Phil Parkes: ‘We’ve had a few positives lately but our Spurs & Brighton displays were awful’

As soon as they get a few more wins, the difference in the confidence will be amazing

Declan Rice (WHU) at the West Ham United v Chelsea EPL match, at the London Stadium, London, UK on February 11, 2023.

We picked up five points last month and given our current position in the league, you do have to look at what we achieved positively. But the biggest disappointment for me, after getting those two results away at Newcastle and at home to Chelsea, was to go to Tottenham and we were abysmal.

It looked like we had no idea going forward. It was as though they were frightened to attack and that’s how we seem to have become in these fixtures. I heard somewhere that Moyes set out his game plan for Tottenham and said that our aim was to contain them for 75 minutes and then try to hit them on the break in the last 15 minutes.

That’s not what West Ham fans want to hear is it? It really isn’t. It’s like we’re trying to hang on by the skin of our teeth. As it turned out, we had a good chance at the start and then after they scored, Bowen had a really good chance but he hit it too close to the ‘keeper.

At the end of the game, you’re thinking how are we ever going to score and then we go and score four against Forest. It’s such a topsy-turvy season with the way that everything is going. You really can never guarantee anything in football.  

It’s so unpredictable. Southampton beating Chelsea – where did that one come from? We win a couple more games and we’re in mid-table and if we lose twice then we’ll end up back in the bottom three.

It’s very frustrating. I think the club missed the boat when they decided to stick with David Moyes. I do hope that he turns the whole thing around though and I certainly don’t envy his job.

I know they get well paid but it’s such a pressurised job now and I don’t think it was in my day. I saw Oxford sacked their manager because they lost seven games in eight. We live in a disposable society with commodities and if it doesn’t work, throw it away and get a new one.

And it’s becoming like that with managers. They are just on a merry-go-round.  I know the club are being very loyal to Moyes at the moment. If Sullivan does want to sell the club then the last thing he’ll want is for West Ham to get relegated because then it will affect his plans of selling.

It’s quite strange, you look at our league position and you’d think we were having a nightmare season but then we’re in the last 16 in the Conference League and were in the last 16 of the FA Cup. It’s important that we don’t let this slip now. Ings started the game against Forest and scored two goals, that’s going to give him a lot of confidence.

Hopefully Moyes is going to start him in the league games. If he then goes out and scores more goals then things just keep rolling. Bowen scored those two goals but hasn’t really kicked on. Before that he didn’t really look like himself.  

I felt sorry for him in the Tottenham game because he got kicked all over the park. They really did a number on him. They didn’t pick on Antonio like they did on Bowen because they know they are going to get it back.

The only tiny positive from that Spurs game was Soucek being allowed to get forward much more. But what’s the deal with Benrahma? I think Moyes has a problem with him.

He was playing so well earlier on this season but he doesn’t always start him, he brings him on much later on. You think to yourself, is this a personal thing or what? It looked as though at one stage that he was our best player. He was doing really well and I just don’t understand it.

Moyes is the manager so what he says and does has to go, but sometimes it baffles you what his decisions are. We’ve got to take our recent form – Spurs aside – into all our games from now on. They’ve got to go out there and give it their all.

Against Spurs, they looked as though they were shattered. I don’t understand why that was or where this has come from. It’s not as though they have been playing twice a week for the past five weeks but it just seemed as though there was no energy there.

Even Rice, who is normally non-stop running, looked very leggy and tired. I don’t know if they have been doing something different in training. When we go into our games now, we really need everyone to be 100% and on top of their game to get more points.

As soon as they get a few more wins, the difference in the confidence will be amazing. It’ll be the case of me writing this column at the start of May and saying what was all the fuss about? All the sides at the bottom right now are very close. Even in the Championship, the teams at the bottom have got 31 points.  

Normally one team will be well adrift, no-one is cut off in either the Premier League or Championship. Southampton are at the bottom as I write this, two wins and they are out of it. It’s a really strange season. The magical number is always 40 points but I don’t think we’ll need that this season.

For me, Bournemouth will struggle and Southampton could too although they sacked Jones, and maybe the players will react better with this other guy. They got a great result against Chelsea. I don’t think Wolves will be involved but I could see Forest and Leeds being dragged into it.  

Everton had a good win against Arsenal but I think Dyche is finding he’s not quite got the team he might have. I like him as a manager but it’s going to be tough for them too. Leicester could be drawn back into it because they weren’t far away not long ago.

They have had a couple of good results but also had a few defeats. They are ones that keep losing or winning, not drawing games.

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