Saturday 22 September 2018

Moyes relief but Puel's Foxes future still in doubt

David Moyes
David Moyes

Ben Findon

West Ham's tired, happy players had just taken an ovation from their supporters outside when in a corridor in the King Power Stadium, manager David Moyes encountered another appreciative spectator.

"Congratulations," West Ham co-owner David Gold beamed as the arm patting and hand shaking began. Win and you are everyone's favourite but, all too often, it has not been like that for Moyes, and fellow managers, not least Saturday's opposite number, Claude Puel.

Later on, Everton's last-gasp equaliser against Southampton confirmed West Ham's survival with two matches remaining, but it has been a troubled season in east London.

Moyes said: "It is incredibly tough to be a manager now. There are lots of people who say, 'You should do this, you should do that', but until you sit in this seat you will never know what it feels like. Everyone who does not do it seems to know better. It's getting much harder, but I've got crocodile skin."

West Ham rose to the demands of the occasion, outbattling an admittedly woeful Leicester side.

Arthur Masuaku and Marko Arnautovic set up Joao Mario for the opener and a 25-yard missile from Mark Noble meant there was no way back for Leicester.

Given a vote of confidence by the board 24 hours earlier, Puel was forced to preside over another lamentable afternoon for his side in front of fans in open rebellion.

Just over two years ago, Leicester paraded the Premier League trophy before an adulatory King Power crowd. Saturday's post-match walk-around was a dismal affair in front of an already half-empty stadium.

Puel, whose future looks increasingly bleak, is likely to face further unrest in Wednesday's final home match with Arsenal, said: "Sometimes supporters are angry in our performance, but it is important we understand this feeling." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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