brighton and for their forward planning. How anyone with a coaching badge like Moyes fails to recognise that Danny Ings cannot play up top on him own, how he fails to see how poorly players like Soucek, Johnson and Bowen have been playing and finally why does he not see that he does not need two DMs or even 3 DMs when you have a player like Rice. The game just proved or showed up Moyes for what he truly is, at one stage of the second half he even got off seat and stared straight at the fans like a bully who were correctly calling for him to be sacked, reminded me of the way he lashed out at the ball boy last season, reflects the person he is, pitiful by the board that they have not sacked him.

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