Connect in the back of the net

This morning, news emerged out of the London Stadium that West Ham had sacked manager Slaven Bilic.

Bilic had been in charge of West Ham since 2015 and experienced many high points with the club, including guiding them to the knockout phases of the Europa League twice.

Yet, recently, Bilic has only experienced low points in his West Ham career, and he eventually got the boot after their 4-1 defeat at home to Liverpool.

With West Ham’s start to the season, and their next manager lined up, is it too late to save the Irons?

 

The squad is awful

When you look at the squad Bilic had assembled, there is a mixture of youth and experience, and you would think that this would be a squad that would finish around the mid-table mark or even challenge for a Europa League position or an FA Cup, but the squad simply not good enough.

From back to front, you simply cannot look at an individual in the squad who has had a good season.

Joe Hart. What has happened?

Somehow still England’s number one goalkeeper, Hart has never been the same since his loan move to Torino last season, Hart has been awful for club and country.

He’s made weak efforts to save shots from Manchester United and Liverpool over the weekend, and with him in goal, it doesn’t seem to give his back four any confidence.

A back four, a couple of seasons ago, were one of the best in the league. Now, it’s one of the worst in the league. Winston Reid was a great warrior on the pitch, now, he seems to have gone back into his shell and isn’t putting in the tackles and blocks we’ve come to expect of the New Zealander in recent seasons.

Jose Fonte. Again, one of the best defenders in the league for Southampton, but since his move to East London, has been barely half the player he once was.

In midfield, the same old sorry story continues. Mark Noble, the embodiment of West Ham and plays the West Ham way. But, unless that way is to keep losing the ball and passing it aimlessly, Noble is playing as far away from the West Ham way as he possibly could!

As captain of the club he’s supported his entire life, I thought Noble would be rallying his team if they went a goal behind, but the fight seems to have gone from him.

In attack, West Ham signed Marko Arnautovic from Stoke for a fee of £25 million, which is a ludicrous amount for a player who only occasionally turns up for matches.

Even in his time at Stoke, Arnautovic on his day was unplayable, but those days we few and far between and the Austrian has not lived up to his price tag so far.

Up front, the whole Diafra Sakho has been a farce. It seemed that Sakho was being forced out of the club by Bilic, but eventually stayed at West Ham but hasn’t been starting for West Ham.

It’s always been Carroll, Hernandez or Antonio starting up front, but all three of them have failed to impress, while Sakho has been the best performing player in terms of goal scoring for West Ham.

The entire squad has lost its fighting spirit and is showing no desire to go out and win games for this once great club.

Now, West Ham fans who turn up to the London Stadium are very lucky to see a tiny amount of effort by their team, and the players a seriously letting down their supporters.

 

The prospect of David Moyes

Obviously, the sacking of Slaven Bilic leads to questions of who will take over the hot seat at the London Stadium, yet the owners seem to already have their replacement ready, in the form of David Moyes.

If David Moyes gets appointed as manager of West Ham, there is only one way the club is going, and that is down.

We’ve seen last season that he simply cannot handle a relegation battle, as he was the captain of the sinking ship that was Sunderland, and I simply cannot understand what the owners see in David Moyes to think that he is going to get them out of the mess they find themselves in.

In his last 85 games in all competitions, David Moyes has only won 20 of them. These 85 games include his time at Real Sociedad and Sunderland. In what world is this considered a good enough record to save a club like West Ham from the drop?

Then when we talk about the style of play.

Under Moyes, West Ham might be solid defensively but offer absolutely nothing up front and they won’t be a threat to any opposition teams, and I’m sure the West Ham fans will get sick and tired of this monotonous play style, especially when they won’t be winning any games.

David Moyes would be an absolutely absurd and wrong appointment.

You look at the likes of Sam Allardyce, Ronald Koeman and Guus Hiddink. Although they might not play the most attractive style of football, they will get results out of this poor team and turn their fortunes around. Moyes, on the other hand, will drag West Ham quicker to the Championship.

 

Verdict

So, is it too late to save West Ham this season?

Not yet, but if they hire Moyes, I believe West Ham are pretty much down and out.

You need a manager that distills confidence in the players and gets a reaction out of them, and with a manager like David Moyes on the touchline, what confidence are you going to get?

The January transfer window will be an opportunity to save an already embarrassing season for the Irons. Yet, who would be attracted to play for a club in a relegation battle? Certainly not many players.

This is a sorry season for West Ham so far, and they are going to end up in one place at the end of the season, and that’s the Championship.

 

Written by Sion Misra

Follow Sion on Twitter @sionmisra

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