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David Moyes: The Great Entertainer

David Moyes: The Great Entertainer

When the curtain came up on West Ham’s new manager, and it was David Moyes, fans had a fair idea what they might be getting.


If it was Bad Moyes, the appointment would be followed by a series of 1-0 defeats in which a very deep-lying defence held out until about the 55th minute against teams the Irons really should be capable of beating. If it was Good Moyes, the story would be much the same but with 1-0 wins instead.

What has actually happened, then, has come as a surprise. Far from a manager completely out of keeping with the club’s attractive – but often careless – style of play, Moyes has turned out to be claret and blue all the way through. At least, judging by early results that seems to be the case.

A home defeat against Newcastle, by a 3-2 margin, was closely followed by a see-sawing 3-3 against Bournemouth in which the Hammers were trailing 2-1 with ten minutes to go and leading 3-2 in time added on, before Callum Wilson’s “controversial” equaliser.

Setting aside the 0-0 draw in the FA Cup against Shrewsbury, there have been very few dull outings since Moyes took over – so what’s behind this surprisingly exciting new Moyes era?

We Know What’s Not Behind It…

£32million worth of strikers, in the form of Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez, represent what most would expect to be the club’s main source of goals. However, Carroll has scored twice under Moyes and the Mexican has not found the net at all since Slaven Bilic’s departure. Both of Carroll’s goals came in a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers West Brom – an important contribution, for sure – but aside from that one game, neither player has contributed much at all.

A Team Playing Like … A Team

Under Bilic, the main criticism that seemed to be aimed at West Ham’s performances was that they were failing to gel consistently. Games that should have been won were lost because more often than not, eleven individuals were doing their own thing. Moyes’ first victory was a 1-0 over Chelsea and was standard “Good Moyes” – a strong, dogged performance against a side rightly listed as big favourites to win.

Marko Arnautovic, full of purpose since the change of manager, scored early on and hasn’t looked back since – and the same is true of most of his team-mates.

Gifted, But Flawed Personnel

In many ways, Arnautovic is the perfect player to sum up the current West Ham squad; his talent has never been in doubt, but nor have his flaws. This is borne out by the number of high-scoring games and lack of clean sheets seen so far under Moyes. Joe Hart, for example, is not a useless goalkeeper – remember that his dropping at Manchester City was seen as controversial, and based on his poor distribution rather than any shot-stopping flaws – but he’s been error-prone from the get-go in East London.

If Moyes gets his wish in the transfer market this winter, and is still in place for the summer window, he may well acquire David Moyes-type players (Marouane Fellaini, anyone?) and revert to cautious type, with 1-0 wins and losses the order of the day.

Whatever the reason, West Ham games are entertaining again, and with a team moving up the table that’s plenty of reason to be cheerful.

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I've been a passionate Hammers fan since i can remember. Growing up in Canning Town i was always down Upton Park as it was only a 10 minute walk down the Barking road. Always and forever COYI ! West Ham Till I Die !

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