David Moyes was a universally unpopular choice to succeed Manuel Pellegrini and we have already seen why.
The Scot was appointed less than 24 hours after Pellegrini was sacked last month.
West Ham fans were not happy to see the man deemed not good enough to be kept on 18 months ago return for a second spell.
After all what has changed since? Moyes spent that time out of work.
Like the first time around the former Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland flop came in saying all the right things.
Past tactics that belong in the past
His ‘you don’t run, you don’t play’ mantra worked for all of two games.
A 4-0 win over a terrible and injury-ravaged Bournemouth side was deceptive. It was followed up by a poor showing at League One Gillingham in the FA Cup. But a 2-0 win was described as ‘gritty’ and ‘professional’ or ‘a game West Ham would have lost under Pellegrini’.
But the first real test, against Sheffield United, ended in an all too familiar defeat.
The Blades were nowhere near their best. But they should still have beaten West Ham more comfortably despite the last gasp VAR farce.
The match and Moyes’s team selection, tactics, decision making and comments have proved he is not the man to take West Ham forward.
Moyes proves he is the wrong man for West Ham just two weeks in
Here are 7 things Moyes did which prove he is the wrong man for the job:
- Playing for a draw. Moyes will not admit it, but by matching up with Sheffield United’s 352 formation he was clearly happy to focus on cancelling out the hosts and take a point. There has been much debate about whether West Ham should be aiming higher. Gary Neville made it clear he thinks they should be and said that attitude was indicative of the deep-rooted problem at West Ham. And he is right. Manuel Pellegrini – a multiple title-winning manager – spent 18 months trying to instil a winning mentality but was failed by an unambitious board and players.
- Long ball tactics. Moyes vowed to play attacking football on his return. But it was a lot of turgid long ball over and over again which proved completely ineffective and resulted in just two shots on target in the entire 93 minutes – one of them from a free-kick, the other the disallowed goal.
- Dropping Fornals. Ask any West Ham fan and they will tell you £24million summer signing Pablo Fornals has been the club’s best player over the last two months. He has been working his socks off for the team tracking back and pressing. And Fornals has also been providing assists and chipping in with goals. His use of the ball has been good too, rarely giving it away. Yet Moyes saw fit to drop him again for Manuel Lanzini, who has been nothing short of pathetic in a West Ham shirt for some time. The Argentine was a passenger yet again.
Negative, indecisive Moyes is out of touch after another 18 months out of football
- Leaving substitutions too late. One of the features of Moyes’s first spell in charge was his reluctance to introduce substitutes. And he is at it again. Despite having conceded in the 53rd minute and having been bossed by the Blades for much of the second half, Moyes waited until the 70th and 84th minutes to make his two unenforced substitutions. Quite what he expected Fornals to do in nine minutes is anyone’s guess. And Robert Snodrgass ended up being West Ham’s best player on the night despite only playing 20 minutes, proving he should perhaps have started.
- Playing Fabian Balbuena ahead of Issa Diop. Balbuena is slow, ponderous and has terrible distribution. So why Moyes stuck with him over Diop and elected to play left-back Aaron Cresswell in a back three is anyone’s guess. For the goal Balbuena inexplicably suddenly turned and demanded the ball from David Martin with both teams pushing right up the pitch. The pass was terrible from Martin. But Balbuena’s lack of pace and agility turned a dangerous situation into a game-defining one.
- Sticking with two defensive midfielders while chasing the game. Mark Noble would surely have been dragged off had Fabianski not got injured. But why Moyes stuck with the captain and Rice while the game was ebbing away is puzzling.
- Post match comments. Moyes’s comments on West Ham’s performance after the game were slammed by incredulous fans and pundits. The Scot said he was happy with the performance and felt his team had played well. He also admitted he would have been happy with a point. Being 1-0 down at the death, of course anyone would be happy with a point. But West Ham’s players need to be told when they are not performing to the required standards. The last thing they need is mollycoddling, after all West Ham are in the thick of a relegation battle from here on in.
Things don’t get any easier either. The brief honeymoon period – if you can call it that – is over.
And West Ham play revitalised Everton, Leicester City, Manchester City and Liverpool twice in five of their next six games.
Running and hard work will only get you so far against that merry bunch.