Moyes not only one on trial after Hammers appointment
Moyes not only one on trial after Hammers appointment
This is not Sunderland, with a beaten-down and broken side already several years overdue a relegation, in mourning for the manager just departed (Sam Allardyce for his ridiculous two months with England), and an owner who had long since lost whatever enthusiasm he once had, trimming costs at every turn.
The bad news is that being better than Sunderland is not that much of an achievement, and West Ham have plenty of problems.
At the heart of them is the stadium — which has size to recommend it and little else. It’s not just that the stands are a long way from the pitch, it’s that they’re a long way from anywhere. Nobody likes the London Stadium, the most soulless of all the soulless modern stadiums. Where Upton Park was a clear advantage for West Ham, capable of intimidating and inspiring even after its redevelopment, it now seems entirely possible that the London Stadium will never know an atmosphere better than Mo Farah winning the 10,000m at the 2012 Olympics.
But the stadium is also symbolic of deeper concerns. The owners, David Gold and David Sullivan, seems constantly to have grand plans and then to try to execute them on the cheap. They sacked Sam Allardyce’s sports psychologist because they didn’t think he offered value for money. They have carped and quibbled over transfer pennies. They managed to fall out with the widow of Bobby Moore, the club’s greatest legend, over donations to a cancer charity. The expectation always seems better than the reality.
Even the appointment of Moyes fits that template. He is available and desperate for a job. He is relatively cheap, certainly in terms of his demands for new players and staff. But he is a short-term fix. He has only been given a contract until the end of the season. There is no sense of laying the foundations for future greatness. Even in November it feels as though the rest of the season has been written off: Stay up, take the television money and only then look to the future.
The squad, similarly, is an odd patchwork. For a club like West Ham to bring in an experienced player who has enjoyed greater things can make sense. To sign Joe Hart, Javier Hernandez and Pablo Zabaleta together just looks like nobody’s done any scouting for a decade.
Moyes, it could be argued, fits the same category. There has been a lot of talk of resurrecting the David Moyes of Everton. But football moves on. It constantly develops. Very few managers remain at the very top of their games for more than a decade and those that do, the likes of Alex Ferguson and Valeriy Lobanovskyi, are rightly hailed as geniuses.
There has been no sense of Moyes evolving.
Each of the three jobs he has taken since Everton have come with their own mitigating circumstances. Replacing Ferguson at United was always going to be a hugely difficult task for any manager. Real Sociedad was a step into another football culture. Sunderland was, well, Sunderland.
Moyes can offer an excuse for each. None of those three failures mean he is necessarily finished as a manager. But most managers have their reasons for why things go wrong. The credit Moyes built up at Preston and Everton is running out. Even with the tendency of a certain type of owner to appoint aging British managers, he must know that one more failure probably means the end for him as a top-flight manager.
But Moyes isn’t the only one on trial. West Ham’s owners, too, should be facing serious questions.
FIBA bans players, coaches over basketball brawl in Manila
MELBOURNE, Australia: International governing body FIBA says 13 players and two coaches have been suspended and fined and sanctions imposed on the national federations of the Philippines and Australia after a brawl during an Asian qualifier for next year’s basketball World Cup.
Video of the brawl was widely played around the world on various websites, with punches thrown, chairs tossed at players from the crowd, and security needed to restore order during the July 2 match.
Ten Philippines players were suspended: Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright (one game each); Terence Romeo, Jayson Castro William, Andray Blatche and Jeth Rosario (three games each); Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz and Jio Jalalon (five games each); Calvin Abueva (six games, due also to prior unsportsmanlike behavior in a FIBA competition).
FIBA said Philippines assistant coach Joseph Uichico was suspended for three games for unsportsmanlike behavior. Head Coach Vincent ‘Chot’ Reyes was suspended for one game and fined for unsportsmanlike behavior, as was the national federation.
Australian player Daniel Kickert was given a five-match ban for unsportsmanlike behavior. Basketball Australia said Milwaukee Bucks forward Thom Maker received a three-game ban, Chris Goulding a one-game suspension and that Basketball Australia had been imposed a fine of $110,000 for removing floor decals during team training on the day before the match.
Australian veteran Kickert was seen to elbow a Philippines player in response to a foul on Goulding before the brawl erupted.
Basketball Australia chief executive Anthony Moore said it was unlikely the organization would appeal the bans.
“As we stated at the outset, Basketball Australia sincerely regrets the incident,” Moore said.
“We acknowledge the sanctions handed down against Australian players and acknowledge the sanctions imposed against Philippines players and officials involved in the incident. We are seeking further clarification from FIBA about possible sanctions against other officials and fans involved in the incident.”