Moyes is Turning West Ham Into his Everton of Old and it's Time we Gave him Respect

David Moyes West Ham
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Replacing Pellegrini was smart, smart business

After taking over from Manuel Pellegrini in December 2019 with West Ham United languishing in 17th place, David Moyes guided the club to a 16th finish, five points above the dreaded drop zone, fulfilling the job he was brought in to do.

In stark contrast, this season the Hammers are now, just over 12 months on, sat nicely perched in fifth place after winning their last four Premier League games.

Despite having played a game more or two on some of the chasing pack, David Moyes’s men have a real chance of finishing in a European place come the end of the season. We look to see if Moyes really gets the credit that he deserves?

Savvy Business from Moyes, just like his Everton days

The Scot has assembled quite the squad with an impressive mix of exciting talent and experience that complement each other so well. With the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio and Pablo Fornals, the Hammers have the firepower to hurt any team in the division. This is without mentioning Said Benrahma, who is yet to show the form that saw him net 17 goals and register nine assists last season in the Championship for Brentford.

The exciting attacking talent coupled with an experienced base of players with the likes of Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna and Lukasz Fabianski playing week in, week out gives the more creative players a platform to perform.

Declan Rice is another player who not only plays beyond his 22 years of age but has developed leaps and bounds under the tutelage of Moyes, who now has one of the most sought after holding midfield players in the Premier League on his hands.

In recent times West Ham could be accused of wasting money, and rightfully so, the likes of Sebastian Haller and Felipe Anderson have previously been bought for big fees and have failed to live up to expectation. But if the recent purchases of Thomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal from Slavia Prague are anything to go by, then the Hammers are being far better in the market; a skill that Moyes possessed and was renowned for back in his Everton days.

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They're look more like Moyes' old Everton by the week

Moyes’ Everton were always tough to beat. They worked hard but also had quality to accompany it, strikingly similar the qualities associated with the Hammers now. Further comparisons can be drawn with their strong midfield base with Declan Rice and Soucek who break downplay and dominate the centre of the pitch, reminiscent of the role the likes of Leon Osman and Marouane Fellaini used to play for Moyes at Everton.

The latter coincidently has drawn big comparisons with Soucek recently, who like Fellaini, is a tall, slender midfielder with an eye for a goal and near impossible to beat in the air. The holding midfielder has remarkably netted seven goals in 20 Premier League games this season and has been a real threat from set pieces and crosses which further strengthens his likeness to the Belgian’s style of play.

Further similarities can be seen with the centre forward Moyes opts for. During his time at Everton Moyes utilised the likes of Yakubu, Duncan Ferguson and Nikica Jelavic to name a few; all big powerful strikers who like to occupy centre backs.

Antonio, now plays a similar role in the West Ham setup, a striker who utilises his power and pace to stretch the pitch and opposition defence, allowing his teammates to get up the field.

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Is Europe beckoning?

In truth, there are many unfavoured teams in the hunt for a European place, and it is difficult to predict the final standings with just how tight the league is. The likes of Aston Villa and Southampton have both had their fair share of plaudits this season and rightfully so after some impressive performances, but both have seen a drop in recent form allowing Moyes’s men to take advantage.

Despite this, there is still a long way to go, but what Moyes does possess that the likes of Dean Smith and Ralph Hasenhuttl do not is the know-how and experience of achieving it before. The Scot took Everton into Europe on several occasions and secured an unlikely Champions League qualification back in the 2004/05 season, and this may just give Moyes an advantage over his counterparts.

Ultimately, if the Hammers do achieve European qualification for the first time since the 2015/16 season then the appreciation for the job David Moyes has done will follow. But right now? There seems to be a serious lack of acknowledgement for Moyes who has embedded his philosophy into a West Ham side who are brimming with confidence and could spring a surprise this season.

By Harry Charlwood

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