David Moyes has arrived at West Ham with a huge job on his hands.
With the Hammers currently in the Premier League’s bottom three and an extremely difficult run of fixtures coming up between now and the turn of the year, you’d be forgiven for thinking West Ham were destined for Championship football.
The appointment of David Moyes hasn’t done anything to help people change their minds on the matter, what with his recent record at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland painting him in a pretty poor light where manager’s are concerned.
West Ham are ambitious, though, and cannot afford to drop in to the Championship so soon after making the hugely controversial move from the Boleyn Ground to London Stadium. Co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan have promised the Hammers faithful a successful era in the club’s history, with talk of Champions League football and Premier League glory making headlines over the last two or three years, so Moyes really needs to ensure West Ham are still in the Premier League come the 18/19 campaign is under way.
What are their chances, though? David Moyes is undoubtedly a good manager and he will be desperate to repair his reputation here, as well as potentially earn an extension to the six-month deal he has initially signed at London Stadium.
Slaven Bilic’s time at the helm was tainted by a number of controversies and since he has left the club, a lot has been revealed of why it may have all gone wrong for him. Training routines, leniency with players and a lack of control in the dressing room all contributed to him being sacked on Monday, but Moyes has already gone a long way in trying to repair those issues.
The club’s social media channels has been full of videos of Moyes personally coaching the players, putting them through their paces in a way they will not have been used to. A good start.
The Scot also said in his opening press conference that players will need to work hard if they’re to be picked. If you don’t run, you don’t play, which sounds pretty obvious at that level – it clearly wasn’t happening under Bilic though.
So it’s been a relatively positive start to life in East London for Moyes, but it really is only the beginning. West Ham need results and they need them fast, starting with an away trip to Watford next Sunday. Lose that and they’ll go in to fixtures against Everton, Leicester, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham with an even bigger mountain to climb.
West Ham aren’t the favourites to go down yet, though. The Hammers are now priced 3.25 to be relegated (source: MyBettingSites) but only Swansea and Crystal Palace have shorter odds.
Moyes’ opening six weeks in the job will arguably be his most difficult given the fixtures he’ll have to navigate but, if he can improve the players’ fitness and earn the trust and respect of the fans, it will not be a surprise to see him raise a few eyebrows.
He’s said and done all the right things up to now, but can he follow that through with results on the pitch? Only time will tell.
I wouldn’t throw your money at a Hammers relegation just yet.