West Ham are flying high. A 3-2 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this week means that the Hammers currently sit in fifth place. They are just two points off a Champions League spot and incredibly six points behind leaders Manchester City.
Manager David Moyes has managed to turn this team around after years of struggles in management.
Here is how Moyes is starting to rebuild his reputation.
Success With The Toffees
Moyes was appointed Everton manager on 14th March 2002. This was after a successful spell with Preston North End where he won a Division Two title in 2000, the equivalent of League One.
Everton was in dire straights when appointing Moyes. Fellow Scot Walter Smith was sacked with the club in danger of relegation. Moyes helped Everton to a good run of form to help them stay up. Just three seasons later, Moyes and Everton finished in fourth place, landing themselves a place in the Champions League qualifying round.
The Toffees’ achievements were overshadowed by their local rivals Liverpool, who won the Champions League despite finishing fifth.
Everton would lose to eventual semi-finalists Villarreal in the qualifying round. They would never reach this stage again under Moyes or any managers that followed him.
Moyes would assemble a team that would challenge every year for a Champions League spot.
Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka, Mikel Arteta, Tim Cahill and Yakubu formed the spine of the team with Leighton Baines also a key figure.
Everton reached the F.A. Cup final during the 2008/09 season and went ahead with Louis Saha’s opener within 25 seconds, the quickest FA Cup final goal in the competition’s history. Chelsea would go on to win that game 2-1 and Moyes would never go on to reach any other final during his time at Everton.
A lack of silverware and never winning a game at Anfield eluded Moyes during his time on the blue half of Merseyside.
He would soon get his chance to win silverware, being the man to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, who were the Premier League champions in Ferguson’s last season.
Struggles Since Leaving Everton
Moyes signed a six-year contract when he joined Man United. He failed to finish his first season, being sacked in April 2014.
In the one season Moyes had at the club, they broke plenty of unwanted records and looked a shell of the team that won the title the season before.
Moyes failed to get the players he wanted in the summer, with Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale, Thiago Alcântara and Cesc Fàbregas some of the high profile players that the Scot failed to get.
Marouane Fellaini was reunited with his former boss on deadline day but this appeared nothing short of a panic buy.
The Man United board had seen enough and Moyes was let go with the club in seventh place.
Seven months later and Moyes was back in work, taking charge of La Liga side Real Sociedad. Moyes would be sacked one day off a full year at the club.
Sunderland was next in July 2016 but was sacked in May 2017 after the club were relegated to the Championship.
Moyes’ reputation was at an all-time low. With sackings after less than a year in charge at three consecutive clubs, it was a far cry from his time at Everton where he was seen as one of Britain’s best managers.
Both Spells With West Ham
The next job for Moyes was West Ham, who hired him in November 2017 with the club in the relegation zone. Moyes managed to keep them up but his six-month contract ended and he was not offered a new deal.
He was now seen as a manager who would keep you up, rather than the manager of a side challenging for the Champions League ten seasons before.
West Ham’s position didn’t improve. Pellegrini, who replaced Moyes, was sacked.
Moyes was brought in for a second term, with the task to keep them up.
West Ham earned survival and the club have gone on to have a great campaign during the current 2020/21 season.
Man United midfielder Jesse Lingard is reported to be joining the club on loan. Whilst he has struggled for gametime this season, a new club could unleash his potential.
Moyes will have a task in trying to keep English midfielder Declan Rice at the club, with Chelsea reportedly interested.
Czech midfielder Tomáš Souček has been a revelation, with seven goals this season. Tottenham Hotspur manager José Mourinho has called him Moyes’ new Fellaini.
He has been a part of a dogged West Ham side that has won by more than one goal in their last four Premier League games and eight times in total this season.
Moyes has West Ham winning games ugly and is reaping the rewards with their aforementioned high league position. In a season that has been so wide open, West Ham have to feel that they have a chance to do something.
A great second half of the season can not only give West Ham fans something to finally cheer about but also will help Moyes’ reputation as a manager be very much repaired.