David Moyes: A Man Under Pressure
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 25 February 2020 at 7:55pm
Written by : Graham
In 2017, David Moyes was unveiled as West Ham United manager with the club in the depths of the relegation zone. Based off his recent managerial record, his ability to steer us clear was called into question from the get go. Having left Manchester United with the stellar reputation he built up after 11 years at Everton in tatters, Moyes bounced from Sociedad to Sunderland and found little joy with either. He appeared destined to join the infamous “he’ll do a job for us” club of Allardyce, Pardew and co. Nonetheless, he oversaw 31 games and successfully steered the club away from the relegation zone, achieving a respectable 13th place finish. With the board wanting to move the club in a different direction and seeking to appoint “a high-calibre figure”, Moyes would depart West Ham after just 6 months in charge.
Following the sacking of said “high-calibre figure” in December 2019, the Scot was reappointed manager and has now been tasked with repeating the feats of two years previous. In his first press conference as “new” manager, Moyes was asked whether he was the man to get the Hammers out of the bottom three. He casually replied “That’s what I do, I win. I’m here to get West Ham wins and get them out of the bottom three.” As it stands Moyes has overseen 10 games and has mustered a meagre two wins. One of which was against lower league Gillingham in the FA Cup. If winning truly is what he’s about, he better get to it and fast.
The comical defensive display against Brighton prior to the Man City and Liverpool games may very well come back to haunt us and Moyes will be all too aware of this. He needs to instil a measure of calm into his players and formulate an air of trust by picking a consistent back four. As for the midfield, the addition of Souček has been nothing short of a revelation. He keeps our midfield ticking over and runs marathons in the process to close down space. His three week layoff due to injury will be a major blow to the squad.
The performance against Liverpool on Monday night was startling to say the least. It’s clear that Moyes has the backing of his players and they’re willing to work hard for him. For now. What Moyes now needs to do is use the performance against Liverpool as a motivator for Saturday’s crucial game against the Saints. He also needs to respond to those players who put in a shift in the narrow 3-2 loss, particularly Fornals and Ngakia. The former unquestionably needs to start. Fornals has finally found his feet in English football and may be entering into a run of form just when we need it most. As for Ngakia, the young right back has proven in his two appearances that he’s ready for first team football. With the long-term injury to Fredericks and the age of Zabaleta, there’s no reason why Moyes shouldn’t give him the opportunity. Further up the field, Moyes will have some hard questions to ask of Anderson, who sulked off in the 65th minute. New man Jarrod Bowen will also give Moyes something to think about. The new man made quite the impact despite coming on in the 84th minute. As for the remainder of the attack, it’s simply a matter of managing Antonio’s fitness and learning how best to utilise the formation to suit Haller. The goals will come, but the tactics must be appropriately deployed.
While it may not have been the happiest of elopements, for now West Ham and David Moyes are betrothed to one another. Success is not an option for either, it is a necessity. Winning is apparently what he does, so let’s hope he starts doing it.