Could Moyes’ end-of-season karaoke song be Let Me Entertain You?

West Ham supporters have to make a decision. Do we want to win games and not be entertained?

David Moyes (West Ham manager) gets the yellow card from Referee Thomas Bramall at the Brentford v West Ham United EPL match, at The G-Tech Stadium, Brentford, London, UK on 4th November, 2023.

There’s one thing that in my eyes is pretty clear and that is when the End of Season Party comes about and the karaoke machine is cranked up, David Moyes chosen song won’t be ‘Let me Entertain You’. Let’s be honest, if it was, there would be a few of us laughing out loud and it won’t be due to our manager gyrating like a latter day Robbie Williams. It will be due to the song choice. 

The question has to be asked after recent performances, when has David Moyes ever entertained us with his brand of football? Does Moyesball rank with the days of Curbishley or Allardyce when, let’s be honest, watching West Ham play at times was like watching paint dry. It was that exciting. 

But is this now the lowest we have ever been when entertainment is mentioned? Well, first off, I have to make an admission. I have been a West Ham supporter since I can remember and when finances and work commitments allowed, I became a season ticket holder in 1998 and still hold that accolade. 

So I have over a quarter of a century of watching the Hammers week-in, week-out. With a round trip journey of over 300 miles a game, let’s not even think of my carbon footprint. But my support has started to wane. Last season I missed more home games than I had missed in all those other seasons combined. 

If that’s a bad admission, it gets worse. This season I can count on one hand how many home games I have attended. Have I lost my love of the Hammers? I have to say no as I attend most away games and watch home games on television. So what has changed?

Well there are two factors. Factor one has to be the stadium. Yes when we are being entertained it can be rocking, but there comes that word again, entertain. It’s a clear factor that that word doesn’t fit with watching West Ham these days. But wasn’t the Allardyce and Curbishley years, at times, dull football? 

Yes it was and we all craved for mid-table mediocrity but when Curbishley gave it to us, we all craved for the excitement of a top-of-the-table run or those of us who are masochists craved for a relegation battle with us surviving by the skin of our teeth. I guess we couldn’t have it both ways. But there was one significant difference and that was,in the words of Russ Abbott and not Joy Division, ‘Oh what an atmosphere! I love a party with a happy atmosphere, So let me take you there, And you and I’ll be dancin’ in the cool night air!’

The Curbishley and Allardyce years were at the Boleyn where the majority of us had seen it all before and often when we were not entertained, we made our own entertainment on the terraces. With our attendance now almost doubling, it has brought to the game a very different fan base.

It’s a fan base, seemingly cash rich and if they don’t like what they see, they simply walk away. The London Stadium can have the atmosphere of a morgue at times. And time and time again, the queues for the bar start well before the half time whistle and queues for public transport well before the final whistle sounds. 

The days of fans staying and doing the conga as West Ham are losing 6-0 are long gone, and yes I know that was away to Reading but it was under Curbishley. It’s also my observation that since Covid people have changed, they are more expecting and more demanding. So are we the ones at fault?

It comes down to a simple fact that if fans are entertained then they will stay. It’s as simple as that. There is a famous quote from the once Los Angeles Raiders owner Al Davis. It’s three little words, ‘Just win baby’. 

That seemed to be the mantra of Sam Allardyce and now David Moyes, it’s get points at all cost and if it means it’s done by boring tactics so be it. Just look at Moyes with his quote of ‘winning is what I do’, it seems winning at every cost no matter how boring or dull the game plan is, as long as it results in points on the board then all’s good. 

The problem lies with us older West Ham supporter. Those of us who are not local, chose West Ham as our team not because they were winners but because they played the game the right way. They played it to entertain, often it didn’t result in points but hey it was, and wait for it, the West Ham Way. 

Why did we all sing that Lanzini played the West Ham Way? Was it because he hoofed the ball around or played backwards passes? No, it was because he was exciting to watch. Now though we are set up not to lose. The problem is that we are losing and that then highlights the actual performance on the pitch. 

We are now regularly outplayed and there never seems to be a Plan B. Recently I was in Belfast and got talking to my taxi driver. He asked my opinion on David Moyes and I told him he needed to go. ‘You must be mad,’ he said. ‘He’s just won you a European trophy’. ‘Yes’, I answered. ‘But have you seen the football we are playing at the moment?’

We often hear the words, ‘be careful what you wish for’, but can the lack of entertainment go on? With season tickets no doubt being increased in price, will the old West Ham supporter think it’s time to move on? 

The club, of course, won’t mind that as we have two million on the waiting list, slight exaggeration there, but new fans bring in new money. For every night playing Seville, there is a Liverpool or Nottingham Forest just waiting around the corner. ‘Let me entertain you’. I have a feeling that Robbie Williams’ jumpsuit and cape won’t be needed by a certain West Ham manager. 

And as for us supporters, we have to make a decision. Do we want to win games, or not as we are at the moment, and not be entertained? Or do we want entertainment and hope it breeds results? I’ve made my choice with my feet this year. 

I want excitement, I want to be entertained, I want football to be fun. I think that’s not much to ask for my hard-earned cash but does the West Ham ownership and management team think the same way? I’ll leave you to be the judge of that one.

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