Phil Parkes: Moyes needs to stop being so cautious to turn our season around

We should be seeing a lot more of the new players, and we should be giving them a chance to prove themselves

David Moyes (West Ham manager) at the Aston Villa v West Ham United EPL match, at Villa Park, Birmingham, UK on August 28, 2022.

I saw some stats of our final seven games last season and the first seven games of this season and it’s a horror show. We’ve won two and drawn three out of 14. That’s not good form, certainly not top 10 form – that’s relegation form. It’s a worry that, as I’ve said before, we have carried on where we left off last season.

I think because we have brought so many new guys in, people had high hopes but we’ve had the rug pulled from under our feet again. I know Moyes is a cautious manager but to me, he seems to be playing it too cautiously at the moment. He’s removed some of our strengths. We used to hit teams on the break but I feel like he’s now got into the mindset of setting up our team not to lose. That just entices the opposition to come at us.

We have kept one clean sheet this season, which out of seven games is not great. If we are getting clean sheets and struggling to score then we get something out of the game.

I just think we haven’t gone out to really attack teams, we’ve gone out there to be cautious, and I think that’s part of the reason we’ve become stuck lately. We haven’t become a bad side overnight though, certainly not with the players we have got and brought in.

Decent players

Moyes hasn’t changed the team around too much though, and I think he is frightened of giving our new signings a run in the side.  But at the end of the day, he has bought international players. Two of them played against England for Italy. They are decent players. We should be seeing a lot more of the new players, and we should be giving them a chance to prove themselves.

Also when Moyes makes subs it’s always like-for-like. He doesn’t appear to change the formation. Why doesn’t he try to play Antonio and Scamacca up top?

I really thought he was astute enough to be able to turn things around and get the best out of the players. I know there will be some who say we should’ve got something from the Forest and Everton games with the chances we created in both. But it’s a real worry that the form we had has gone away and Moyes has not been able to bring the players back.

It does make me wonder if losing Noble’s influence in the dressing room has had a great impact. Are they missing him in there?  At least he will still be around the club and involved from January. Will he be in the dressing room again and around on match days though? I’m not so sure.

Really concerned

For me, I just can’t put my finger on why or where we are going wrong. But everything that I’m seeing right now is a worry and I’m really concerned. What’s not helping is that Bowen and Rice are not on top form. We need Rice to be performing to make the team tick a bit.

How we sort it all out, I don’t know. When I was playing and you’d go through spells like some of our players are, I would try to sort myself out first and make sure I’m doing my job right but then if things are still not going right, you start to look elsewhere.

You look at the manager to turn it around and do something. At the end of it all, he is the boss. 

Looking ahead to our run of games before the World Cup, we should get some points in the games coming up but how many times have we said that before? A few wins between now and the World Cup and everything will look OK again and then we will say why were we so worried?  

You know, right now, it’s great we have won our first two games in Europe but they aren’t quality European sides. We don’t want to be the side that wins this competition and also gets relegated. Our bread and butter is the Premier League, and that’s what our number one focus should be.

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