Is David Moyes right for West Ham United?
Intense speculation has been replaced by certainty after former Everton and Manchester United manager, David Moyes, was appointed the successor to Croatian tactician, Slaven Bilic, at West Ham United.
Bilic was dismissed following a string of poor results which saw his side muster only two wins and two draws in eleven games of the English Premier League thus far.
Quick to make an impression, Moyes, who has been out of the game in the managerial capacity since May – after he resigned as Sunderland manager – said he was “hungry to get things right.”
However, is the 54-year-old suited for the job?
At Sunderland, the Scot registered 28 losses in the season, as his side was relegated to the Championship. That saw him record the fourth-lowest win percentage in the club's history, with 18.6%.
On that, Moyes said, "I've managed five clubs and only the recent one was the wrong choice by me." He has since been involved in punditry, thus, the move by the club’s chairmen, David Gold and David Sullivan, to summon him out of the doldrums of the sport remains peculiar.
Perhaps, the move was informed by financial reasons. Moyes, eager to get his managerial career back on track, would be more than willing to take up the opportunity to return to the dugout. Therefore, the co-owners would not need to part with a ransom to accommodate an already eager manager, even if it is in the interim. After all, Moyes is "thrilled to be back in the game and looking forward to getting started."
What if the former Preston manager was signed for his experience in the ultra-competitive league, with the short-term view of simply engineering a revival and escalating up the table? That, however, may not necessarily be the case; a group of players low on confidence will find it hard to be inspired by the appointment of Moyes, whose personal trophy cabinet continues to gather dust.
Four players were brought into the club: former Manchester City stars, Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart (on loan) as well as forwards, Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic, as he sought to continue his transformation of the club's football. However, only Chicharito has come closest to repaying Bilic's faith in him, with a return of four goals in eleven games.
And while many thought, on his return to England following a loan at Torino, Hart would perform, they were wrong. He has already shipped in 23 goals this season - however, his teammates too must shoulder the blame for the shambolic defensive performances.
In Moyes, West Ham United may be taken several steps and seem likely to undo their summer transfer efforts, given the purchases do not match his style of play. In recent memory, the Scot has been accused of approaching games with a poor attitude, opting to defend more than attack.
The manager has drawn the third-most games in the English Premier League as a manager - 135 games. Only Arsene Wenger (194) and Sir Alex Ferguson (168) have drawn more - both of whom exceeded two decades at the helm of management. This may not bode well for his new employers, in their push up the table.
However, it is not all gloom for Moyes, who was once appointed the successor to former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. The 54-year-old has over a decade of experience in the English Premier League. And if his Everton spell is anything to go by, West Ham United fans may take comfort in knowing that he finished outside the top ten only twice in eleven seasons.
In fact, aside from two fifth-position finishes, Moyes also led the club into the UEFA Champions League in the 2004/05 season.
With the managerial market thin on options, perhaps the new manager is the best the club could manage. It certainly helps Moyes that he joins the club and has an extra week to work with his players, given the international break. That might provide him just enough time to get to know the players in his arsenal, raise some spirits and hopefully work towards their ascendancy.
Moyes will manage his first game at the London club on November 19, as they look to ascend out of the relegation zone. His side take on Watford, who are ninth in the league.