By George Overhill

19th Sep, 2022 | 3:40pm

West Ham manager David Moyes was taken aback in his post-match press conference following the 1-0 defeat at Everton when a journalist addressed him as “Moyesy”.

“Moyesy?! [expletive] hell, I don’t think we’re that close!” he shot back [via the Daily Record], before laughing and glancing around the room, only to be greeted with a couple of laughs before an awkward silence.

Strange as it was for someone he doesn’t know well to call him Moyesy, that he was left as the only one laughing at his own joke meant he might as well have been sat in a room full of Irons fans.

The support are getting increasingly concerned about what is happening to a team that spent much of last season threatening to break into the Champions League places, while making a run all the way to the Europa League semi-final.

After a barren January transfer window the investment the thin squad was crying out for arrived during the summer, yet the Hammers have gone backwards, and not just slightly.

In mitigation Moyes can reasonably point to Nayef Aguerd’s injury, or officiating in the Nottingham Forest and Chelsea defeats.

But we are now seven games into the Premier League season and a side that was supposed to have retooled in order to take the next step is sitting in the relegation zone, having won just once and scored three times.

West Ham had chances at Goodison and on another day they could have come away with something but Moyes himself admitted once he’d made the sudden transition from joking to serious which his opposite number Frank Lampard is now famous for: “We didn’t play well.”

There have been flashes of the previous campaign’s quality, such as late in the Aston Villa game – the only top flight victory so far – or for periods at Stamford Bridge.

But on the whole the key men aren’t performing. Jarrod Bowen is without a goal or an assist in the league after a campaign where he recorded 12 of each, and talisman Declan Rice worryingly off form.

Main forward Michail Antonio and big-money signing Gianluca Scamacca have combined for a single Premier League strike so far, while Moyes seems oddly reluctant to use Maxwel Cornet in the league, so much so that the Ivorian signing has played the equivalent of just over one half of top flight football.

A couple of wins could quickly change the picture so it is not quite a disaster at the London Stadium yet, but it is plainly far from what was envisaged before the season started.

That there are even suggestions on phone-ins that Moyes’ job is on the line [talkSPORT, 18 September], after the sterling work he has done since his return to West Ham shows how disappointing the campaign has been so far.

After the Chelsea debacle and the postponement following the Queen’s death there really needed to be a statement of intent on the return to action, and a 1-0 reverse to a winless, although admittedly growing, Toffees team was not it.

The manager surely can’t be feeling as blasé about the result as he came across laughing alone in the press conference, because the situation is threatening to become serious.

On paper this squad has turned out looking pretty solid, but with so much of it not displaying any form, yet the likes of Cornet and Flynn Downes unable to buy a start, it is hard to understand what is happening in the dressing room.

Going into the Everton game both sides were level on points, both suggesting signs of growth after poor opening results, and both led by managers with links to the opposition, so it was vital to be the one which come out on top.

Lampard did and the atmosphere on Merseyside is far more positive for it, but as Moyes lost to nil again has left him with far more pressing questions than just: “Moyesy, how do you reflect on that?”