Phil Parkes: ‘Where do we go from here? What happens next? I’m at a loss to answer’

The trouble we have now is the longer we go without picking up points, the more the pressure will build

Lukasz Fabianski (WHU) at the West Ham United v Leicester City EPL match, at the London Stadium, London, UK on November 12, 2022.

I really don’t know where to start after five defeats in a row before our draw from a winning position against Leeds. I felt like we’d turned a corner when we picked up three wins in the league in October, secured a double win in Europe against Anderlecht and a draw at Southampton.

But then we were in absolute freefall throughout November and December, and we were even dumped out of the League Cup by Blackburn when we were winning and comfortable. The run we’ve been on has been truly awful, and the five defeats have dropped us right in the thick of it at the bottom of the table.

I saw the highlights of the Leeds game and I felt we did well to get ourselves back in the game and get our noses in front. But both the goals we gave them – albeit they finished them well – were poor for us to concede. We had enough defenders around their goalscorers but no-one was close enough.

It seems to be we are all over the place. Where are the cool heads in this side?  I knew it would be a good game against Leeds but we had the opportunity to take all three points.

And had it not been for Fabianski’s save at the end, we could have lost the game and suffered a sixth straight defeat. I just don’t know where the confidence is going to come from.

The way things have been going, David Moyes has been really lucky to still have a job at West Ham but then who do we replace him with? That’s a tough question to answer. There are, however, a lot of clubs in a similar position to us at the moment, it’s very tight in the bottom half of the league.

Just take Southampton, they are only one win from getting out of the relegation zone. There’s no team that has been cut adrift like we’ve seen in previous seasons. At the moment, we just don’t look like we have the confidence to drag ourselves out of this situation.

Look at Soucek, what has happened to him? I get that he’s being played in a different role but surely Moyes has to see it’s not working. He has to accept that he has absolutely killed his game of wanting to cause problems in the opposition’s box.

Where do we go from here? I’m really at a loss, and it’s very frustrating. I noticed Moyes put Antonio and Scamacca up front together against Brentford but then against Leeds, he reverted back to taking one off to replace the other.  

I just find Moyes to be naive tactically. We also used to get ourselves back into games if we had a set back. But now we’re not creating enough chances, we’re not clinical enough and we struggle to get back into the game when we go a goal down.

Before we were keeping clean sheets too. They keep you in the league. If you draw every game 0-0 – albeit not something the fans want to see – you don’t get relegated. And just look at Arsenal and Man City, they always seem to manage to get results over the line, and we’ve just got to start doing that.

I watched the England games during the World Cup and there are some similarities between Southgate and Moyes. When things aren’t going right, they don’t improve a game. They don’t change the system a bit because I don’t think they have it in their armoury.

Certain managers can do this like Guardiola who chops and changes players, plays players in different positions and it seems to work.   When Moyes tries this, it doesn’t work. Could this be wearing down the players?  

One player who is key for England and West Ham is Declan Rice, and I read his comments whilst away at the World Cup. The sad reality is he will have to go. He can’t continue to play in a struggling side, it’s not fair on him.

What fans must always know is that he is still very passionate about the club and will do his best for us. But it must be frustrating for him to go to England and hears what the other players have been doing, and the games they’ve been playing in.

This month we have got two massive games against Wolves and Everton. All the sides down the bottom will know if they can just get a run of results together, it won’t take them long to climb the league table.

And after Wolves and Everton, we have games against Newcastle, Chelsea and Spurs. Last season or the year before, the prospect of playing these three sides wouldn’t have worried us.

We backed ourselves to cause them problems and get points from each game but now we’re all thinking differently. Perhaps the players are not looking forward to playing any game at the moment.

The trouble we have now is the longer we go without picking up points, the more the pressure will build. I just am hoping we can get a run going and also get a few breaks between now and the end of the season.

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