David Moyes has added stability and European silverware to West Ham since his arrival in 2017, but how much longer will he be at the club?
When he returned to the club in 2017 on a short-term deal, West Ham were just one point above the relegation zone. Moyes lifted them to 14th and left as West Ham sought ambition under Manuel Pellegrini. That failed to materialise, as the former Manchester City manager could only muster up a 10th-place finish in his first campaign before he was sacked the following season after two wins in 13.
Moyes was re-appointed and guided West Ham away from the prospect of relegation again, this time penning a long-term contract with the club. Since then, the London club have enjoyed some of their greatest achievements.
West Ham are by no means struggling this season, sitting comfortably in 7th and just 10 points off Aston Villa who are in fourth. Moyes has also guided West Ham to the Europa League knockout stages, in a bid to go one step further than their momentous 2021/2022 campaign in which they were eliminated by Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-final.
That heartbreak proved to be motivational rather than detrimental as one year later West Ham won the Europa Conference League, which was Moyes’ first major trophy and West Ham’s first piece of silverware since 1980.Embed from Getty Images
In that moment, Moyes cemented himself into the club’s hall of fame and has only gone on to improve the side, adding top talents such as Mohammed Kudus, Edson Alvarez and James Ward-Prowse to the picture. They are competing at the top end of the table and getting into the latter stages of European competitions. What more could you ask for as a West Ham fan?
Reports suggest West Ham are close to renewing Moyes’ deal, which will keep him at the club until at least 2026. After the 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates back in December, Moyes said: “We are getting ready to talk. I don’t think any of us are jumping to get it done too quickly. We will get it done; I don’t see many problems about it.”
By keeping Moyes are West Ham lacking ambition and should they perhaps try for another ‘Project Pellegrini? Given the array of talent in the squad, a renowned manager may be tempted to bring West Ham to the next level, but why risk it when Moyes is already doing such a fantastic job?
Moyes’ own personal resurgence as a manager is similar to the rebirth he has overseen at West Ham. After being handpicked by Sir Alex Ferguson to embark on a new era at Manchester United, Moyes’ managerial credentials started taking a hit. He left United just 10 months into a 6-year deal after a dismal short tenure at the club.Embed from Getty Images
He then tried his luck in Spain, signing with Real Sociedad and there was early promise in his first season- pulling Sociedad out of trouble and easily avoiding relegation, finishing 12th, 11 points above the drop-zone. He also masterminded an incredible 1-0 win over Barcelona. However, Moyes was sacked the following season after two wins in his opening 11 games.
He then went to Sunderland, and his appointment was a costly one as they were relegated under Moyes- kickstarting what would be an almighty downfall for the club.
Moyes registered 0.72 points a game with Sunderland in the Premier League, his lowest tally as a manager. Concerns were ultimately raised regarding his capability as a top-flight manager.
But his time at West Ham has squashed those concerns. In his first press conference as West Ham manager Moyes said: “I have always considered myself in a group of top managers, and I have got to come back and prove that again.”
He’s certainly lived up to those words of self-praise given the job he has done at West Ham. The “Moyes Out” campaign only resides within the confines of X, formerly known as Twitter. Moyes knows his job is secure, and he’s proven his doubters wrong.Embed from Getty Images
The last time West Ham tried to show initiative and take the club forward under Pellegrini it horribly backfired and even with such a talented squad now, deploying the same methodology again seems risky.
West Ham have finished sixth and seventh under Moyes and barring any seismic drop-off in form, they are on course to finish in a similar spot this season. It seems wise for West Ham to absorb as much as they can from him, especially considering he is replicating the managerial qualities that earned him status at Everton.
Perhaps down the line, West Ham will look to appoint a more innovative coach and replicate what the likes of Aston Villa are doing, but for now, there’s no reason to look past Moyes. His time at the club has been hugely successful and it seems there may be a few more long-lasting memories to create before his time is up.