Rating David Moyes’ Time At West Ham 

Rating David Moyes’ Time At West Ham 

West Ham United confirmed at the end of the season that manager David Moyes will depart the club side at the end of the 2023/2024 season.

Following reports of Spanish coach Julen Lopetegui’s imminent arrival at the London Stadium, it spells that David Moyes’ time with the club side has come to a necessitated end.

“I want to keep involved in football. I love football,” said the Scotsman.

“There are a lot of things in football that can be done a lot better.

“But look, I’m comfortable with the situation. I’m comfortable with the board, so at the moment, everything’s fine. It’s football.

“It’s the right decision for both parties, for myself and the club and we’ll go our separate ways having had a really good four-and-a-half years.

“Do I want to stay in management? ‘Yes’ would be the answer to that.”

West Ham have won just twice in their last 11 games in all competitions, currently sitting in 9th place on the domestic log. Having been knocked out of the UEFA Europa League, a route back to Europe looks out of the horizon and has raised questions over the gaffer’s style of play and continuity at the club.

The Scotsman first joined the Hammers on a 6-month contract in 2017/2018 with West Ham languishing in the relegation battle. He helped the club secure safety and in that campaign, he became just the fourth manager to reach 200 premier league victories behind Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, and Harry Redknapp.

Having returned for a second stint in 2019, Moyes’ time at the club has not been void of events domestically and continentally.

The one with the Premier League

Moyes’ first stint saw him help the club remain in the English first division. His return came in late 2019 succeeding former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini at the helm. The Chilean left the club in 17th place just one point above the drop zone. Moyes navigated the club to safety in his first campaign back steering 5 points clear of the relegation spots and ending in 16th place.

His first full season in 2020/2021 saw the club amass a whopping 65 points (their highest across a premier league campaign). The Hammers finished 10 places higher than the previous season, ending in 6th place and earning a path to the UEFA Europa League for the coming campaign. 

The Hammers looked to be miles ahead of the previous season. Michail Antonio led the pack from the front and ended as the club’s joint top scorer in the PL with midfielder Tomas Soucek famous for his late bursting runs into the 18-yard box (10 league goals each). West Ham United’s upturn of form saw the Scotsman rewarded with a contract extension, an improvement on the initial 18-month deal awarded. 

The 2021/2022 campaign had West Ham’s introduction into the UEFA Europa League. The club side had a wider range of competitions to take part in with the continental affiliation and domestic cup inclinations in the EFL and FA Cup. Regardless, the club raced to a 7th-place finish in the league, taking 56 points and settling for a top-10 finish in successive campaigns.

In 2022/2023, the Hammers returned to the lower half of the league table. Going all the way in the UEFA conference league took the sweat out of the side settling for 14th place, staying just six points clear of the drop zone. The incumbent season has seen mixed performances on all fronts with the club struggling to stake a claim in the top half of the log.

The one with the continental duties

Moyes oversaw three continental campaigns with the Hammers. In 2021/2022, their introduction amongst Europe’s 2nd tier elites began in a fairytale run.

In the knockout rounds, the club got past the usual tournament winners in Sevilla. Also rounding up French outfit Olympique Lyonnais in the quarter-final stage. Eventually, they were dispatched by eventual tournament winners Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals, succumbing to a 3-1 scoreline over aggregate.

A different charge began in 2022/2023, this time however going all the way. David Moyes led the club to glory in the second edition of the UEFA Conference League. Defeating Italian outfit Fiorentina in a keenly contested game in Prague to earn the club a first-ever European trophy. However, doing so the lowest-ranked team to do so, sitting in 14th place in their domestic campaign. As winners, they secured a ticket to the next campaign’s UEFA Europa League.

The 2023/2024 campaign also saw the club make another quarter-final berth. Defeating German outfit Freiburg 5-0 in the initial tie established a comfortable enough advantage to see them progress. However, getting stopped in their tracks by the high-flying Bayer 04 Leverkusen of Xabi Alonso. Regardless, West Ham tickets remain in high demand.

Acquisitions and sales

Moyes’ arrival has stepped up West Ham’s profile to a very large extent. Boasting one of the most rounded squads in the division and attracting top-level players. His second stint has seen the arrivals of Mohamed Kudus, Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paqueta, Alphonse Areola, James Ward-Prowse, and Tomas Soucek amongst others on the London coast. 

The blockbuster departure has assuredly been that of former club captain Declan Rice to London rivals Arsenal FC. Said Benrhama, Manuel Lanzini, Pablo Fornals, Issa Diop, Felipe Anderson, and Craig Dawson have all followed the exit door in recent years. Generating enough funds to help bolster the squad on all fronts.

In all, Moyes’ time has been one with mixed tales, moments of upsurges of form, and others peculiar to a mid-table team. He’s however managed to assemble an elite squad worthy of competing for whoever takes charge at the helm.

On the announcement of his departure, Moyes commented: “When I joined West Ham for a second time, the club was one place above the relegation zone, and it has been a terrific journey to have achieved three consecutive seasons in Europe.

“I would like to thank all the players for their support, and all the success they have achieved, over the last four and a half years.”

Moyes leaves the club in a better position than he first took over and will always be welcomed and remembered at the club for his achievements.