Even into the ninth minute of the seven added on, David Moyes continued to rock from side to side, bellowing instructions. Like a spinning instructor at a trendy west London gym, his screams were aimed at no-one and everyone all at once.
Finally, proceedings ended and Moyes cut through the air with his fist. Onto the pitch he strode with purpose – Moyes does nothing without it – embracing each of his players warmly. Another hard-earned victory, achieved in a thrilling clash with Nottingham Forest. Another win as much about industry as it was desire. Another crisis averted. Ahead, behind, and, finally, ahead again. Phew.
The Moyes-West Ham supporter dynamic is intriguing. For almost four years, he has brought relative success to the London Stadium. A pair of top seven finishes. The Europa Conference League title. What can more reasonably be expected?
And yet Moyes is only ever a defeat or two from a “must win” fixture. Winless in four Premier League games, that hum had returned for the umpteenth time. The half-time jeers (it was 1-1 at that point) suggested a support base ready to froth.
“I think I did, yeah,” said Moyes asked if he needed Sunday’s result. And then he rightly offered up the fact that West Ham have both a Carabao Cup quarter-final pre-Christmas and guaranteed European football come the New Year.
“It’s very difficult to isolate any one competition,” he continued. “Or you just say ‘we only play one competition.’ But we actually are active in three competitions. There’s a good chance if you’re in three competitions that you might not win all the games. We try to be competitive in them all if we can.”
Tomas Soucek’s late header won it, Jarrod Bowen having earlier risen to nod West Ham level. Both met second-half James Ward-Prowse corners. “World class,” is how Moyes described the deliveries, while declaring himself “thrilled” with both the opening and the finale.