More dust, more blurred vision

It takes much longer these days for the dust to settle after yet another shocking defeat - if it does at all.

And once again, as I painfully pointed out a couple of weeks back, the owner and board do nothing. David Moyes is a contracted employee, he won’t resign, so it’s up to David Sullivan and his board to act. That they won’t just underlines the view that relegation will be on them, it has always been within their hands to make decisions, to come up with an alternative.

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But all we get after the appallingly bad defeat at Brighton, is the same. The board are backing the manager, they can’t find a replacement anyway, so they won’t do anything.

Can’t? Won’t? Can’t afford the compo? Won’t pay the big bucks to get someone new in? Look at it how you like, pro or anti Moyes, doing nothing is not the answer. It smacks of fiddling while Rome burns.

So here we are, 13 Premier League games to go, six wins needed and matches with both Manchester clubs, Arsenal and Liverpool in that run. Where do you go to Sullivan, tell us the thoughts that surround you so we can look inside your head!

We have gone from the theatre of dreams to the Hammer horror show in one small step. To my mind and many of our 6,000 fans who were present at last week’s FA Cup defeat at Manchester United, our performance for the first hour at least was as good as we have played in months.

A couple of days later down on the south coast, West Ham produce a performance - if you can call it that - which Moyes says is the worst during his tenure at Stratford.

I sort of hung fire on commenting after the win over Nottingham Forest and what I felt was a decent display at Old Trafford to see whether any vague level of momentum could be achieved at Brighton, because we have too much previous at fouling up in such a position. So Brighton was in no way a surprise. But the manner of that defeat was.

OK, so our attitude and application was nowhere near to Manchester United’s disintegration at Anfield (funny, wasn’t it, in particular the exposure of the vile, cheating disgrace that is Bruno Fernandez) but we were not far short.

So the dust has settled and we are left with the recriminations, the abuse of manager and players, the moaning about our training facilities, the ‘outing’ Gianluca Scamacca as a potential trouble maker, suggestions of cliques amongst the squad. And the away fans turning on the manager for the first time.

Moyes’ reaction to that, and to a lesser extent, Declan Rice’s comments on the subject, has done nothing to calm the situation. I’ve travelled with our away support for many years, they are the most positive, loyal fans you could wish to meet. Lose them and you are really in trouble.

But since then we also hear of crossed words in the backroom. Frankly I’d be surprised if there wasn’t, and more chatter about the ownership... and there’s the crux of the issue.

There seems to be a split at boardroom level, with Daniel Kretinsky seemingly trying to buy the shares of the Gold family for £150m (so says the Sun anyway). He already has 27 per cent and would have found Sullivan and the late David Gold working as one.

But, if the Sun story is true, Kretinsky could split that voting block by buying the Gold family stake, 25.1 per cent, and that would give him control. Cheaper obviously than buying Sullivan’s 38.8 per cent stake.

Such a move would explain why Kretinsky has held talks with the London Legacy Development Corporation about the stadium. The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) will cease to exist soon, so there is a need for a few things involving the stadium to be sorted out.

All this comes, of course, with revelation that Sullivan has been donating to the Tories again. Initially there was a wedge to Boris Johnson’s election campaign, and more recently £9,000 to Liz Truss’ leadership bid. Word sometimes fail me, other than I have no issue with anyone donating to a political party with their own money, but was the last donation club money or our owner’s?

This, Kretinsky’s activity, the eventual ownership and Sullivan’s plans underlines the view that the dust never settles at West Ham, and much of this off field activity suggests a few eyes have been taken off the ball as the relegation situation worsens and Moyes’ position likewise.

Ah yes, and there’s football too, if that’s what Saturday and Brighton was. A few questions. What exactly was Ben Johnson doing when Brighton scored their second?

Why does Moyes keep mentioning the departure of Craig Dawson, now an issue with us having to play two left-footed central defenders together in Angelo Ogbonna and Nayef Aguerd? The Moroccan has had a great start, eventually, to the first team. But playing with another left footer is not helping him. You sense that Moyes did not want to sell Dawson but had no say in the matter.

And of course there’s the Said Benrahma issue. He was excellent at Old Trafford but taken off at half-time at Brighton. A 40 percent passing completion rate said it all, but there were still fans who wanted him to stay on, playing badly but "he could make things happen". Sorry, Brighton had nullified him.

So on we go to the UEFA Conference League in Cyprus against Larnaca, and then the crunch with Aston Villa on Sunday. Your guess is as good as mine in the team in Cyprus; does Moyes play squad members there, knowing that Larnaca are a much better side than the usual level of the Cyprus League?

Lose there and make a mess of the Villa game? What next? Rafa Benitez, Nuno Espirito Santo and, now, Michael Carrick wouldn’t touch us with a bargepole. The dust certainly has not settled.

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