Why West Ham United fans should be careful what they wish for

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Frustrations with manager David Moyes have begun to boil over in recent weeks.

If David Moyes is to lose his job in the coming weeks, then he will, at the very least, go down swinging. The Scot continues to teeter on the brink at West Ham, and Saturday's 2-0 defeat at the hands of relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest will have done little to appease a fanbase that is growing more discontented by the hour.

Not that Moyes necessarily thinks they have a right to be as disgruntled as they are. "I don’t think you can ever please everybody," he said in a post-match press conference over the weekend. "I think it would be hard to say there have been many better times at West Ham. Maybe they [the fans] want something different. But I think they’d honestly have to say it’s been as good a time as they’ve had at the club regarding winning a trophy, their league positions. Maybe they’ve had managers who excite them more. But the one who is sitting here wins more."

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Even given the relative triumphs of his tenure, however, criticisms of the West Ham boss are becoming increasingly overt. During Saturday's setback, a banner reading 'Moyes Out' was unfurled by the travelling Irons support, and several chants of 'You're getting sacked in the morning' could be heard during the course of the match. The tide of appreciation has well and truly turned.

To a certain extent, this is understandable. Previous success does not excuse present slumps, and it is now eight matches without a win in all competitions for the Hammers. Indeed, they are yet to win a game of football in 2024, and have slipped to ninth in the Premier League table as a consequence.

Added to that, Moyes must understand that the recent achievements he is so quick to expound have also altered expectations at the London Stadium. It is testament to his stint in the dugout that West Ham are now routinely viewed in the same bracket as a Newcastle United or an Aston Villa, yes, but the flip side is that becoming a club of that stature does not allow for eight-game winless streaks as standard. Moyes, you could argue, is almost a victim of his own success.

Nevertheless, when calling for his head, West Ham supporters should perhaps be mindful of what exactly it is they are wishing for. There are, after all, no guarantees that a new manager would bring with them any kind of notable or sustained upturn in fortunes. It was only a little over four years ago that Moyes was parachuted in for a second spell at the London Stadium following the resounding failure of the Manuel Pellegrini experiment.

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To watch West Ham at the present moment in time is to witness a side who are soundly under-performing, but who have also beaten the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, and Tottenham this season. There is something worthwhile in this squad, the Hammers just desperately need to find a way of rediscovering and rekindling it.

Many will argue that Moyes is not the man to do that - that his tactics have grown stale and that his general approach is far too conservative. Perhaps they are right. Or perhaps there is nobody better placed to revive an ailing dressing room than the man who built it in his image.

With relegation unimaginable, and with a European campaign still in progress, West Ham do at least have the buffer of safety and the glimmer of optimism in their favour this season, and while fans are absolutely justified in their frustrations in Moyes and his team, there is also an argument to be made for a measure of patience and calmer heads prevailing. This could well be the end of David Moyes' time as West Ham manager, or it may just be a blip in an otherwise positive working relationship. The Scot is desperate to ensure it is only the latter.

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