"The squad of players I've got here is a better squad of players than when I took over before.”
It seems like you really can’t keep a good dog down, as Premier League stalwart David Moyes has returned to management and to West Ham United for his second spell in charge of the east London club.
Moyes words may have some truth to them, with the monetary value of the squad he has inherited increased exponentially in their time apart. Moyes was allowed just one transfer window, but had to be satisfied with the relatively unglamourous base acquisitions of Jordan Hugill, Oladapo Afolayan and the ageing Patrice Evra , as well as loanees João Mário and goalkeeper Joe Hart.
West Ham have spent just under £175million in the 19 months since he departed the club. This has involved purchasing the four most expensive players in their history, with £45million striker Sebastian Haller topping the list. The centre-forward has contributed five goals in the first half of a season that now sees the Hammers languishing dangerously close to the drop, a situation Moyes knows all too well.
In his first stint as West Ham boss, Moyes managed just nine wins from his 31 games in charge in his seventh-month stint from November 2017, but guided the Hammers out of the relegation quagmire to safety and a solid 13th position.
The Scot, who began his managerial career at Preston North End and has been at the helm of Everton, Sunderland, and - notoriously - Manchester United, is now in the peculiar position of being both predecessor and successor to Manuel Pellegrini, the Chilean having been appointed to take over from the Scot in summer 2018.
Pellegrini has been dismissed following a dire run that has seen just two wins in their last 13 games, including four straight league home defeats.
Yes, it certainly feels like the season of ghosts of Christmas past, a campaign that has seen José Mourinho rear his head once again at Tottenham Hotspur, Carlo Ancelotti returning to England after seven years, and Watford hiring old flame Quique Sánchez Flores, albeit ill-fated.
Moyes, who is the fourth-most experienced manager in Premier League history in number of games, has now signed an 18-month deal with West Ham.
"It feels great to be home" said the 55-year-old.
I've missed being here because I really enjoyed it and I feel like I've got unfinished business, so I can't wait to get started.
"I'm feeling very proud that I'm back here at West Ham, but more importantly I'll be looking to see what I can do, what I can make improvements to and how we can get some wins with the players."
"I do believe that the squad of players I've got here is a better squad of players than when I took over before, so I am looking forward to working with them.”