If David Moyes had any illusions that keeping West Ham in the Premier Leaguewill not be among the biggest challenges of his career, then the manner of this defeat must surely act as a major wake-up call.
A manager who would like to leave against one desperate to stay and, with inevitable irony, it was want-away Marco Silva who claimed the victory for Watford as they condemned David Moyes to a desperate, hostile defeat in his first game in charge of West Ham United.
There was a Sunday afternoon feel about it all, to start with. A sort of simmering sleepiness. That lasted a matter of seconds, long enough for Andy Carroll to launch into his typical aggressive, aerial, flailing challenge and take out Marvin Zeegelaar, surprisingly given a debut in preference to Holebas. Welcome to the Premier League. Carroll avoided a card, somehow, perhaps by getting his assault in so early that if the “too early to book someone” line ever had any credibility to it he had to get away with it.
It is the 25th anniversary of Watford’s Community and Education Trust and the club had chosen this game to celebrate. As part of the commemorations, they had invited Ann Swanson back as guest of honour. Ann had run the Junior Hornets back in the 80s and her efforts in ensuring that youngsters had a safe environment in which to watch football helped a whole generation of fans develop a love for the game, many of whom are now bringing the next generation along. While I am too old to have been part of this group, I did want to shake her hand and thank her for all that she had done. While waiting, it was lovely to hear her greet a guy with, “You’re one of my Junior Hornets.” She seemed thrilled, but the warmth of the young man’s greeting showed the great esteem in which she is held by her former charges.