West Ham United boss David Moyes looked a crestfallen man when he went in front of the press before the season opener against Newcastle.
What should be an exciting time for the manager, players and fans has been replaced with a sense of dread at West Ham.
A toxic atmosphere has enveloped the club once again.
It comes after a lack of investment – while Premier League rivals are set to take spending past the £1 billion mark – and the sale of Grady Diangana brought fan resentment fizzing back to the surface.
Hammers fans has started to buy into Moyes’s plans
West Ham fans had really bought into Moyes’s modest but exciting plans for the club. Even the ones who didn’t want him back as manager.
Moyes wanted to make West Ham a Red Bull lite (Daily Mail).
The plans also excited former Hammers stars like Joe Cole (90 Min).
The Scot wanted more control to restructure the club’s scouting and recruitment.
Red Bull lite vision now just a mirage
He wanted total control over transfers. And even his new motto for West Ham was a sensible one – ‘Promise less, deliver more’.
But that all seems like a pipedream with the club looking highly likely to be involved in a relegation scrap again this season in the most fiercely competitive Premier League for many years.
Speaking to the press ahead of the Newcastle game, a clearly crestfallen Moyes made it clear he is ‘just responsible for what happens on the pitch’.
When asked to lay out his plans again on the eve of the season, Moyes’s tune has completely changed.
Seemingly forced into submission by the restrictions placed on him by hugely unpopular co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold.
Crestfallen Moyes admits defeat in trying to revamp West Ham
“Just building, trying to build and move on,” was Moyes’s rather uninspiring response (Football London).
“West Ham has an incredible chance for progress, there is room for improvement but the one I am in charge of is on the pitch.”
That one line tells you everything you need to know about how hard it is for a manager at West Ham under Sullivan and Gold – with any semblance of ambition or desire – to improve the club.
All of Moyes’s grand plans have been consigned to the bin.
Another manager just treading water with a club that sold its beloved home on the promise of a mystical next level.
If West Ham aren’t careful that next level will be the Championship sooner rather than later.
The Red Bull lite vision is now just a mirage.