David Moyes’ arrival last month also saw former England U21 manager Stuart Pearce and former Baggies boss Alan Irvine appointed as his assistants but what can both bring to the role?
Pearce – aka Psycho – doesn’t need much of an introduction but he was the type of player West Ham fans love and the kind of player we need now. He played with commitment, real passion and gave 100 per cent throughout his career. His playing career spanned an impressive 24 years, including stints at West Ham, Newcastle, Manchester City and not forgetting making over 400 appearances for Nottingham Forest.
He also has 10 years of managerial experience but his footballing days are certainly more impressive than his managerial, even though he did lead the England U21 side to the UEFA U21 Championship, losing to Germany in the final.
I remember being genuinely pleased when we signed Pearce in 1999. Sure he was nearing the end of his playing career, but there was no doubt what a great player he was.
His experience and successful career would benefit the team, but for me the most important factor was his attitude, it is always great for squad morale to have a player like Stuart at the club. I think the exact same thing can be said about Pearce today. The players clearly need a reality check and I honestly believe Stuart Pearce is the man to do that – they don’t call him Psycho for nothing.
He understands West Ham and after losing Bilic, whom his one unwavering influence was his understanding of our club, we desperately needed a character like Pearce around the team.
Was this appointment Moyes’ or was it the board’s?
Part of me genuinely believes it may have been a board decision, to placate the fans, but either way, I am pleased to welcome Stuart back to West Ham. As for Irvine, it is the third time he has joined up with Moyes. Irvine was given his inaugural firstteam job, as Moyes’ assistant at Everton in the early 2000s after 12 years of managing youth teams.
After six years at Goodison Park, Alan then decided to pursue his own managerial career, with Preston North End. He had an incredibly successful time at Preston, with nearly a 50 per cent win ratio.
He has had a few different appointments since 2007, probably the biggest being West Brom, but sadly the results weren’t good enough and was sacked after just seven months.
Irvine was out of work since May 2017, after leaving Norwich and has reportedly been offered six different jobs between then and now, however, it was the opportunity of working with David Moyes again and joining West Ham that tempted him back. But what about his playing career? Irvine had a 15 year-long playing career, starting out as a youngster at Queens Park FC and playing over 80 games.
From there he left Scotland and made the move to Everton but after three years in Merseyside, he made the move down south to Crystal Palace, where he had a successful threeyear period scoring 12 goals.
He then went back to Scotland and played two seasons for Dundee before finally retiring at Blackburn Rovers in 1992. One major thing that gives me hope about Irvine, is his experience with young players. Irvine returned to Goodison Park for a third time in 2011, but this time was appointed Director of the Everton Academy and brought through the likes of Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley.
Most fans, me included, have longed for some of our Academy players to be given an opportunity, so I really hope Alan Irvine is the one to get the ball rolling and we start to see more young players getting their chance.
Katie Shergold writes for The West Ham Way. Discover more about upcoming pre-match events, including special guests, at thewesthamway. co.uk