David Moyes out? The West Ham boss is wasting Paqueta, Kudus and Bowen

Lucas Paqueta tries to wake up West Ham fans
Lucas Paqueta tries to wake up West Ham fans

After he lobbed the ball over the head of the limited Nathan Patterson in a rare moment of vague entertainment in a first half almost devoid of any notable interest, only to see Jarrod Bowen mis-kick his effort wide, Lucas Paqueta turned to the Hammers fans and raised his arms in the universal signal for ‘come on, make some noise FFS’.

There was a short-lived increase in the volume at the London Stadium but then the West Ham crowd fell again into bored silence as thousands of people quietly wondered how a team including Paqueta, Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen could be so goddamned dull. How one-dimensional. How blunt.

It’s not ideal when that attacking trio are playing behind Michail Antonio, whose days as a starting striker in the Premier League should now really be long over. It’s certainly not ideal to see Paqueta – earmarked for the No.10 role at Manchester City by Pep Guardiola – out on the left, spending large swathes of the game in his own half.

Within minutes of Paqueta attempting to wake up the crowd, Everton were gifted their first chance of the game and Sean Dyche’s plan of ‘stay in the game for half an hour and silence the crowd’ was complete. And it had been a piece of p***.

By the time Moyes hauled off Antonio after 57 minutes of being completely neutralised by the impressive Jarrad Branthwaite and James Tarkowski – and belatedly pushed Paqueta central – Everton were ahead through Dominic Calvert-Lewin, showing that there is no better centre-forward in the bottom half of the Premier League when fit.

His one-two with Jack Harrison was followed by a clever shift of the feet to take Nayef Aguerd out of the game before an unerring finish into the corner. That was why Moyes has long held an interest in Calvert-Lewin, though history suggests he would have probably still played Antonio.

West Ham were then thankful to Alphonse Areola for denying the ever-dangerous Abdoulaye Doucoure, while the Hammers failed to add to a Kurt Zouma 15th-minute header that remained their only shot on target until the final few minutes. It was truly miserable fare. There’s no doubt that Everton are much improved defensively but two shots on target at home is unforgivable and the fans are quite understandably blaming Moyes, who probably should have left West Ham in the glow of their trophy win last season.

The Hammers have a net spend more than £200m ahead of Everton over the last five years and that outlay really should have bought something better than this. Do not be fooled by their league position; this West Ham side have won only one of their last six Premier League games, and that was against the worst team in the competition’s history, Sheffield United. Only Bournemouth, Burnley and the Blades themselves have been worse since the opening international break of the season.

The final whistle was greeted by boos from West Ham fans and there was no doubt that their ire is largely directed towards a manager who continues to show little ambition regardless of the attacking talents at his disposal. This was the first game of this season in which the Hammers have failed to score but it seems unlikely to be their last under Moyes.