High-flying Hammers – how David Moyes has turned things around at West Ham

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West Ham climbed to third in the Premier League following Sunday’s 3-2 win over Liverpool.

The Hammers finished sixth last season and look hell bent on proving that was not just a flash in the pan.

Here, the PA news agency looks at what manager David Moyes has done to turn West Ham around.

Where were they?

David Moyes
David Moyes returned to West Ham in December 2019 (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

West Ham were 17th, one point above the relegation zone, when Moyes began his second spell in charge in December 2019. “That’s what I do, I win,” he said upon his reappointment, to a fair amount of scepticism. West Ham finished the season in 16th place with 39 points.

What changed?

Declan Rice (left) and Michail Antonio
Declan Rice (left) and Michail Antonio, right, have been key figures for West Ham (Justin Setterfield/NMC Pool)

Having been jettisoned in 2018 despite saving West Ham from the drop, this time Moyes had a summer to put his stamp on the team. There was no revolution, just subtle tweaks like turning Michail Antonio into an out-and-out striker and making Declan Rice captain. Manuel Pellegrini’s record signings Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller were farmed out, while no-nonsense Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek arrived in January.

About last season?

Moyes guided West Ham to a club-record Premier League points total of 65, finishing in sixth place and qualifying for the Europa League. Yet the Scot was not satisfied, and was privately disappointed they did not reach the Champions League.

And now?

Moyes has stoically refused to sign a striker for the sake of it, instead relying on Antonio staying fit. Which he has so far thanks to a change in diet and lifestyle. Rice just goes from strength to strength. Kurt Zouma, a £30million signing from Chelsea, is a colossus. Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen are flourishing. Youngster Ben Johnson is a revelation at right-back. But most of all, the whole squad has bought into what Moyes wants, as have the fans who are finally making the unloved London Stadium feel like home.

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