Football

West Ham and David Moyes: A match made in heaven

West Ham have reminded the world just how dangerous they can be after defeating Liverpool on Sunday evening in east London. The Hammers won the game 3-2 in front of an ecstatic home crowd to go third in the Premier League.

While the Reds will be disappointed with their display, nothing should be taken away from how impressive David Moyes’ side were. And such fantastic performances have been the norm for the Hammers all season. They’ve been in sensational form domestically and in Europe in recent months.

But how has that success come about?

West Ham fluid forward play

One of the key aspects of this exciting squad is their attacking play. It’s extremely difficult to single out just one of the regular trio that occupies the ‘3’ in Moyes’ favoured 4-2-3-1 formation. Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma have been equally critical to driving the ball forward and creating chances in the final third.

But perhaps one man who can be singled out is Michail Antonio. Operating in a lone striker role is a thankless task. But Antonio makes it look so easy. His constant running and pressing simply terrifies defenders, while his finishing has undoubtedly improved over the years.

His six league goals place him third in the current top scorer standings. Only Mohamed Salah (10) and Jamie Vardy (7) have more.

Defensive rigidity

At the other end of the pitch, the situation is just as impressive. Each and every defender knows their duties inside out. And each and every defender is ready to fight for one another.

Craig Dawson’s display on Sunday will have regular duo Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma worrying about their starting roles. Ben Johnson meanwhile has already replaced Vladimir Coufal in recent weeks, such has been the 21-year-old’s outstanding performances.

The competition for places is something that has been missing at the club for years, but Moyes has finally fixed that.

Rice and Soucek key to West Ham success

And right in the middle of the attack and defence is a certain Declan Rice. The Englishman has been a rock in the heart of the West Ham midfield. Expert passing, precision tackling and non-stop running from the youngster helps the side in so many ways.

The likes of Manchester City and Liverpool rely on one defensive midfielder in Rodri and Fabinho respectively. But Moyes doesn’t see things that way. He is very fortunate to have the towering Tomas Soucek alongside Rice to protect the defence. And the entire league is fully aware of just how dangerous the pair can be going forward too.

Magnificent Moyes

Moyes gained huge praise for his exploits with Everton early in his managerial career. But nothing ever lasts in the world of football management. The Scot was brought crashing back down to earth during his tenure at Manchester United.

For several different reasons, things didn’t quite work out at Old Trafford. It’s important to remember, however, that perhaps no single manager could have ever followed in the footsteps of the great Sir Alex Ferguson.

But Moyes has put those memories behind him. He deserves enormous credit for the extraordinary work that is currently going on at West Ham. The exciting squad he has created is simply blowing away all that stands in front of them. There is no fear, and no holding back.

About the author

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Peter Lynch

Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Stirling, huge Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan, currently working as a freelancer.

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