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The paradox of David Moyes as West Ham fall back into frustrating cycle

David Moyes contemplated another West Ham landmark, only this one will not result in an open-bus parade. The manager who led West Ham to their first European trophy since 1965 has now presided over their heaviest top-flight home defeat in 61 years. Eight months on from that night in Prague, and the day where fans lined the streets to hail their returning Europa Conference League heroes, the London Stadium emptied as quickly as West Ham capitulated. Arsenal sparked an exodus and Moyes was left to inspect the wreckage.

“It’s difficult to explain,” Moyes began. How quickly the mood has turned, and not just from those June celebrations .Even six weeks ago, West Ham’s defensive resilience earned Moyes’s side back-to-back wins over Manchester United and Arsenal. But from believing they had put themselves into the mix for the top-four race, West Ham are now winless in seven games in 2024, their defence a shambles as Arsenal put six past them. “I don’t think - since I’ve come back to the club - my team’s defended that way. Ever,” Moyes said.

Moyes reflected that his side’s historic defeat was part of the ups and downs of football: “There’s always going to be bad times,” he explained. “It was only a few months ago we were having probably the best time West Ham have ever had. Undoubtedly we’ve had a terrible day today. I totally understand them leaving but at football clubs you’re going to have bad days. I certainly wouldn’t forget the good ones.” Yet, historically, Moyes has not retained much public backing during those lower moments, and patience is again wearing thin.

It is part of the paradox of Moyes: despite what he has achieved at West Ham, his position has never felt completely secure. While taking West Ham from the brink of

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