David Moyes Can Be the Man to Hold West Ham Together Through Troubled Times

Sep 19, 2020, 10:24 PM GMT+1
David Moyes
Arsenal v West Ham United - Premier League | Pool/Getty Images
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It could have been quite easy to write off West Ham after the opening day of the new Premier League season.

In fact, many people did. The Hammers crumbled to a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle - a scoreline that probably flattered the east Londoners. This curtain raiser followed a summer of chaos and turbulence, with young prodigy Grady Diangana's sale to West Brom causing captain Mark Noble to voice his own concerns and anger over the running of the club.

Several teammates shared their leader's fears and, with the Newcastle loss in the books, Irons fans were probably begging for the football to never return. Relegation was written all over the club, from the very top, almost all the way to the bottom.

But one man refuses to throw in the towel. David Moyes may not be the most fashionable appointment, nor the most exciting or ambitious. He's probably the most derided coach in the Premier League, following his failures at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland.

The Scotsman is a stubborn soul though, and he's clearly up for this fight. All the chips are down, the walls of the club are falling around him, but he is giving it his all. And thank God for that.

West Ham travelled to an Arsenal side with their tails up on Saturday evening, off the back of their 3-0 victory over Fulham last weekend. All signs pointed to a routine home win at the Emirates, and the Hammers would be forced to limp back across London with their own tails between their legs.

David Moyes
Moyes having a kickabout | Pool/Getty Images

Moyes' men started promisingly however, pressing the Gunners high up the pitch and denying them the space they needed to operate and punish their opponents. And then, yep - you guessed it. The setback. The moment that makes this embarrassing excuse of a team fold.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang worked his magic, fed the ball to Alexandre Lacazette, and the French forward did the rest with his wonderful forehead. Onslaught incoming, you'd imagine.

Not today. West Ham held their own, regrouped, shook off that potential knockout blow, and went again. This time, they got their reward. The relentless Michail Antonio, who epitomises everything that is magnificent about a resilient Moyes setup, showed that extra percent of desire to get to a wicked low cross, snaking a toe out to poke the ball over the line.

It came from a pretty nice West Ham move, too. Right on the stroke of half time, the Hammers were back on level terms, and beginning to stand as an equal to their technically superior adversary. As the game progressed, we began to see a different side to this group of players: courage, heart and skill combined.

Tomas Soucek rattled the crossbar with a towering header, and Arsenal started to creak under the pressure of a barrage of crosses into the penalty area. As the minutes ticked by though, West Ham dropped deeper, aware of the size of the point they were about to claim.

Ultimately, it wasn't to be. A fantastic five seconds of football saw the Gunners break through the backline, and in a flash, it was game over. One fell slash of their sword, and that was that.

After all that work, West Ham go home empty handed. Twitter will be alight with protests and rage against the board, who are dragging this club to depths they'd hoped to have left behind. Others will be slating the managerial selections on the pitch, the lack of trust in their creative stars or the reluctance to field their most expensive purchases.

Right now though, whether Hammers fans like it or not, Moyes is the best man for the job. Remove basket case Sunderland from the equation, and he has been a trusty and effective manager at a certain level.

The east London club are in dire straits, and with all the chaos behind the scenes, an upheaval in the dugout could be the final nail in the coffin. Moyes proved that he still has the players' backing on Saturday night, and he has the pedigree to get them out of this mess - again.

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