‘Writing on the wall’ for Moyes at West Ham after blaming Rice for Chelsea hammering

Jason Soutar
West Ham manager David Moyes looks deeply concerned during a match
David Moyes looks deeply concerned during a match

David Moyes will leave West Ham United at the end of the season with the Hammers in talks with former Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui, according to reports.

The Scottish manager is expected to leave West Ham when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Plenty of the club’s supporters will be happy to see the back of Moyes despite the success he has had at the club.

He guided the Irons to a historic Europa Conference League title last year and has recorded two top-seven finishes while being very successful in Europe.

It feels very unlikely that Moyes will pen a new contract and a report from Football Insider has backed up recent claims that West Ham are in discussions with Lopetegui.

Indeed, journalist Pete O’Rourke told the Inside Track podcast that the “writing is on the wall” for Moyes with the Londoners speaking to potential replacements.

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Liverpool-linked boss Ruben Amorim met with the Hammers hierarchy last month and has since apologised to the Sporting fans for doing so at a crucial time of their season.

Meanwhile, Lopetegui has reportedly emerged as their top target and has “held talks” over the position.

West Ham were battered 5-0 by Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

Moyes, who saw his team concede five goals for the second Premier League away game in a row, having gone down 5-2 at Crystal Palace on April 21, is set to hold talks with the board over his future after the Hammers’ final league match on May 19.

“Not good,” he said of his team’s display in west London. “Lacking toughness, leadership, mental toughness. That’s two games we’ve come away where we’ve conceded five.

“The manager will always take the responsibility, that’s what happens when you do this job. You have to prepare them, set them up.

“But somewhere along the line the players have to take responsibility for doing their jobs and being hard to play against, and being aggressive and competitive. I question if we were all that in the first half.”

David Moyes blames Declan Rice for West Ham’s poor defensive record

Long before half-time, West Ham looked a beaten side, standing off Chelsea and allowing their forward players all the space they needed to pick their way through and plunder Alphonse Areola’s goal.

It was a dismal afternoon for Moyes, who believes Declan Rice’s absence is why they have been so leaky at the back.

West Ham sold Rice (our Premier League signing of the season) to Arsenal for around £100million last summer. The England midfielder has been outstanding under Mikel Arteta this term.

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Moyes was asked why the Hammers have suffered so many heavy defeats away from home this season, simply replying: “Declan Rice.”

He continued: “You get the best midfield player in the country, protecting, making sure the moments and times you limit maybe 50 per cent of the attacks and the moments, when you get that then it makes you a much better defensive team.

“We’ve lacked protection in front of the back four, we’ve lacked good enough defending, we’ve just not been good enough on those things in many games.

“But, you know, as I’ve said, you’ve got to be careful, you’re talking about a team sitting in a really, really strong position. We’ve had a couple of bad days away from home, we have to try and eradicate that and make it better.

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“As I said, I’m trying to put a bit of mental toughness when we need it. The teams I normally prepare would normally have it. You could always lose the way you lose.

“To be fair, you have to say Chelsea are in a pretty good moment at the moment. We’ve hit the bar three times today and Emerson’s missed a sitter, so if the game had ended up 5-3 you might have said, ‘hey, West Ham had a right good go’. What was a couple of inches either side, it’s an easy thing to say, but we’ve come here with a few chances but we’ve not been able to do the basics defensively to give ourself a chance to stay in the game.

“This exact same team drew 2-2 with Liverpool last week.”

Moyes was also asked about Lopetegui and Amorim being linked with his job, saying: “I’m going to talk to the board at the end of the season, so we’ll do that then.”

More: West Ham | Declan Rice | Ruben Amorim