This week, you might have noticed, seen struggling West Ham United sack their manager, Slaven Bilic, and replace him with David Moyes. The former Preston, Everton, Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland boss arrives in London with a reputation to store.
The club he takes over at, though, is in the same situation. The club lacks an identity of any real manner, and has done since they left Upton Park for the Olympic Stadium. Caught in-between trying to act like a big club and making weird managerial decisions alongside gross levels of player turnover, West Ham need a reboot.
Is David Moyes, though, the man to do it? As everyone has seen, his career post-Everton has been a nightmare. Once seen as a strong-minded, tactically astute and hyper-professional manager, Moyes is now seen as a bit of yesterday’s man.
He takes over a squad that is vastly lacking in quality, consistency and credibility. They have some very good players, and also a large squad of players who, frankly, aren’t good enough. Poor mentalities are commonplace in that squad, as are players who were on the cusp of being big-name European players who made the wrong move.
Moyes, then, is going to be working with a squad that is very out of sync with his Everton team. Rather than being workmanlike but professional and tactically prepared, this West Ham team looks ill-disciplined, lacking in hunger and with real issues on and off the park. They, frankly, sound more like the Sunderland squad that Moyes failed to get firing.
Astute signings in January will be needed, as will a rather specific overhaul of the playing staff. Whether that arrives or not, though, is unlikely. Moyes needs this to work and West Ham need to stay up: we just doubt their capacity to do so.
Moyes looks beaten and downcast as a coach, and United look like a team that had made one poor signing too many. The omens aren’t good, and the post-Everton Moyes hardly has a proud record of getting people up for it.
Can he do so here? Somehow, we doubt it. The clubs best performers this season are all the wrong side of 20 (or 30) and players they hoped would perform have absolutely failed to do so. With stars like Manuel Lanzini failing to fire and summer signing Javier Hernandez scoring a paltry 4 in 11, it’s hard to see where the wins or cohesion will come from.
And with a 6-month deal for Moyes, the chances of getting money to spend seems rather unlikely. Little faith, little quality and next to no desire: West Ham, and David Moyes, are in trouble.