Debates have been heating up amongst fans and pundits as to whether West Ham are better or worse off , since Slaven Bilic was replaced by David Moyes. An initially underwhelming appointment for most, Moyes joined us after Bilic had won only two of the first 11 games of the 2017/18 season.
The ‘new manager effect’ was nowhere to be seen as the first three games under Moyes saw only one point taken from fixtures against Watford, Leicester and Everton. With the Hammers struggling to pick up points, relegation has been a very real concern. As the pressure continues and the end of the season rapidly approaches, I’ve had a look at the 2017/18 Premier League stats behind the two managers.
Under David Moyes, West Ham have improved defensively. As of West Ham’s 3-0 win against Southampton at the end of March, the Scotsman has seen an average of 1.7 goals conceded per match, an improvement on Bilic’s 2.09 goals per game on average, but still not ideal. In addition, Moyes’ squad have made an average of 16.8 successful tackles per game, compared to Bilic’s 16.1.
Something which has been particularly noticeable has been Moyes’ ability to make the most of a team Bilic had seemingly lost control of. Scoring an average of 1.4 goals per game, Moyes has unlocked many players’ potential, most noticeably with Marco Arnautovic, who failed to score under Bilic but now boasts nine goals and three assists in 17 games under Moyes.
As a comparison, under Bilic, West Ham scored an average of one goal per game, based on his 11 games in charge during the 2017/18 season. While these statistics present Moyes as the man for the job, others off er a different perspective.
Interestingly, while our conversion rate has clearly improved, Moyes’ boys have only managed 9.05 shots per game on average, a significant drop from Bilic’s 10.5. When it comes to fluid gameplay, Bilic had the upper hand again. The Croatian averaged 48.7 per cent possession in his time at the club this season, a noticeable difference to Moyes’ 42.8 per cent possession so far this season. The number of passes has also seen a drop from 406 with Bilic to only 363 per game under Moyes.
Statistically speaking, Moyes’ results have been an improvement on his predecessor’s, winning 30 per cent of fixtures compared to Bilic who won only 18 per cent of Premier League games this season. Moyes also has the upper hand, losing 40 per cent of games in charge, whereas Bilic lost an enormous 54 per cent of fixtures he managed this season.
So was Moyes the right appointment? Arguably, he was the best of few realistic options, stepping in and improving us marginally when we were in dire need of a change. However, losing an enormous eight of 20 Premier League fixtures this season leaves me in no doubt that we should be on the lookout for Moyes’ replacement.
Ultimately, I don’t believe Moyes is the man to take West Ham to the next level. Should we avoid relegation, some interesting names have been mentioned who I would be excited to see managing West Ham. Whatever happens, it is safe to say that the rest of 2018 promises to be exciting both on and off the pitch.