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West Ham fans in Cyprus have their say on Moyes’ future: ‘We are in big trouble’


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West Ham United’s Premier League form might be cause for concern, but their performances in the Europa Conference League mean there is still hope of silverware this season.

Michail Antonio scored twice in the last-16 first-leg 2-0 victory over AEK Larnaca. If West Ham avoid defeat to the Cypriot side next Thursday at the London Stadium, it would be the second successive season they have reached the quarter-finals of a European competition.

There was a party-like atmosphere in Larnaca among the 1,600 travelling support and yet, for all their optimism in Europe, it is a different story in the Premier League.

David Moyes’ side sits 16th in the table, just one point above the relegation zone, with the fanbase undecided on the manager’s future.

The Athletic spoke to supporters about how the manager is performing and the direction the club is heading in…

Dave, 31, from Plaistow (above, fourth from right)

“It’s definitely a party atmosphere for those that are here. You could put us in the National League (the fifth tier of English football) and we’d still follow the club like we do.

“But for me, Moyes needs to go. Simple as that. Personally, I’ve wanted him out since the Leicester City game before the World Cup. The bloke plays the same drivel week-in, week-out and doesn’t want to change anything. It’s almost as if he doesn’t know anything else. We’re in big trouble. I personally can’t see how we’re going to stay up at this point.

“I’m not surprised one bit with the direction the club is heading in. The buck stops at (chairman David) Sullivan. He’ll eventually cash in on the club, take the money and leave us in a bigger mess than we’re already in.

“Moyes keeps saying the same thing. He’s a broken record, the same with (Declan) Rice. I’m sick to death of hearing ‘we will go again’.

“How long does Moyes really believe the credit will last that he got us to a European semi-final and two consecutive seasons in Europe? The fans are sick of hearing it. We left Upton Park to challenge the top seven, not have a couple of lucky seasons.

“The players have been woeful this season, but it’s Moyes that’s the problem. You don’t have the calibre of players we have and be destined for relegation.

“Rice also has to take some responsibility. I think he will be relieved to leave us. Yes, he’s a good player but frankly, I’ll be glad when this entire saga is over. We haven’t had a proper leader since (Mark) Noble left. Rice doesn’t have the go that Noble had. We all moaned Noble wasn’t the greatest of players but my God do we miss him.”

Karl Smith (left, 35) with Frazer (right, 12)

“The loss to Brighton didn’t put me off coming here. I bring my son to the away games so he can have these memories. We might not experience another European trip for another 10 or 15 years if we don’t win this competition.

“What Moyes has done over the past few years has been better than what we’ve seen before he arrived. Yes, we’re at a point where there probably isn’t a plan B but the players haven’t been good enough as well.

“As for Moyes in or not — I am on the fence a bit. Right now I don’t think there’s a suitable candidate for us. There’s top managers out there but they won’t be attracted to us in a relegation fight.

“Would we rather win the Conference League and get relegated, or avoid relegation, win the competition and keep Moyes? On paper, we should win this competition regardless of who’s the manager.

“But can Moyes turn it around? I really don’t know. The fans chanted ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’ against Brighton. I also probably would’ve sung it if I attended that game.

“Us fans aren’t managers but we get frustrated when Moyes doesn’t give it a go and is cautious with his formation. I’d love to see him play 4-4-2 but Moyes doesn’t think it works anymore.

“Younger managers have fresh ideas that are working, but the older generation of managers, their way of thinking is a bit outdated.

Gianluca Scamacca and Lucas Paqueta are internationals for Italy and Brazil. Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal play for Czech Republic. It’s not like we have fringe players who aren’t good enough. We need a system that consistently gets the best out of them. But it’s down to that dressing now to keep the club up. I don’t feel confident based on how our performances have been recently.”

James DeSilva, 27

“It’s been a rocky season. I’m grateful to Moyes for making a lot of fans have the best experiences over the past two years. It’s probably been the best time of my life as a West Ham fan travelling to all these countries in Europe, but right now he’s in muddy water.

“I’ve always been one to say Moyes deserves time to turn it around, but the Brighton game was really bad in terms of how we played — no fight and the fans turning on the manager. There’s just something missing.

“We miss Noble’s leadership. I love Rice but when times get tough he shakes his head, looks at the floor and it’s like ‘no we need you!’. You need to lead by example because it will rub off on the other players. He isn’t a Noble and they were always going to be hard boots to fill for Rice. Given time, maybe he will be a great leader, but I don’t think it will be while captain of West Ham.

“Even if the board decide to sack Moyes, who replaces him? I don’t want us to be that team who sacks a manager just to bring some random person in.

“The only manager who I think could do well with our team is Mauricio Pochettino. But would he come to West Ham? It’s hard to think so with us being in a relegation battle. Thankfully, there are three teams worse than us at the minute.”

Ian Turner, 50

“This club is a mess right now. For the game tonight we got sent tickets belonging to different people — just classic West Ham.

“It was a sad day for the club when David Gold passed away. He was a real gentleman and supporters will always speak well of him. But I’m not a fan of Sullivan and I’d be happy if he goes.

“I’m not sure about Daniel Kretinsky because his track record isn’t promising. It’s very likely he’ll become the majority shareholder, it’s just a matter of when. Ideally, it would be great if a supporters group had a percentage of the club like in other countries.”

George Lewis, 26

“Given the alternatives available, it would be better to stick with Moyes until the end of the season. If they sack him come May, I’d like to see them go for Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou. They play really good football and that’s what West Ham needs right now.

“Our style of play is boring, we lack energy and at times we’re too predictable. Lots of fans think Reims manager Will Still is the answer, but I don’t think he’s ready. All things considered, I’d take 17th, or maybe even relegation if it meant winning this competition.”

Dom Holland

“Moyes’ team selection has been baffling at times and his in-game management is fearful. That is not new. I think he’s had more opportunities to fix this than most managers would have been given.

“The World Cup break was a great opportunity to get a new man in. The owners stuck with him and hoped he could do a repeat of the COVID break reset, where he did well, but couldn’t repeat it. The team is one-paced (with) too many players that he trusts playing out of position.

“But I don’t trust us to get the appointment right given our league position. I am not sure it is as attractive an option as it was before the World Cup. The board have been very patient and loyal and have historically waited too long to replace a manager that has lost his players’ confidence, which leads to fan unrest.”

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