West Ham United boss was always on a hiding to nothing when the club took on National League Stockport in the FA Cup on Monday night.
Play a second string West Ham side, get criticised. Field a strong Hammers team and win handsomely, well that’s to be expected.
Lose, buy a tin hat. Put out a strong team and struggle, get criticised. You get the picture.
Moyes comes in for criticism as Hammers toil
And it was very much a case of the latter judging by much of the social media reaction after the tight 1-0 win, which came courtesy of a maiden Craig Dawson goal in the dying, sodden embers at Edgeley Park.
Moyes was criticised by some West Ham fans for the display.
Some West Ham fans felt his team selection was too negative. Playing two holding midfielders against a non league side did seem a bit overkill.
And bringing on a defender – Aaron Cresswell – ahead of exciting young striker Mipo Odubeko with the game still 0-0 opened the floodgates of criticism for Moyes.
In fact that substitution would have been used a stick to beat Moyes with long after the game had West Ham not found that late winner.
Odubeko did get on in the end. But only for a brief three-minute cameo where he touched the ball twice.
Parlour offers the voice of reason and plenty of West Ham fans agree
Under Moyes West Ham have been excellent this season. But Moyes is certainly not bothered about putting the FUN into FUNCTIONAL.
While West Ham are winning – as they did after a similarly dogged display up at Everton in the league last time out, and as they should have done at Southampton before that – it seems the fans waiting to Hammer Moyes will be placated.
There were voices of reason among the criticism last night, though.
And they were led by boyhood West Ham fan Ray Parlour.
Speaking on Twitter, Parlour – who has been there, done that and got the t-shirt – praised West Ham for their performance.
“Great effort Stockport County, played well,” Parlour said on Twitter.
“Good professional performance from the Hammers.
“Pitches like the old days. Long studs needed.”
Moyes doesn’t put the fun into functional but his committed West Ham side work hard for the badge
Paul Scholes, watching the game for BT Sport, echoed Parlour’s comments.
Scholes had criticised West Ham for a lack of creativity and guile. But he too praised the attitude of the Hammers players who, in years gone by may have wilted in those conditions.
There were a host of West Ham fans who agreed with that sentiment too.
The east Londoners have made a habit of embarrassing cup exits at the hands of lower league opposition over the years.
So Moyes deserves credit for fielding a strong side. And some slack after his players once again dug in for the cause on a difficult night.
The Scot has built a side whose default setting is hard work and effort.
And that is no bad thing.