Phil Parkes: This bizarre season’s over but the hard work begins now for Moyes’ boys

It's been a really weird season for many reasons with some strange results

A ball is sprayed with a disinfecting mixture at the EPL match West Ham United v Burnley, at the London Stadium, London, UK on 16th January, 2021. English Premier League matches are still being played behind closed doors because of the current COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, and government social distancing/lockdown restrictions.

It was such a frustrating end to the season after we showed so much promise for much of this campaign.

I know it’s been a really weird season for many reasons with some strange results – just look at the Arsenal Chelsea score this month, and also how Man City came back to win the league. It’s been bizarre.

But I’m sure my frustrations with how the final month panned out will be shared with many West Ham fans. 

We got ourselves into an incredible position and then we go to Newcastle. They have struggled this season, we should’ve beaten them but didn’t.

We’ve done this before against Newcastle. When they’ve struggled over the years and can’t buy a win, they inevitably play and beat us. It was so frustrating.

It feels bittersweet at the moment. I think over the summer we will look back on this season as having been a really good, positive campaign.

I think it’s been great for the fans for so many reasons and the fact we’ve not had to worry about relegation at all this season is a huge positive.

I’m sure the 10,000 allowed in to our final game of the season at home against Southampton will enjoy getting back to watching live football in the London Stadium.

And, I’m sure we’re all looking forward to returning next season and hoping we continue our good form into the new campaign.

But I don’t think it’s going to be easy. And I think the players themselves will look back on the season and think they could’ve done better.

The owners need to give Moyes the backing to bring in the players he wants this summer, that’s really important.

After the Boys of 86 season, we didn’t bring in enough new blood, and didn’t add quality to the squad.

You’ve got to look at the likes of Liverpool and Man City, they win things and then they strengthen again.

I’m convinced that if John Lyall had been able to bring in three or four good quality players that we would have kicked on and won things.

The owners have the back Moyes, we have to keep improving and not rest on our laurels.

I don’t want to see us ending up signing Moyes’ third or fourth choice players – the fans deserve more than that this year.

It’s really on a knife edge whether this is an exciting new chapter in our history or a one-off.

This season could be the platform to build on and go onto win something. I know the league is probably unrealistic but we should really go for the cups.

We’ve got a side currently that is more than capable of doing this, but it’s important the club handle things correctly. 

Otherwise next season we could be battling relegation again. We have no guarantee that we are going to have a good campaign next season.

This is West Ham. Supporters of the other teams towards the top end of the league know they are going to be there or thereabouts next season.

We just never know what’s going to happen, but one thing that I do know is that we will find it tougher next season.

We’ve had some really good signings in Coufal and Soucek. They’ve really excelled this season.

But whilst the other Premier League teams didn’t know about them when they signed, they know all about them now.

Because of the good campaign we’ve had, our opposition next season will be preparing differently to play us.

These sides will be more aware of the likes of Soucek but also coming up with ways to stop Antonio having a run at defenders, and Rice driving forward.

In my day, when we signed Frank McAvennie, no-one knew who he was, not a clue.

We didn’t know where he played but in his first game, he played in centre mid.

Then Paul Goddard got injured, we didn’t have a striker on the bench so John Lyall brought on another midfielder and pushed Frank up top and the rest is history.

That’s how he became a forward. No-one knew how good he was at the start, but after that season they did and everyone knew what he was capable of. 

Here’s hoping for a summer of quality signings, and another positive season. One that doesn’t involve Newcastle doing the double over us. Enjoy your summer.

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