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It had been a long time coming.
Slaven Bilic had been struggling to meet the expectations of the West Ham United fans and the board, after a scintillating first season, when he led the team to a UEFA Europa League spot.
However, it has only been downhill for the Hammers since their move to the London Stadium last season. The recruitment hasn’t been up to the mark and an 11th placed finish wasn’t good enough. Frustrations were growing. This summer, however, things looked bright, at least at the beginning, when Bilic managed to bring in some established names to the squad.
However, things did not improve. Eleven games into the season, the East Londoners find themselves at 18th place in the Premier League, with just 9 points on the board and the club hierarchy finally decided to act. And just like that, Bilic’s tenure as the Hammers boss came to an end after their dismal 4-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool.
Naturally, there were going to be all sorts of speculations on who could be the next man in charge of the club, the next manager. But, one man was dominating all the headlines and that was former Everton and Sunderland manager David Moyes. A week before Bilic’s firing, the Scot expressed his desire for the job and earlier this day, the club confirmed the 54-year old as their new manager.
The club’s co-owner even admitted that it was a gamble and told The Sun,
“This is a gamble but let’s see where we are at the end of the season. I believe he will keep us up. I have promised him nobody else has been lined up, that we have not signed another manager for next season.
“This is his job and he has to grab it. It is a big chance for him. You don’t do what he did at Everton for ten years and become a bad manager – he is a good manager.”
But, is he the right man to lead West Ham away from the relegation zone and back into the upper half of the table – a place where they should be?
That would be a big NO for me.
Moyes has been out of a job since the end of the last season, after he led Sunderland to relegation when the Black Cats finished bottom of the table with just 24 points. Sunderland lost 26 of their 38 Premier League games and looked like a disjointed squad all through the season. Moyes, despite having had an entire season with the squad, couldn’t turn things around for the Wearsiders.
Agreed, he is someone with proven credentials in the Premier League and did a solid job during his days at Everton. He isn’t someone who is going to demand the big bucks from the board nor will they be needing to pay off any compensations that they might have to for some of the more attractive prospects like Marco Silva or Sean Dyche. So, from a financial point of view and in terms of the experience and the nous in English football, Moyes is a good option.
But what the club needs to take in consideration as well, is the fact that the 54-year old has struggled with all his three previous managerial jobs. Having taken charge at Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, Moyes was totally out of his depth and couldn’t even last a season at the Old Trafford. That was followed by an ill-fated reign in Spain, with La Liga outfit Real Sociedad, where he managed just 12 wins in 42 games in-charge (28.6% wins) before getting the axe.
With Sunderland last season, Moyes’ win percentage stood at an extremely lowly 18.6%. With close to one-third of the season already behind us, West Ham cannot afford to stutter anymore and need to get back up and running at the earliest. Going by Moyes’ recent track record, he definitely doesn’t seem like the right man to get this job done.
Moreover, his general dour demeanour, the timid style of play that he brings to the table, wouldn’t make him the kind of manager that the players would want to get behind, especially when the chips are down.
Given the state that the Hammers find themselves in, they need someone inspirational; someone who can change the atmosphere around the club and someone who would infuse confidence into the squad. Moyes, sadly, isn’t the man for that.