Three defeats to start the season, no goals scored, bottom of the table; Are you panicking yet?
Meirion Williams: Maybe not panicking but I’m certainly concerned. I cannot remember a time when so many of our first team players were so badly out of form yet the manager seemingly can’t see it. But this isn’t a blip, we ended the season poorly so this is just a continuation of that form. There are players that seem to get picked purely on past performances. It’s also concerning that panic seems to have set in within the club and we seem to be throwing money at any player that shows the remotest interest of wanting to join us.
Nina Button: I am not panicking – yet – but we need to see a massive change and fast. When you look at who we have played, I believe we were just the first victim of a ridiculously good Manchester City team who will win the league, comfortably. I also believe that on another day we would have beaten Forest by three or four goals, and we all know about the Brighton curse.
Brian Penn: I agree with Meirion and Nina; I’m not panicking yet. It’s not like we haven’t been here before. But what does concern me is this time last season, we were top of the table with virtually the same team. So something is wrong that needs to be quickly rectified.
Emily Pulham: Sorry guys but I’m panicking – I’m panicking hard. It’s not just that we didn’t score a goal in the Premier League during those three games, it’s that we also didn’t look likely to score one. Panic stations at the ready!
Have your ambitions for this season changed at all in light of our opening three defeats?
MW: Survival at all costs now seems to be the order of the day. I had hoped for a top six finish and a cup run but now I would settle for mid-table mediocrity. I know it’s early days and we can turn this all around but having been to every game this season, I have seen nothing that gives me confidence that we can repeat the last two seasons.
NB: My expectations are probably always too high before the season and it was quite a reality check. I do think that top four is already out of the question and our aim should be to solidify ourselves in that top six. However, my ambition is to win a trophy, any trophy. I was speaking to an Arsenal fan who turned her nose up at the FA Cup – they don’t know the struggle.
BP: My ambitions haven’t changed. I still think we can win a cup and comfortably finish in the top 10. I don’t see why that isn’t possible but Moyes has to make better use of the players he has available.
EP: Again, sorry everyone, but mine have changed. I was envisioning us pushing on from our lofty league position last year. I had hoped this year we’d have more reinforcements and wouldn’t run out of steam at the end, but we haven’t even had enough steam to start yet. We’re on relegation form.
Are you concerned that our current Premier League form could impact our Conference League campaign and League Cup commitment?
MW: The simple answer is no. The league is everything in my eyes, that’s where the money lies and that’s what encourages players to stay and join our club. What good is a Conference League trophy or a League Cup when we could get relegated?
NB: I am definitely concerned as confidence plays a massive factor in performance. However, Moyes seems to be using very different XI’s in the matches and these players are determined to prove themselves I’m sure and perhaps the losses won’t be playing so heavily on their minds. We are still at the very start of the season and there is plenty of time to turn it around.
BP: I think it could do precisely the opposite. When we’re struggling in the league, the cup games will provide some light relief. But it feels like a choice between a good season in the league or cups. Is our squad big enough to do both?
EP: Weirdly I don’t. So far we’re putting out arguably better and stronger teams in Europe than we are at home. If we’re going to be in a relegation battle, we have to focus on safety rather than Europe, but given Moyes doesn’t agree with me on anything, I doubt he’ll agree with me on this point either.
What have you made of our new signings?
MW: It is so frustrating at the moment that none of them start on a regular basis. We have a striker who scores goals but sits on the bench while a converted winger starts. We have an ex-Burnley star sitting on his hands while our midfield struggles. I think they could come good but as is the Moyes way, he can be too cautious. Would Vlasic have been a West Ham star? Who knows. We have the danger of others being just like him, not given a chance.
NB: With the very limited time our new signings have played, I think some of them have looked sharp. I believe Cornet is going to be a massively successful player at the club, along with Scamacca. Cornet offers something we have missed for years, pace. That boy is so quick and direct, and has proven himself in the Premier League. I think we have made some great signings, I just don’t want Flynn Downes to become Kral 2.0.
BP: Scamacca looks like a class act and should start regularly. He’s got positional awareness and has shown he can score goals if given the chance. Also Maxwell Cornet looks good and is forming a useful understanding with Scamacca.
EP: I’ve written my in-depth thoughts on the fleeting sightings we’ve had of the new boys for this month’s issue. Spoiler alert: they look great, I’d just like to see more of them.
What did you make of comments by Moyes suggesting booing at the London Stadium is stopping West Ham attracting ‘top players’, after ‘a couple of people who were very keen to come’ watched our home defeat by Brighton?
MW: It was an absolutely ridiculous statement. It’s so easy to blame the fans who no longer have a voice rather than a board who offer ridiculous offers for players which clearly would not be accepted. It’s almost, but not quite, like an Allardyce-cupping-of-the-ear moment in my eyes, a disgraceful comment. Football is no longer a working man’s game. Those of us who attend spend a lot and have a right to voice our opinions. I would never boo the team but when the Brighton game, as an example, took 12 hours of my life, including travel, plus close to £80 to attend without even including the cost of the ticket, I think we have a right to say how we feel. Don’t blame the fans, blame the players and look in the mirror Moyes is my thoughts.
NB: I think ‘top’ players have been rejecting us all window, when it comes down to personal terms and wage agreements, that is not on the fans. On the other hand, I agree with Meirion in that I don’t believe in booing your own team. Fans can absolutely express their disappointment, however, three games into the season is not the time to start this behaviour. To me, those comments are a deflection on poor choices made by Moyes in all three games.
BP: It’s certainly not helpful. Zouma’s still being booed. He did what he did and has been punished for it. You can see it’s affecting him so players will think twice about coming here.
EP: Well, it’s not helpful, but I don’t think it’s our biggest problem right now. I would suggest our inability to score goals or win games would be more off-putting to signings rather than fans not being happy about their team losing. Imagine watching the sinking of the Titanic and saying it’s the people screaming in the water who are the issue.