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Wright backs Moyes to turn things around on “Any Given Sunday” 

Wright backs Moyes to turn things around on “Any Given Sunday” 

Slaven Bilic is barely out of the door, but already David Moyes is feeling pressure from the media to galvanise some unity and belief into a Hammers team that looked beaten from the start in their first game under his leadership last week.

London Stadium

London Stadium

The 2-0 loss to Watford might have looked like business as usual, as the team languishes in the relegation zone with just two wins from 12 matches, but there is at least one influential media figure who has faith that Moyes can come up with the goods if he takes inspiration from an unlikely source.

Channel his inner Al Pacino

It’s not often you hear the names Al Pacino and David Moyes in the same sentence, but England legend Ian Wright suggested to The Sun that the new West Ham Manager needs to take inspiration from Oliver Stone’s 1999 American Football film Any Given Sunday and “channel his inner Al Pacino” 

The advice might sound tongue in cheek, but Wright is actually making a deadly serious point. In the film, Pacino’s character Tony D’Amato turns around the fortunes of a floundering team by re-evaluating the established strategies and building a sense of purpose and belief around some raw talent.

Moyes has a proven track record, and Wright’s point is that in the Upton Park squad, he has far more to work with than he ever had at his disposal at Sunderland. Even in the defeat to Watford, there were moments that could have ignited something magical. Three chances went wide. Wright made reference to an inspiring speech that Pacino makes in the film when he tells the squad they can “climb out of hell one inch at a time.” It is all about grabbing those inches and building on them.

Bookmakers and gambling sites unconvinced

Ian Wright, Al Pacino and dragging a team from the abyss all sounds glorious enough, but for a real world assessment of a team’s prospects, nobody tells it like it is quite as plainly as a bookmaker. In the current age of online gaming and sports betting apps with their free casino offers, there are more than enough out there to ask, and they are all saying substantially the same thing.

Most are offering around the 2/1 mark on relegation. Those odds sound alarmingly short, but the good news is that every major bookmaker has three clubs with odds that are shorter. Swansea and Palace are both odd-on, while Huddersfield are at around 5/4.

Put another way, the Hammers are odds-on to stay up, with most offering around 2/5 on them successfully climbing at least far enough out of hell to remain in the Premier League next season.

Today’s match against Leicester will be a harsh challenge, but the bookmakers only have The Foxes as the warmest of favourites. The trip north to take on Everton the following week could represent even more of a pivotal match and might come down to which team has the greatest desire to turn things around.

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