All the talk after the game against Sheffield United was on VAR after it controversially ruled out Robert Snodgrass’s injury time equalizer at Bramall Lane to earn West Ham a point against Sheffield United. For West Ham supporters it must feel like Groundhog Day. David Moyes is managing club where he was so unceremoniously dumped in 2018. Just as when Slaven Bilic was shown the door in November 2017, their statement explaining the decision to sack Pellegrini referred to the need to “move forward positively and in line with their ambition”, but the approach for Moyes is clear recognition they are in a relegation battle. And there were clear pointers to the fight at hand …
When will bad luck of players sickness and injuries end ?
Much like Felipe Anderson was sick for the win at Southampton at the back end of last year, Ajeti simply hasn’t been risked to travel with the squad having not trained either on Thursday. Albian Ajeti has been ruled out of the West Ham squad for the game against Sheffield United through illness.
Lukasz Fabianski’s hip injury at Bramall Lane has completely accelerated the need to get a new goalkeeper. David Martin, for all the niceties around his story, was signed as a third-choice stopper and his error after coming on to replace Fabianski last night was evidence. Martin can stand-in but he’s not a solution. There has to be serious concern now at the state of Fabianski’s hip after two successive injuries in one season. Not that he should be replaced permanently but his recovery has to be extremely well looked after now.
Moyes is a defense first guy so attacking talent will have to make most of chances
West Ham weren’t great. Moyes employed the five at the back formation again and it worked well until they conceded through a goalkeeping mistake from David Martin. The visitors pressed, Sebastien Haller was wasteful and also had a goal ruled out, rightly, for offside. Then Snodgrass had his goal ruled out.
On west ham’s performance, Gary Neville said “That’s the culture that needs to change. They have talented players. But, saying they played well and it would have been a great point but for VAR, I cant buy that.”
West Ham have acted quickly to ensure the former Everton and Manchester United manager was appointed in time for the showdown with Bournemouth at the London Stadium on New Year’s Day, although Sullivan and Gold will be aware the 56-year-old, out of work since being replaced by Pellegrini in May 2018, is not an appointment likely to inspire disillusioned fans.
Will West Ham survive the relegation battle ?
West Ham have had seven managers in the last decade. The Manuel Pellegrini era ended at West Ham in the way similar to Slaven Bilić. With a stretch of bad form, a statement, and the club’s future in the hands of a tediously familiar list of replacements, there is no sense of a broader plan or vision that football club is seeking. Quietly, in the wake of Pellegrini’s sacking, they also parted with Mario Husillos, the director of football.
West Ham seem fixated with hitting the home run in the transfer market. They want to make the big deal and to flash the big money. They believe, apparently unflinchingly, that there is one signing out there that could change everything – that if they write the right cheque, it could wall them inside the top-six forever. They see the transfer market as a means of purchasing credibility, as a way of performing a sporting quantum leap. West Ham continue to betray themselves as a club unwilling to conform to the usual models of step-by-step progress.
West Ham are no strangers to setbacks. They’ve twice been relegated in this century, and endured several spells in the second tier in the last century. However, with David Moyes at helm they may survive current season as their are teams below them which are facing a bigger relegation battle – Norwich City, Aston Villa , Bournemouth, Burnley and possibly Southampton/Watford ( who are on great escape ) are all trying to identify the right direction or objective this season for the club. At least West Ham knows their objective very clearly which is premier league survival for 2019/2020. They will survive..