At the beginning of this season the smart money would have been on relegation for West Ham under David Moyes. It’s been a rebirth for the Scotsman.
Despite a strong end to the 2019/20 season any optimisim faded with the loan signing of Craig Dawson and just 18 million pounds spent overall.
Coufal and Benrahma had come in as well, along with the permanent signing of Tomas Soucek. Perhaps looking back at it now there should have been more faith in Moyes. Jarrod Bowen and Soucek had both made a strong impact since they had been brought to the club but how could a Premier League side improve with such frugal thinking.
David Moyes’s previous roles
The last decade has not been kind to Moyes. After a ten year spell at Everton which had taken him to the Champions League and an FA Cup Final appearance, his stint at Manchester United was far less fruitful. 7th place and a Community shield win that he could in no way take ownership of.
The time he spent at Real Sociedad is far less talked about apart from short video clip of him trying to speak Spanish. There was a feeling that managing abroad did not suit him, and so his arrival at Sunderland was seen by most as a fairly normal step.
He had moved into the realm of Allardyce and Pulis, more of a troubleshooter than anything else. Relegation ended his time at Sunderland but Netflix has taught us that this was an impossible job.
David Moyes first spell at West Ham
His first appointment at West Ham was met with groans of derision. Fans were uneasy at the thought of a relegated manager taking over their relegation threatened club. He managed to guide the team to safety with 2 games remaining and eventually a 13th placed finish.
Many believed that he had done enough to keep the job beyond his 6 month deal. Sullivan, Gold and Brady however opted for Manuel Pellegrini and Moyes was back on the scrap heap.
Pellegrini’s time at West ham was ill fated. Flop signings such as Sebastian Haller and Felipe Anderson who combined for almost 80 million pounds and relegation form meant Pellegrini’s time was up – exactly half way through the season with 19 games played and just 19 points on the board.
David Moyes returned and again it was seen as a disappointment by large sections of the West Ham faithful. The fact that he only managed one more point than Pellegrini in his 19 games did nothing to pacify the situation.
After defeats to Newcastle and Arsenal, West Ham’s prospects were looking bleak but since then they have not looked back. David Moyes has galvanised the club and built a team spirit that is carrying them to a phenomenal season. Soucek and Coufal have brought in a winning mentality that has really changed the whole aura of the squad.
With 4 games to go this West Ham side are just 3 points off of a Champions League place with a favourable set of fixtures. David Moyes has made this a team capable of beating any of the ‘other 14’ teams in the Premier League.
Moyes and Rice
There is still a feeling that this is a strange time and that West Ham couldn’t possibly carry this on. There is also the looming shadow of Chelsea being in the Champions league final. This along with the Declan Rice transfer saga that will no doubt dominate the summer. That should not however take away from relative success.
Moyes resolve and forward thinking that has made anybody labelling him a dinosaur to take a second look. The January signing of Jesse Lingard showed that Moyes knows exactly what his team needs at the right moment. Along with an exciting brand of football Moyes has refreshed his reputation.
What next for Moyes’s
None of this should be that much of a surprise when you look back. Moyes came back after time spent in the RB Leipzig camp. Leipzig, founded in 2009, had followed a model of bringing in young, hungry and talented players to build squads. A German club full of verve and energy and that is what Moyes told everybody he wanted to do.
We are now seeing the fruits of this labour and probably much quicker than anyone anticipated. Moyes knew that his previous methods were not working and he went away to improve and tweak what he had. That has to be admired particularly in someone who had achieved a good amount of success already.
There will always be talk of Guardiola’s great success in the premier league and how good of a job Brendan Rodgers has done. However when you look at what David Moyes has achieved, he has to be the manager of the season.
He has taken a team that failed to reach the magical 40 point mark last season and reached the top 6. Whether they get into the Champions League or not this acheivment cannot be overstated and Moyes deserves every plaudit that may be due to him.