West Ham United's Season Has Been Saved By Sticking Instead Of Twisting

The decision to hold onto David Moyes has paid off
10:00, 26 Apr 2023

West Ham United’s season has not exactly been awash with highlights, at least not in the Premier League. But their 4-0 destruction of Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday would certainly number among them. The victory took the Hammers into 13th place in the table. Considering they were once firmly part of the relegation scrap, it is a position of relative serenity. Six points removed from the bottom three and with a game in hand on the stragglers, manager David Moyes can afford to relax. 

Relaxation is not an activity that has played much of a part in the Scotsman’s season so far. The former Everton boss will have endured a few sleepless nights during this campaign. 2023 is not even four months old yet and seven Premier League managers have been relieved of their duties. Discounting Tottenham Hotspur coming to terms with Antonio Conte and Chelsea letting Graham Potter go and that’s five clubs in the bottom half of the table who have let their head coach go.


Everton, Leicester City, Southampton, Leeds United and Crystal Palace are teams that have been in the same vicinity as West Ham all season. In a campaign where almost anyone from 12th downwards has looked like going down, there has been a surplus of relegation candidates. A penny for the thoughts of Moyes as he watched each of those teams sack their manager in turn. 

The likes of Jesse Marsch and Patrick Vieira found themselves seeking alternative employment, despite at one time being entrusted to bring modern, progressive thinking to their clubs. But the Hammers chose to kick it old school and keep the experienced, steady hand of Moyes on the tiller. Many questioned the choice, particularly as the results became more galling. Finding supporters to speak up for Moyes in the wake of a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion in March was a tall order.

But the ex-Manchester United boss has rewarded the faith David Sullivan and the board have shown in him. A chastening 5-1 loss to the extraordinarily-in form Newcastle United aside, the Hammers have been in fine fettle recently. While once their fine results in the Europa Conference League provided salve for their Premier League wounds, now Moyes’ men are balancing playing twice a week nicely.


The Hammers are into the semi final of that competition, having reached the same stage of the Europa League the year before. The Hammers are becoming well-versed in continental competition, though they will only gain access to it next season if they win the Conference League itself.

It was this European schedule literacy that made their poor form this season all the more worrying. West Ham finished seventh in the Premier League last season while also reaching the Europa League final four. So why did it suddenly look like a struggle to juggle league and continental commitments this year? Some interpreted the slump as evidence that Moyes’ words no longer carried weight at the London Stadium.

But the response to the Scotman’s words has belatedly arrived. West Ham are starting to look like the team who threatened to become a top six fixture in recent seasons. They still have plenty to play for, with a first trophy since 1980 looking like a real possibility. West Ham need to keep their eyes on the prize in the league too, with the relegation dogfight taking place just below them. But the Hammers seem to have been rewarded for their patience, keeping their heads while clubs around them were losing theirs. Keeping your manager in situ isn’t a foolproof plan. It’s hard to imagine Nathan Jones at Southampton or Frank Lampard at Everton taking their clubs much further. But in the case of Moyes, West Ham seem to have done the right thing.

whu to win the uecl: 7/4 via betfred*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at: [email protected]

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.