West Ham are considering replacing manager David Moyes if they lose to Everton on Saturday, with striker Michail Antonio admitting their style “isn’t working”.
Moyes is under pressure with his side having picked up just one point from their past seven league games.
While it is acknowledged Moyes has done a good job, much more was expected after West Ham spent £160m in last summer’s transfer window.
They are currently 18th and only goal difference is keeping them off the bottom of the table.
In the past two seasons, West Ham have finished seventh and sixth under Moyes.
Antonio: Transition to big team isn’t working
West Ham’s record Premier League scorer Michail Antonio has lifted the lid on the club’s struggles, saying their “transition” to play a more expansive brand of football “isn’t working”.
Antonio presents the Footballer’s Football Podcast with Callum Wilson and said the Hammers had, under Moyes’ guidance, attempted to play a more possession-based game this season after a summer of big spending – and the marquee signing of creative midfielder Lucas Paqueta.
A counter-attacking style has been the club’s main weapon to earn sixth and seventh-placed finishes in the Premier League in the last two seasons, but their attempts to adopt a change in style have come at a cost with the club now 18th in the table.
“I feel what we’ve done over the last two years we’ve thought, ‘let’s not get complacent, let’s get to the 40-point mark’. This year, at the beginning of the season, we were like, ‘we were so close to the Champions League last year. We want the Champions League’,” he told the podcast.
“We’ve changed the mark from let’s not get relegated to let’s push for the Champions League. We were jumping steps.
“We tried to change our philosophy. You can see, this season, we haven’t played the same way we’ve been playing the last two years. We’ve changed it slightly. We’ve brought in players to play through the thirds.
“Over the last couple of years we’ve not really played much possession football. We kind of sat off teams and just countered. Because we’ve been up there in the top six, everyone up there plays possession football. They keep the ball , try to break teams down and score more free flowing goals.
“You can see over the last few games, we’ve conceded more goals on counter-attacks than we ever had in the last two years. We’re open way more, expansive.
“Teams are countering us the way we would have countered them before. It’s a transition. We’re trying to transition to become a bigger team and, I’ve got to be honest, it ain’t working.”
Despite the damning assessment of how things have gone for his club this season, Antonio does believe it is possible for them to successfully develop their game with the players in the squad at the London Stadium.
He added: “At the back we’ve got Kurt Zouma, Thilo Kehrer who plays for Germany and Aaron Cresswell – they’re all good on the ball.
“Declan Rice and Paqueta in midfield, Jarrod Bowen, Scamacca, Benrahma. We’ve got the players who can do it, but it’s just getting it to work.
“We knew our philosophy, our identity over the last two years, so trying to find a new one – you see it happening. Leicester won the league and nearly got relegated the next season. It happens.”
Analysis: Goodwill for Moyes’ achievements about to run out?
Sky Sports’ Ron Walker:
“West Ham have been more patient with David Moyes than many clubs who financed their transfer spending last summer would have been.
“The Scot’s sensational performances against the odds over the last couple of years have earned him fans in the stands and the boardroom at the London Stadium, as well as a historic run to the Europa League semi-finals.
“But as Moyes and the Hammers have looked to build on that success with players they believe can continue their pursuit of European football, progress has badly faltered this season to the point where the manager could pay with his job.
“Lucas Paqueta has shown his quality in moments but many expected Moyes to get more out of the club-record signing.
“Injuries to other arrivals, Nayef Aguerd in particular, have made it harder for the manager to build momentum in his squad but there has also been a sense that he hasn’t been clear on how to get the best out of this evolving squad.
“Formation changes and eyebrow-raising personnel selections have frustrated a West Ham fanbase who took their time to grow to Moyes, but are close to losing patience if their winless run extends to eight games on Saturday.”
January 21: Everton (h)
January 28: Derby (a) – FA Cup
February 4: Newcastle (a) – live on Sky Sports
February 11: Chelsea (h)
February 19: Tottenham (a) – live on Sky Sports
February 25: Nottm Forest (h)
Who will be on the move this winter? The January transfer window closes at 11pm in England and at midnight in Scotland Hon Tuesday January 31, 2023.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumors in our dedicated Transfer Center blog hon Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.