Sport

David Moyes will fail at West Ham, but he should never have got this far

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Tom Victor
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David Moyes will fail at West Ham, but it should never have got this far

Right, I think it’s fair to say us West Ham fans have been through a lot these past few years.

We’ve watched on as the then-owner of our club was linked to the collapse of his country’s entire banking system.

We’ve read the news reports of our former record signing faking his own kidnapping.

We’ve seen our then-manager say of our new Portuguese signing, “I don’t know whether to play him or to fuck him”.

We’ve seen a player leave the club and fire a parting shot at our vice-chairman by calling her “the devil with a pair of tits”.

But we’d welcome any of these things right now (OK, maybe not the last one), if it meant David Moyes was no longer the manager of our football club.

David Sullivan, co-owner of the club, has called the appointment of the perennial failure “a gamble”.

It’s not a gamble.

A gamble is flipping a coin and calling heads or tails.

A gamble is hitting on 15 in blackjack.

A gamble requires there to be a potential positive outcome.

This is not a gamble.

To appoint a manager who has just finished bottom of the Premier League once is careless. To do it twice is beyond stupid.

In fact, this appointment is somehow worse than the decision to replace Gianfranco Zola with Avram Grant, because Grant had only failed with one team.

With Sunderland, Moyes managed to relegate a team that even Paolo di Canio had kept in the top flight.

With Real Sociedad, he achieved a worse win rate than all but one other manager in the last 10 years – that includes a pre-Wales Chris Coleman.

With Manchester United… well, you know how that one played out.

That’s not to say Slaven Bilic should have stayed on as manager. Two league wins all season is not good enough, and last season’s 45 points flattered the club when you look at the overall level of performance.

But Moyes? David Moyes? David William Moyes? Former Everton manager David Moyes? Uncapped Scottish defender David Moyes? 18.6% win-rate Sunderland coach David Moyes? Are you SURE?

Want an idea of how low 18.6% is?

If you get 18.6% of the way into ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’, Bonnie Tyler hasn’t even got restless yet.

18.6% of the way into Pulp Fiction and Mia Wallace hasn’t even appeared on screen.

If you order a medium Big Mac meal from McDonald’s and eat 18.6% of the calories, that’s just half the portion of fries and a couple of sips of coke.

That’s how successful David Moyes was as Sunderland manager.

moyes-sunderland

David Moyes: rubbish

Now, there’s also an elephant in the room here, and that’s Moyes’ comments to journalist Vicki Sparks last season.

You’re probably not the sort of person who dreads screwing up your apology after telling a female reporter she “might get a slap” due to her line of questioning during a press conference, but then again that’s probably because you’re not the sort of person who would say such a thing in the first place.

Still, if you have any common sense, you don’t refer to Sparks as ‘the girl’ in your apology.

You don’t do it twice in the same interview, at least.

You don’t bring up the fact that you have a daughter in your defence of telling a female reporter she “might get a slap”.

You don’t bring up the fact that you were merely “keen on them having one” when raising the subject of a women’s team at a club you managed in the past.

You ideally don’t have to get a press officer to tell reporters your comments were unrelated to the fact the journalist in question was a woman, even though your original comments to her included the phrase “even though you’re a woman”.

Certainly, you don’t want to have ALL THESE THINGS HAPPEN IN THE SAME APOLOGY INTERVIEW

sunderland

Still rubbish

David Moyes is a bad manager, who has seen his teams record back-to-back league wins exactly one time since March 2015.

He is a man whose history (and I say history, it was earlier this calendar year) surely embarrasses Brady, who has maintained the club is “passionately committed to equality, particularly for women” and who wrote in a national newspaper column about the Sparks incident: “I would like to think that any man who worked for me — no matter how wound up they feel by a reporter who is simply doing her job well — would not threaten to slap a woman”.

He is a man who will, according to reports, be given licence to sell some of the club’s young talent to help finance January signings, having spent his last transfer window signing three players with 10 league appearances between them that season, one of whom (Joleon Lescott) left the club having played just two games.

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He is a man who will undoubtedly relegate West Ham, and the only ‘excitement’ is whether he does it by finishing 20th or 19th.

In their statement accompanying the dismissal of Bilic, West Ham’s co-chairmen said: “We see this as an exciting opportunity to appoint a quality manager to the position to inject fresh ideas, organisation and enthusiasm into a very talented squad.”

It’s tough to see how someone who spent last season bringing in seven players he’s worked with before, and who told Champions League winning defender Nemanja Vidic to watch videos of Phil Jagielka to improve his game, fits that description.

West Ham fans are a demanding bunch, having booed off their team after they won a game as recently as 2014. At least with Moyes in charge they’ll have defeats to boo instead.

(Images: Rex)