Speculation around Moyes' job is unjustified
Updated: Jul 9, 2020
It would not be an exaggeration for someone to describe the reaction to David Moyes' appointment amongst Hammers fans as 'hostile'.
After finding what was thought to be the man to get West Ham into the Europa League in Manuel Pellegrini, fans were looking forward to putting relegation scraps behind them and getting embroiled in tussles for a position toward the top of the table.
But Pellegrini fell a long way short of that aspiration and instead was sacked after a 2-1 defeat to Leicester that had the Hammers one point above the relegation zone half way through their season.
In comes Moyes, the man who saved the club from the drop before Pellegrini's appointment, hired to do the same job; survive.
However, it was not going to be easy. West Ham's christmas fixtures had been kind to them, only having to face a much maligned Leicester in between Palace on Boxing day and Bournemouth at the start of the decade.
After a comprehensive 4-0 win over the cherries, Moyes had the task of negotiating tricky FA cup ties against Gillingham and West Bromwich Albion, facing up against a renewed Everton under Ancelotti, the top two sides in the country in Liverpool and Leicester, the stubborn sixth-place Sheffield United and Brighton in the space of four weeks.
Moyes managed five points in his first six matches and was then greeted with a fixture list than included Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs away and Chelsea and Wolves at home with solace only found in hosting Southampton. Once again, points have been hard to come by during this period, only winning one before lockdown against the saints and the recent victory over Chelsea.
However the results do not reflect the performances. In particular a spirited attempt to knock Liverpool off their perch ending in heartbreak as Lucasz Fabianski answering any questions about why he wasn't good enough to start for Arsenal.
A mistake by Fabianski's replacement at Sheffield and an unfortunate handball decision cost the Hammers points at Bramwell Lane, their inability to convert one of the 6 shots on target into the goal at the Emirates and a spait of poor defending down the right flank against Brighton have cost the Hammers up to nine points.
Rating Moyes' team during his first few months strikes me as unfair, there has only been one occasion where West Ham have thrown the game away under Moyes and that is against Brighton. Since his appointment he has had to face nine of the teams that comprise the top 11 sides in the league and taken seven points off the three teams he's faced towards the foot of the table.
When he was announced the Scot said "That's what I do, I win." Now is the time to prove it.
The next four fixtures will define the rest of Moyes' time at West Ham. Burnley and Newcastle are teams that should be approached with caution but if points are dropped against Norwich or Watford then questions will be asked and the question of relegation will go down to the last day of the season.