The GoatyGav Column
Personally I’m backing Moyes and the players. The gaffer has done enough to deserve a decent chance of building his own squad, team, tactics and MO for the future. He’s inherited someone else’s squad, TWICE, and done enough to secure a Premier League future for the club when put in charge of teams in decline.
What I also like about him is he’s an honest, honourable bloke who appreciates the fans and the club’s history and traditions. You won’t find him cupping his ear to the stands, attempting to remove any of the images of historical victories, calling supporters (you know – those people whose hard earned cash pays for the whole circus to continue) deluded or denying that there was ever a ‘West Ham Way’.
I also like the fact that he’s humble. I like it because, as well as being an admirable, and likeable, quality, it also shows that he feels he can learn. With the bombast that you find with the, highly inflated, egos of so many managers you tend to find that they genuinely believe they know it all and have nothing to learn. They’re stuck in their ways and find it difficult, if not impossible, to adapt. None of that with David Moyes. He knows that he has to adapt because of the dynamic, ever changing, nature of modern football. At all times he remains a scholar, learns, adapts and moves on.
I don’t care if you call me a farm rabbit or not. Yes, maybe, I’m ignoring some of his faults. I do, however, recognise that his in-game management (substitutions and changes of shape/tactics) have not been the best but he’s earned the chance to learn from his own mistakes and put what he learns in to practice. I do believe, however, that he will improve this aspect of his management and that the task of making that improvement will become easier as he assembles his own squad.
So far I’ve not discussed any of DM’s previous management roles. Many of his detractors point out that he was unsuccessful in his time with Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland. I’m of the belief that the learning he gained in all three of those roles have made him a better manager because of the growth mindset that I highlighted earlier in the article. Away from what he learned at those three clubs you could also view his time with Preston North End, Everton and his first stint with West Ham as evidence of his quality. In all of those teams the players were completely on board there was a strong bond within the squads that all pulled together in the same direction. I remember thinking how much I would have liked to see David Moyes managing West Ham when he was in charge at Everton.
Notwithstanding his track record I would contend that there wouldn’t have been a manager in the world who wouldn’t have been on a hiding to nothing stepping in to Alex Ferguson’s boots. As mentioned in the comments yesterday he was on a hiding to nothing at Sunderland as well. That would leave Real Sociedad where, I’m sure, David Moyes would probably admit he struggled, after a good start in Season 2014-‘15, before being sacked, after a string of bad results, in November 2015 almost exactly a year after his appointment.
I’m looking forward to the next five games. Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek are clearly enjoying playing for the team and are repaying David Moyes’ faith in them. The Scot has a good track record for both signings and bringing youth players through. These are attributes that, under the current circumstances, will prove very useful in helping create a strong, competitive squad. The area that, I think, we have all recognised as being in most need of improvement over the last few years is at full back. If there’s a position that DM has an eye for, in terms of signings and development, then, I’d say, full back would be it. If not for bad advice then Jeremy Ngakia would be continuing to benefit from Moyes’ excellent full back coaching. I’ll be interested to see what the youngster’s agent comes up with for him as, despite not wishing him any ill, I think he’s stabbed himself in the foot by making the, possibly ill advised, decision that he has.
It’s time to back the manager and the team, stop the speedboat turns in strategy and allow the squad to develop. Let’s get off David Moyes’ back and support him.