It’s been a journey of ups and downs for David Moyes at West Ham, and this season it’s sadly been less Moyesiah and more naughty boy. At the time of writing, he’s still in charge – but football management is akin to UK Prime Minister selection.
There’s no telling who will be in the driver’s seat when you read this. Could be Marco Bielsa; could be Liz Truss. Although this season’s been one to forget, there’s been a tremendous amount of good during our multiple stints as David Moyes’ claret and blue Army.
It would be a disservice to him to forget the best moments. Let’s slide on into our DMs (that’s ‘David Memories’) and re-visit the good days. On his 2019 return to West Ham, Moyes made a bold, memorable and cringe-worthy claim. He arrived with a flourish, saying that ‘winning is what he does.’
‘That’s what I do,’ said Moyes. ‘I win. I’m here to get West Ham wins and get them away from the bottom three.’
We are closer than ever to the bottom three – but we did enjoy finishing seventh once in the meantime. And whilst we’re not massive this season, we’ve had some massive results under Moyes.
In our magical season of climbing to seventh in the league, we got to see some fantastic football and some truly memorable results. In October 2021, we beat Spurs 1-0 at home, followed by a home match knocking Man City out of the Carabao Cup.
November saw us beat title runners-up Liverpool, December saw us beat Chelsea, and we enjoyed a stunning run of results to the semi-finals of the Europa League. Europe was a dream come true for fans – a dream that was down to Moyes.
He got the tactics spot on; the team selections, the decision-making, the performances, the results – but none so enjoyable as the Sevilla home match. After losing 1-0 in the first leg, we had an uphill battle to stay in Europe. In the future, when we reminisce about the great games of yesteryear, this will be one of them.
We were electric. The fans believed in the team, the team believed in themselves, and Moyes was the man who made it happen.
We became the first-ever English team to knock Sevilla out of the Europa League. We took the game to extra time before Moyes brought on Andriy Yarmolenko, mere weeks after his homeland was invaded, and he scored the goal that set the London Stadium alight.
We displayed passion, determination, guts, fantastic football, and our stadium was completely rocking. It finally felt like home, and it’s a night we will forever be grateful to Maestro Moyes for orchestrating.
Moyes has also saved our proverbial bacon time and time again. He first arrived in November 2017 to a club languishing in 18th. He pulled us up to 13th, only for us to immediately tell him where to stick his survival in favour of a flashier calibre of manager.
Said flashier calibre of manager failed to find that flair in east London, and we went back to a perilous position on the cliff edge of relegation. Fortunately, we knew who to call for situations like this – and David Moyes came back to save us again.
He rejoined in December 2019, inheriting a club who had played 17 games, sat in 16th place with 19 points – basically, a club in a tough spot. At the time of writing, we’re in 16th place, having played 20 games, with 18 points.
This means we may technically have gotten worse since then – but the important thing is that we did not get relegated in 2018. There’s always hope. For how much stability the sensible Scotsman has brought to West Ham, he sure has had some wild lapses of judgement.
And I’m not just talking about his refusal to make substitutions before the 70th minute of a match. In Europe, Moyes lost his mind in the semi-final. Aaron Cresswell had been sent off (again), We went down 3-1 on aggregate, and Moyes took all his rage out on an innocent football.
When a ball boy dropped the ball rather than throwing it, Moyes reacted by smashing the ball into said ball boy. He was immediately shown a red card, and subsequently, we were shown the door.
We can’t tell what the future will hold, or if we’ll remain in Europe (or even the Premier League), but the ride has been an enjoyable one – and for that, we’ll remain grateful for the magical Moyes memories.