Once dubbed the Moyesiah by Manchester United fans when taking over from cherished manager Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, it’s fair to say the second coming of David Moyes at West Ham was greeted with a more muted response.
After saving the Hammers from relegation during a six-month spell in the 2017-18 season, Moyes departed following the expiration of his short-term contract only to be called back just over a year later to replace Manuel Pellegrini with the club once again flirting with relegation.
A pessimistic mood greeted Moyes on his return but he was bullish about his chances, saying at the time: “I think there’s only two or three managers with a better Premier League win record. That’s what I do, I win. I’m here to get West Ham wins and get them away from the bottom three”.
Moyes Delivered on His Promise
And true to his word, that’s what he did. A 4-0 win over Bournemouth in his first game set the Hammers on their way to a 16th-place finish that season and they have been on the up ever since, culminating in last season’s record-breaking top-flight campaign.
Moyes led the Hammers to 19 Premier League wins last season, including nine away, both records for the club who qualified for the Europa League after finishing sixth, and he was rewarded for his efforts in June with a new three-year contract.
Almost as importantly, the Hammers faithful finally took the former Everton and Sunderland boss to their hearts and adopted the Moyesiah moniker with his impact on the team clear for all to see.
Hammers Improving All Over
Solid in defence, and dangerous in attack, Moyes has developed his side by improving players already at the club, while also giving youth a chance too.
Michail Antonio has flourished under Moyes having developed from powerful winger to formidable striker, while defensive midfielder Declan Rice has become a fixture in the England side who reached the Euro 2020 final. Pablo Fornals is more productive in attack and young full-back Ben Johnson looks an exciting talent for the future.
But those brought into the club by Moyes have also proved a hit at the London Stadium.
Kurt Zouma has strengthened an already-miserly defence since arriving from Chelsea, while Czech pair Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek have become fans’ favourites.
Said Benrahma is a regular in the first team having joined from Brentford and winger Jarrod Bowen has scored 11 goals in 61 matches since signing from Hull.
Bowen has been linked with an England call-up recently, while Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is rumoured to be a huge admirer of the hard-working 24-year-old who helped the Hammers to a shock 3-2 victory over the Reds early on in November.
That victory ended Liverpool’s 25-match unbeaten run in all competitions and was one of seven so far this season in the league for West Ham who are nicely-placed in fourth after 12 matches and they are just 4/1 to finish in the Champions League places this season.
The Irons are 12/1 joint-favourites to win this season’s Europa League and that is a measure of just how far the east London club have come under Moyes.
He may not be able to walk on water but as far as the West Ham fans are concerned he can build good football teams and they are now firmly with him every step of the way as they look forward to another successful season under the man they call the Moyesiah.
*All odds correct at time of writing