Luckily I waited until after the phenomenal 3-2 win over Chelsea before writing this piece.
As a result David Moyes’ managerial record at West Ham makes for slightly better reading. But only just. Since the Hammers completed the double over the Blues in that oh so dramatic game at London Stadium on July 1, I’ve heard Moyes referred to as ‘Tartan Diego Simeone’, our ‘Scottish saviour’ and of course ‘The Moyesiah’.
But the reality of the situation does not make for pleasant reading for the man who told everyone ‘winning is what I do’. Well man, go on then! Moyes’ woeful Premier League points-per-game ratio in his second spell with West Ham went from 0.67 to 0.84 after the Chelsea win.
But 11 points from 13 league games is still abject form which would be sackable at any properly run club. Add that to his 1.22 league PPG rate from his first spell and his managerial record at the Irons is really not something to shout about.
However, I’m still on cloud nine after his tactical genius saw Andriy Yarmolenko come on and put Frank Lampard’s side to the sword for the second time this season. So I’m willing to shut my eyes and ears and pretend the Chelsea game was the springboard for Moyes’ long and illustrious West Ham career during which the Hammers will win the Champions League. (I’m not really).
Now most fans generally consider Harry Redknapp the club’s best manager of the Premier League era. I happen to have moments of longing for the return of peak Alan Pardew but each to their own.
Redknapp had an impressive PPG ratio and win percentage and surprisingly so did Alan Curbishley. Long term fans favourite Slaven Bilic’s record also stands up to the test of time – especially the last season at Upton Park. But do fans really care about stats?
Much was made of the recent comparison between Moyes and Avram Grant’s abysmal win rates while in charge at the Hammers. But ultimately don’t we just want exciting football and exciting players – with which comes a few wins?
Now since Redknapp managed his impressive numbers across seven seasons from 1994 to 2001, bringing genius in Paolo Di Canio and producing the goldest of golden generations, it is hard to argue with people who claim he’s West Ham’s best of the Prem era. And as a fan who wants memorable moments and an attractive style of play I loved the Redknapp age too. We even came fifth once for crying out loud!
After Harry, Glenn Roeder was Glenn Roeder. But further down the line, Pardew led us to our first FA Cup final for 36 years and had us playing dazzling football with a group of players who loved West Ham and will be loved in return for years to come.
James Collins, Bobby Zamora, Dean Ashton, Matty Etherington, Yossi Benayoun. What you wouldn’t give to have players like that in the team today. On the flip side, Sam Allardyce was the very essence of anti-football but some fans still pine for the return of his horrid style of play that saw the Bolton brigade of Kevin Nolan, Joey O’Brien, Matty Taylor and Jussi Jaaskelainen thrown together for one last hurrah.
Granted, the promotion surge and the play-off final victory when the most likeable of the ex-Trotters Ricardo Vaz Te fired us back to the Prem will live long in the memory. But the image that burns brightest is the ‘detached-from-reality’ northerner cupping his ear to the paying faithful for having the audacity to boo the grimmest of victories at home to Hull City in March 2014.
Counter that with the image of Slav in floods of tears having led his team of heroes to a historic victory over Manchester United in the last game at Upton Park. Or perhaps more pertinently, the one of him departing the training ground having been relieved of his duties and sadly but magnanimously accepting his fate and thanking the club for the opportunity.
Give me a Bilic or a Redknapp, a Pardew and hell even a Curbishley over a Grant, Allardyce or Moyes any day of the week. Let’s face it, Moyes is at West Ham because no other club wanted him when we decided he was no good last time.
He’s here for the payday – seemingly the only one he could get – just like Manuel Pellegrini before him. I don’t begrudge Moyes at all because he didn’t give himself the job and he genuinely seems to be trying his best.
But he has no affinity to West Ham, no connection with the fans and that is not what we need as a club at a time when very little about it makes us feel connected. At least Gianfranco Zola was smiley whilst being rubbish. Anyone got Pardew’s number?