I’ve lost faith in David Moyes. He’s defensive line-ups still leak goals like a colander and his reluctance to show any real attacking intent at any point have, unfortunately, worn me down.
I know he has an unbalanced, injury-ravaged squad which isn’t really his fault. But he’s not done enough with what he has to merit an extension to his contract.
And whilst wanting him out is a perfectly acceptable standpoint, it does beg the question – who should we get to replace him?
The Bournemouth boss was the future of English football management not that long ago. Awarded the Manager of the Decade award in 2015, as he guided the Cherries to the promised land, he has kept the fi nancially out-gunned side from the south coast in the Premier League for three seasons, playing an attack-minded brand of football.
He is a young, ambitious manager who likes to sign young, ambitious players and develop them, rather than a ‘big name’ regardless of whether they suit the team’s style of play. There are times over the last three years when Bournemouth have played some lovely stuff , they move the ball quickly, look to play along the fl oor in behind the defensive lines or get it wide.
They attack in numbers and with pace and look to win the ball high up the pitch when they lose possession. In a time when managers are playing defensive, don’t-lose tactics in order to stay in the division, Howe has achieved the seemingly impossible of keeping Bournemouth in the big time by actually trying to win games.
Yet despite all of this, Howe seems a little off the radar of late. When it seemed Wenger might be on his way out of the Emirates a season or so back, Howe’s name was bandied about. This time not so much.
It may be we could swoop with a lucrative off er. We have seen what a diff erence a coach with fresh ideas and a focus on development of a ‘style’ can make (in the form of Pochettino and Guardiola amongst others) and his attacking philosophy would be a breath of fresh air at the London stadium. I’d break the bank for him.
You could argue that it is Rafa Benitez’s fault we are in the state we currently fi nd ourselves. Had the Spaniard resisted the temptations of managing Real Madrid back in the summer of 2015, it would have been under his stewardship, rather than Bilic’s, that we would have bid farewell to the Boleyn and embarked on our new life at the London Stadium.
Rafa has been impressive during his time in Newcastle, guiding them to promotion and a seemingly comfortable mid table(ish) finish in their return season in the top flight. A decorated manager with league titles from Spain as well as domestic, UEFA and European cup victories for Liverpool, Inter, Napoli, Valencia and Chelsea – it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see him pick up manager of the year award for his work with the toon.
Newcastle’s squad is weaker than ours but is above us on wins and goal difference, and in truth they have never really looked in any danger of relegation. He also has great experience of working under bothersome, interfering owners, handling the ‘politics’ of the game better than most. He may be the man to finally get the board to fall in line. He also may feel he owes us one.
Huddersfield manager David Wagner used to be assistant to Jurgen Klopp during his time in Dortmund. There are similarities between the style they dictate their teams play too. The intensive ‘high-press’ is a characteristic both sides possess, though obviously Liverpool have a higher calibre of players to perform it, as is a desire to be on the front foot and attack as soon as they get the ball.
If we are looking for a manager who will ensure the side can be seen to be working hard and trying to hurt teams, we could do worse than the German. And whilst Huddersfield may eventually be found to lack the quality to survive the season, they have won praise for their approach and attitude. That in itself would be a refreshing change at the LS.
Back in November Marco Silva was a man in demand. Having impressed pundits and fans with the style and resilience he brought to a Hull side, who were effectively dead and buried in the league before he arrived, he joined Watford in the summer and started in sensational fashion.
He managed to fuse the multiple nationalities at the club well, signed a few of England’s impressive u21 stars and set his team up to attack with pace and power. Watford were flying and Everton were said to be interested. In the end we went for Moyes, Big Sam got the gig for the Toffees and the wheels came off Silva’s reign at Vicarage Road. There obviously remain question marks over his long-term ability, but he certainly seems to have the ‘bounce-factor’. He’s also available without a buy-out fee, which would suit our owners.
I’ve written previously about the merits of The Ginger Mourinho, and there can be no doubts that the Burnley manager has surpassed all expectations this season. His side have always been resolute in their defensive work and this campaign has seen him tease some more attacking prowess out of his charges.
They are direct in their play, getting the ball forward with quick transitions into the wide areas and like to work the keeper as much as possible with crosses and shots from distance. He also makes proactive changes to win games, as evidenced by his decision to bring on an extra attacker against us, when they ran out 3-0 winners (and we ran on the pitch!). How many of our draws could have been turned into wins with that kind of approach? He may be both difficult to convince and costly to get but could well be worth it.
There was a point when it seemed Stuart Pearce was going to be a top coach. He managed Manchester City, the England U21 side (reaching a semi final and a final – losing both on penalties), stood in as caretaker manager for England and coached the Great Britain Olympic football team.
He’s had some time out of the game, punctuated only by a brief spell at Nottingham Forest when they were hiring and firing managers like nobody’s business, but has kept his toe in the water. I’m not saying he’s the ideal candidate but he knows the club both as a player and a coach, he’d give youngsters a go, wouldn’t suffer laziness and would show some fight when required.
He’d also be the cheapest option of all, and given our owners, that alone might mean he’s worth having a cheeky bet on. There are other names, Brendan Rodgers has been mentioned by some and Fulham’s Slaviša Jokanović has impressed, in truth the list could go on and on.
But maybe that serves to highlight just how much a portion of our fanbase want something, anything other than Moyes to lead us next season. Regardless of whether he keeps us up or not.