George Parris: ‘Moyes may think he’s taken the side as far as he can but who’ll make the final call?’

If Moyes does go, I hope he goes on his own terms but I would be very surprised if he’s still in charge for next season

David Moyes (West Ham manager) at the West Ham United v Liverpool EPL match, at the London Stadium, London, UK on 27th April, 2024.

I’m writing this following our draw against Liverpool, which probably ended their title race and any small chance we had of qualifying for Europe for a fourth season in a row. After the Palace result and performance, the visit of Liverpool was the perfect game for us to try to put the record straight.

We didn’t have a midweek game either so there couldn’t have been any concerns about people being tired, and because Liverpool needed to win as well, it made for a good game I thought with both teams going for it. But in truth, Liverpool winning the league and us getting a European spot were both going to be tough asks, especially for us with teams around us having games in hand.

Newcastle also seem to be flying again and Manchester United are still doing enough to keep above us, but I do wonder if Villa win the Conference League that maybe there will be an extra space up for grabs in the league? As for our Europa League exit, it really came down to fine margins. I think the turning point in the second game was when they took their centre half off because he was our best player.

If that was the other way round, I don’t think Moyes would have taken off one of our defenders after 25 minutes, would he? That was the difference in my opinion but we had a good go at it. They also made a couple of subs in the second half in both games which changed both matches as well.

They also just did what they have been doing all season, scoring late in both legs. Was the damage done in the first leg, psychologically, after defending so well and then conceding twice at the end? Yeah, most probably, and I then I felt the Palace game was one game too many for us.

The performance was very poor but you look at it, rightly or wrongly, some of those players can’t play two games a week. That’s a game to put a couple of younger players in because players like Zouma can’t play that high intensity for games too close together because everyone knows about his knees.
You just can’t do that against a side like Palace and how athletic they were.

But look, I’ve said before and will keep saying that where we are in the league now is about right for us. We are a 7th, 8th and 9th spot club. That’s just the nature of what we’re up against so I’m not too disappointed with how this season has panned out because I feel like at times in previous seasons, we’ve punched above our weight.

People will mention some games where we could’ve done better this season but then you look at games like away at Arsenal and Spurs where we had a good steal. I think over a season, it levels itself out. You have to look at it that some of the games we nicked it and won, but next season we will get tanked and vice versa. Hopefully our season doesn’t fall away too much now.

There has also been talk recently about the futures of Paqueta, Kudus and Bowen but hopefully they will see that there is progression and want to still be part of it. I think the manager situation, and how quickly it is sorted out, will play a part in their thinking.

That’ll help all the players still under contract but it’s the same with most clubs, come the end of the season there will be players that go, it’s all about how you replace them. If Paqueta does go, it’s how we use the money to reinvest, but it’s not just a problem facing West Ham, there are other Premier League sides in the same boat with key players.

As for Moyes, it would help to maybe make an announcement before the last home game, just for clarity for everyone. If he isn’t going to stay, the Luton game would be great for the fans to applaud him whether you liked his management style or not.

The facts of what he’s done are all there for everyone to see. You can never get away from that, albeit I know that football is all about opinions. Even if Moyes was to win the FA Cup, I’m sure there would have been fans saying he’s not for us.

If he does go, I hope he does go on his own terms and not be sacked, and I would be very surprised if he’s still in charge for next season. If I put myself in David Moyes’ position, I’d be looking at it and thinking that actually I’ve taken this side as far as I can.

Because ultimately it comes down to his philosophy, and he’s not going to suddenly change what he’s been doing, even though it’s been crying out for it as we all know. I can’t imagine suddenly between the two seasons, he’s going to be all-flowing, all-dancing, ball-retention, forward-passing all the time, that’s not going to happen is it?

As for Sullivan, if I was in his shoes, I’d be thinking on one hand that we have been punching above our weight and we have won a European trophy. But on the other hand, if you’re looking at the bigger picture, and you think that the majority of fans are not liking the football, that’s when they may need to make a decision to part ways.

But he’ll also be aware that if Moyes goes, we bring someone else in, and they have an absolute nightmare, people will say we should not have got rid of Moyes. Either way, this is going to be a huge summer of activity but I think this happens anyway at most clubs. Even in my day that happened with people in and out of contracts.

For some of those leaving at the end of the season, it would also be good for it to be announced before the Luton game. A prime example would be Cresswell. If he does go this summer, it would be good for the fans to give him the send off he deserves.

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