The East London club have knocked out both Manchester clubs from this season’s Carabao Cup.
In the wake of the failed experiment under Manuel Pellegrini, David Moyes was appointed the manager of West Ham United in 2019. The decision to re-appoint Moyes did not seem overly inspiring at the time. Fast forward to 2021 and West Ham are currently in fourth position in the Premier League, proving their sixth place finish last season was not a fluke.
West Ham United are unbeaten in the Europa League and have knocked both the Manchester clubs out of the Carabao Cup. The way Moyes is transforming West Ham is remarkable. Having signed a new contract that will keep him at the London Stadium till the summer of 2024, the Scottish manager would certainly want to carry on the good work from last season.
Here’s how David Moyes has transformed West Ham United:
5. Intelligent transfers
West Ham United spent about €150m under Manuel Pellegrini’s regime. The players they purchased never found their feet at the London Stadium.
With David Moyes however, it has been a different story. The signing of a relatively unknown Tomas Soucek from Slavia Prague has been a masterstroke. Soucek essentially plays in the heart of the midfield and has the knack of finding open spaces in attack. He has been instrumental in the rise of the Hammers’ form, scoring 10 goals in the Premier League last season.
His other signings too have been successes. Players like Said Benrahma, Vladimir Coufal and Jarrod Bowen are now essential members of the playing XI. Even his signing of Kurt Zouma has solidified the Hammers’ defence this season.
Loaning in Jesse Lingard from Manchester United last season also proved to be a brilliant move. The Englishman found his feet at the London club, scoring nine goals and assisting four.
David Moyes has been very effective with his tactical changes and tweaks in his formation. Moyes has used both the 5-4-1 and the 4-2-3-1 effectively. The formation he chooses depends on the strengths of his players and the opposition they are facing.
West Ham United have averaged 1.71 goals per game in a back three and 1.51 in a back four. They also average 1.71 points per game in a back three and 1.5 in a back four. West Ham United look proficient in both formations.
3. Fortress at home
After their move from Upton Park to London Stadium, West Ham United struggled to shine at their new home. The Hammers only succeeded in wining six of their 19 home games under Pellegrini. That season, West Ham only averaged 1.16 points per game and scored just 30 goals at the London Stadium. The Hammers only avoided relegation by a single point.
Under David Moyes, West Ham United have looked more solid at home. The Hammers have won 12 of their 24 home matches in the Premier League under Moyes. His focus on improving the home form has paid dividend.
2. Style of play
Unlike most teams higher up the table, West Ham United under David Moyes, are not focussed on building from the back. They are more than willing to play long under sustained pressure. This is because they tend to play with a big target man, primarily Michail Antonio. When playing in a back five, both the wingers tend to come narrow for the potential knockdown and open spaces for the wing-backs to push further up. This shape often allows them to win the knockdown and find plenty of options running in behind. Tomas Soucek wins the third most aerial duels per 90 in the league.
West Ham look to progress from back to front quickly, with Declan Rice being the pivot of the team. He can play short as well as be a lot more adventurous with his passing. The Hammers tend to attack more from the left flank. When playing in a back three, the left center-back, mostly Aaron Cresswell pushes into midfield, opening spaces for the left wing-back to attack. West Ham United are also dangerous from set pieces. Having such a big core in the squad has allowed them to excel in both boxes.
1. Winning mentality
Out of all the monumental work he has done at West Ham, David Moyes should be given full credit for instilling a winning mentality among his squad.
West Ham have averaged 1.89 points per game this season as compared to 1.03 points per game under Pellegrini. The Hammers are yet to lose a single away encounter in the league this season. Under Moyes’ guidance, the likes of Declan Rice and Antonio have evolved into world-class players.
Moyes’ day-to-day work of improving players, drilling their roles and establishing a happy, coherent unit is certainly paying dividends. The Scottish tactician has turned West Ham from relegation candidates to genuine Champions League contenders.