It’s a make-or-break month for Moyes’ Boys and our European dream

February’s fixtures give us a chance to bounce back and get our season back on track

David Moyes (West Ham manager) at the EPL match West Ham United v Burnley, at the London Stadium, London, UK on 16th January, 2021. English Premier League matches are still being played behind closed doors because of the current COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, and government social distancing/lockdown restrictions.

Favourable fixtures in February gives our boys a chance to keep pace with the top four ahead of a tricky March.

This presents us with a chance to bounce back from back-to-back defeats before the winter break as we play three of our four Premier League fixtures at the London Stadium including two sides that currently sit in the bottom three.

Defeats to Leeds United and Manchester United saw us drop out of the top four for the first time in months, and the season is in danger of ending in disappointment after it promised so much. 

It may seem dramatic to say but the month of February could go a long way to deciding which direction this season could end. 

A good month sees us with momentum going into March and trickier fixtures away at Liverpool, a resurgent Aston Villa under Steven Gerrard and a trip to the New White Hart Lane. 

A poor February followed by a difficult March could see us slip out of European contention completely.

Moyes and the boys will be acutely aware of that fact and will see February as an opportunity to gain some much-needed points to keep our European dream alive and kicking.

Qualifying for Europe for the second season in a row has always been the goal for the club this season, and it could well prove crucial to keeping our star players like Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen – failure to reach the Europa League at the very least could cause their heads to be turned.

The month starts with Watford coming to the London Stadium with yet another new manager in the dugout – this time Roy Hodgson will lead the Hornets out following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri. 

The Hertfordshire club have been busy in the January window and will surely hope to have the new manager bounce on their side.

However, the way we brushed past the Hornets in December at Vicarage Road will surely provide us with confidence. 

Hopefully, we will have a couple of new players eager to make an impact as well on their home debut and it should be a bounce-back win for us.

We then hit the road for the only time, in the Premier League at least, in February with a trip up the M1 to face an inconsistent Leicester City side. 

The Foxes have had flashes of brilliance this season, and moments of utter dross including a last-minute capitulation against Tottenham just a matter of weeks ago. 

We eased to victory during their early-season win in east London, but there is no doubting that Brendan Rodgers’ team have players that can cause us issues. 

I like Patson Daka a lot as a striker and he is a player that I am gutted we missed out on in the summer. He has pace, clever movement and a deadly finish, everything we are looking for.

Keeping him quiet alongside Jamie Vardy will go a long way in deciding the outcome of this match. 

I am going to stick my neck out and say a 2-1 win for us to continue our fine recent form at the King Power.

Cash-rich Newcastle come to town in what promises to be an intriguing encounter as David Moyes faces the unknown when Eddie Howe’s men arrive at the London Stadium. 

With the Geordies bang in the relegation dogfight their new Saudi owners have been like a kid in a candy store trying to buy every player who has ever kicked a football at a semi-decent level.

It will be fascinating to see how all these new signings come together and whether Howe has the managerial ability to get them to gel quickly, learn a system and perform as a unit. 

Time is ticking for Newcastle in their fight and they cannot afford for their newly assembled team to take time to learn to get to play with each other. 

It feels a little like when West Ham moved to the London Stadium and bought a coach load of new players, we stuttered early on and only kicked on towards the end of the season to survive.

The Magpies will have a couple of games, of course, with their new players and will hope to have settled into some kind of rhythm by the time they arrive in the capital, and it will be a difficult game for us and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Geordies go home with a point.

But if we are serious about our top six credentials, we have to be picking up maximum points realistically.

To finish the month, we face in-form Wolves who have impressed immensely under Bruno Lage.

The Portuguese man has his side playing lovely football, and have players who look to understand the game plan and perform it perfectly. 

In the reverse fixture at Molineux, the Wanderers inflicted our first defeat on the road, and completely blunted our attack which at the time was red hot. 

They have great technicians in the midfield area with Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves pulling the strings and pace out wide in Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto as well as a deadly finisher in Raul Jimenez.

Naturally, this will prove to be the trickiest fixture of the month, and I can see us dropping points again. 

A point would be a fantastic result if we can get it and it would end the month unbeaten if we could pull it off.

It’s make or break for us this month, and it is time for David Moyes’ men to really show how ‘Massive’ they are and just how serious they are about finishing in the European places come May.

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