'West Ham fans want to be sold a story'

Julen Lopetegui  embraces David Moyes
[Getty Images]

David Moyes has missed out on selling West Ham fans "a vision" during his time as manager, says New York Times journalist Rory Smith.

Moyes will leave the Hammers at the end of the season with BBC Sport's Guillem Balague reporting that former Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui has agreed a deal to replace him.

"I think Moyes is a fantastic manager but I think the big thing he has missed out on at West Ham is you have to sell fans on something," Smith told the Monday Night Club on BBC Radio 5 Live.

"If you're in charge of West Ham or any club outside the top six you're not going to win ultimately.

"West Ham have won 13 Premier League games this season which is about standard. But you can't say to the fans, like he did in February, 'another guy might excite them more but the guy sitting here wins more' because you're not winning most of your games.

"That works in charge of Manchester City, it doesn't work if you're in charge of West Ham.

"You have to sell fans on a vision of something, there has to be an idea that you're working towards. I think Moyes has that but he doesn't sell it very well."

Moyes ended the Hammers' 43 year wait for a major trophy by winning the Europa Conference League in 2023, and Smith argues the man set to replace him may also struggle to convince fans of his project.

"Maybe Lopetegui is a bridging manager that starts building towards that style a little bit, that would make sense," he added.

"If I was a West Ham fan I'd find the appointment slightly underwhelming. He does have an impressive CV but if you burrow down into it there are slightly more question marks.

"He had the biggest ever budget in the history of FC Porto and won nothing, he was in charge of Real Madrid - for two months. He did do really well at Sevilla but we have seen a lot of managers do really well there because of their transfer structure.

"He does not like expansive football, that's not his brand. He's not actually that far off David Moyes. I'm not sure that fans want Guardiola-style football. I think fans want to be sold a story they can support because they're not going to finish first."

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