Time for a ceasefire

Maybe it's about time we called a truce. This war of words over David Moyes' future has gone on long enough.

The leavers and remainers - no, not that lot - are stuck in their trenches going nowhere fast.

Embed from Getty Images

There are some sensible folk out there who believe these months of verbal aggression has had a corrosive effect on our club and the fan base. Which is inexcusable.

I've seen people actually saying they want us to lose matches to see off Moyes. That's utterly disgraceful, you are not West Ham and I spent some time after Newcastle blocking such idiots. I'd had enough of them; I usually follow anyone and anything with West Ham in their name, but not anymore. Good riddance.

And I sense there are more out there like me. Fans who have started voicing their views online that enough is enough, the whole issue has been flogged to death, we all know both sides of the argument.

Hands up anyone who thinks David Sullivan will sack our manager even if we lose to Chelsea and Spurs? I thought not.

We have to win eight of our remaining 17 matches to be sure of staying in the Premier League - and that's all that matters. Nine points separate the bottom nine and it's going to be a battle for survival like no other.

Whether a new manager might change things much now is open to debate. West Ham are the only club in the bottom six not to sack their manager this term now Leeds have dumped Jesse Marsch, a manager who, when he was dancing around in front of our away fans recently, looked as deranged and demented as Mikel Arteta, if not worse.

Who you get at this stage is probably why Sullivan hasn't been pushed into action. Take Southampton, please. They axed Ralph Hasenhattl and brought in Nathan Jones, who I thought was a Supremes song (or Bananarama for the younger generation) He actually thinks he's the best in Europe. Let's leave it there, I doubt he will last the season.

Bournemouth axed Scott Parker, now manager of Brugge, and gave another ex-Hammer the job in Gary O'Neill. As a player I liked the guy, but they have spent a fortune and are still in the bottom three.

Everton went for Sean Dyche who got off to a flyer, it must be said. He could well have the desired 'new manager bounce'. Funny that. Dyche was linked with us and yours truly suggested it was a realistic appointment. The howls of the West Ham way brigade were long and loud.

But when Everton appointed the former Burnley boss with the very obvious style, some of our fans were up in arms that we had missed out. Some people...

Wolves sacked Bruno Lage in October, brought in former Spain, Real Madrid and Lyon boss Julen Lopetegui - and grabbed Craig Dawson from us. They have benefited from the association with super agent Jose Mendes and have added some quality. Time will tell there.

Embed from Getty Images

The one change that has worked, it seems, is Aston Villa who axed Steven Gerrard and brought in Unai Emery, who we also sounded out back in November.

So the one serious contender on the market is Marcelo Bielsa, the extrovert ex-Leeds boss who almost took them down. Sullivan has rejected him in the past, and considering what he wanted from Everton's approach, you can see why.

It seems he wanted to coach the youth team first, and wanted £12m a year for his and his large coaching staff. And he'd just been rejected for the Mexico job. I know people in the game really rate him, but I'll still take some convincing. There's eccentric and there's relegation. You don't want them hand in hand.

So there you are. That's the playing field, as it is, them's the choices. So who would Sullivan get with 17 league games to go and who would want the job? And don't even start with Jose Mourinho; yes, his family still live in London, but he only came up for air when the Chelsea job might be on the market. There's fantasy football and there's folk who will believe any old pony.

So over in Moyes' Rush Green bunker, things are progressing apace. One defeat in six. Is a corner being turned? Maybe.

But again the haters can't stop themselves. We got "Leeds are rubbish", "Brentford put out a reserve team", "Everton are the worst team in the division", "Derby are third grade" and "Newcastle were missing top players". Yes, we lost at Wolves and I grant you, the usual affable travelling contingent were struck dumb by the horror of it all.

But it is these lads and lasses, who I'm proud the stand alongside the length of the country, who struck a chord of late. And I'm bloody determined to strike a positive note now.

The turning point was 4,900 of our lot at Derby, singing our leads off, determined that nobody could doubt our love for this club and basically, stuff the moaners.

Derby were only third division and the gap in class was massive. But that's not the point . I have seem several of our players since commenting that the support at Derby made a huge impression.

Declan Rice, talking after the excellent point at Newcastle, said as much. Our fans were amazing, they are miles up in the stratosphere at St. James Park but they made a difference. Nobody should forget there were no trains back to London for either match.

Embed from Getty Images

It has been said that the atmosphere around Newcastle on Friday and Saturday was like a European away trip and this sort of atmosphere is beginning to get through to the players who must see much of the dross that is tweeted about them on a daily basis.

Now I've watched the Derby and Newcastle games back again and what struck me was the spirit amongst the team, the smiles, the obvious friendships. It's that which makes me feel we have a fighting chance. We are back - it seems - to the spirit and comradeship that was shown in the two previous Moyes seasons when we managed sixth and seventh.

He always says he prefers working with a small squad, it was very much like that at Everton. Joe Cole pointed out on TV recently that we've brought in nine new players, and assimilation is difficult.

There are reasons why this new squad has taken time to gel. Injuries, the World Cup, the arrival of foreign players and all the issues of language, families being settled, fitness, coping with the Premier League.

It's not instant, you can't click your fingers. It's interesting to hear Lucas Paqueta saying he has begun to understand the club and his new team mates while Nayef Aguerd is looking the amazing, world class defender that Moyes intended building his 'new' team around. Emerson is beginning to look like an Italian defender and Angelo Ogbonna is having the kind of renaissance it's hard to believe.

Vladimir Coufal is back to his barnstorming best - and then there's Rice himself. Don't let anyone tell me he is working his passage. Any more displays like at Newcastle and that £120m price tag will be just the basis for negotiations.

And I can't end without a word about Tomas Soucek, who you might have guessed is a favourite of mine. Despite all the sustained abuse he has suffered, he was Man of the Match at Derby (source: my analytical colleagues).

And when he came on at Newcastle in place in Paqueta, his contribution with tackles and aerial ability was the key to that point. Newcastle were getting their wing backs forward and they were starting to pepper our box with crosses. Kieran Trippier is about the best in the country on that score. Soucek in his own box is invaluable in such situations.

Moyes may not be Bielsa, but we haven't conceded from the last 101 corners we have faced and that's not something you could say about the Argentineans time at Leeds.

So maybe we have reached a time and place to put down the cudgels. We have talked ourselves to a standstill. The arguments are worn-out and they've been relentless.

This team is beginning to look like one, be it Moyes' influence or not I don't care. The away support has never turned on the manager, they support the team. Maybe the London Stadium faithful could do the same. You know it makes sense.

* Like to share your thoughts on this article? Please visit the KUMB Forum to leave a comment.

* Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the highlighted author/s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official policy or position of KUMB.com.

More Opinion