The appointment of David Moyes as West Ham head coach this time last year received an underwhelming response from the Hammers faithful. It was, of course, the second time the experienced Scot had taken charge of the club from the English capital.
It is fair to say Moyes has not done a bad job in either of his spells at the club. In fact, a 2-1 win at Leeds United on Friday night took the Irons to within four points of leaders Tottenham, although Spurs do have a game in-hand. The Hammers are still fifth-place in the table, which is a big achievement for Moyes and his team.
Moyes has been understandably written off in the past
Many people have written David Moyes off the past, with some justification. The Scottish boss did a good consolidation job in 11 years at Everton, earning himself a big reputation, which led to him replacing compatriot Sir Alex Ferguson as the boss of Manchester United.
As we all know, his time at Old Trafford was considered a failure by most and he failed to even see out a full season in Manchester. His following stints at Real Sociedad and Sunderland were not much better either. However, his first spell at West Ham saw him consolidate the Hammers position in the Premier League. That was considered his best spell since leaving Everton.
Expensive stars have not worked out
The Hammers attempted to go down the route of bringing in foreign head coaches, with the likes of Slaven Bilic and Manuel Pellegrini both ultimately unsuccessful in the job. During Pellegrini’s spell at the club, he brought in expensive stars such as Felipe Anderson, Jack Wilshere and Andrey Yarmolenko.
The big money signings flopped like a jellyfish on a wet mattress. Anderson is now out on loan at Portuguese giants Porto, while Yarmolenko has not started a Premier League game this season, making just four substitute appearances amounting to less than 90 minutes combined. Wilshere left the Hammers in the summer after his contract expired. His supposed potential unfulfilled still. There has been so much waste when it comes to money at the club in recent years that it has been difficult for them to be successful on the pitch.
Using similar methods as at Everton
David Moyes’ tactics at Everton were basically to set up his team to be hard to beat. His approach at West Ham is similar to those used on Merseyside. The Hammers are tough to beat, which is a basic necessity for any team looking to stay away from the relegation zone.
The Irons boss has also used a similar tactic of using lesser profile players, with the likes of Tomas Soucek and Jarred Bowen thriving in the current system. The latter has scored three times in his last five league appearances, while Bowen has scored once and produced two assists in his last three league outings. The performances of Michail Antonio upfront before his injury were also key to how the Hammers have played this season.
A midtable finish is realistic
As well as West Ham have done it seems unlikely that the Hammers will remain in the Premier League’s top-six until the end of the season. However, the signs are that the team from the English capital will not be involved in the relegation battle this season.
West Ham fans may not have appreciated the appointment of Moyes, but the former Everton head coach may just be the man to bring that bit of stability the London club needed.
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