Our Greatest Managers – Part 5 (2019-Current)
Part five of my search to find the greatest ever West Ham manager continues with the period between 2019 and today, which just covers our current manager.
If you haven’t read parts one to four yet then it is probably best that you do so first. Part one explains how each manager’s performance will be judged and the formula.
DAVID MOYES 2019 – CURRENT
Unemployed since leaving the Hammers 18 months ago, Moyes is called back to the club to take over with us again, sitting just outside the relegation positions in 17th place, having 19 points from 19 games.
Could he keep us up for a second time? The answer was yes, though; in his 19 games of the 2019/20 season, he only achieved one more point than Pellegrini did in getting sacked.
The signings of Soucek and Bowen in January were great additions, but when Covid shut down not just the football season but the country, it was only goal difference that was keeping us out of the relegation places.
Three and a half months later, we had nine games to survive, and we had to do it in empty stadiums. After losing the first two, he lost only one more in the following seven to preserve our top-flight status, and this time, he gets to prepare for the next season instead of making way.
I am not sure anyone would have expected what happened in the 2020/21 season; instead of the usual struggle in the league, Moyes would statistically oversee the best season West Ham had had in the Premier League Era, in a season that started with two defeats.
While the 6th place we achieved is not our highest in the PL, Harry got us to 5th in 1999; Moyes managed to earn the most points in the P.L. era, 65, the most wins in a P.L. season, the second most goals scored with 62, and the highest positive goal difference, +15.
The signing of Jesse Lingard in January was the spark we needed, and if we had won two of our last three home games instead of losing two, then Champions League football would have been achieved. Just two points between us in 6th and Chelsea in 4th. The 1-0 defeat we suffered to them in April was the difference. Europa League qualification was still a great reward.
Unlike under Billic, the following season was, again, a decent one for us. For the second season in a row, a top 7 finish, which the club had never achieve before. The European campaign was a highlight for me as I can’t say I expected to get to the semi-finals, and the wins against Seville and then Lyon away, two teams that had appeared in the Champions League that season, will live long in the memory.
While Frankfurt was disappointing, we could be proud of what was achieved, and the 7th spot league finish gave us another season of European football, this time in the Conference League.
The 2022/23 season ultimately will go down in the History books as one of the greatest, not for the league performance, though, that’s for sure. Finishing 14th meant we missed out on a third consecutive top-10 finish, something we have only achieved twice in our history.
At Times, it looked like Moyes was one game away from being dismissed; sections of the fan base worried about relegation, and the drop in playing style that followed the poor results pressured the owners to make the change. The Owners, perhaps affected by the death of David Gold, failed to act, and Moyes’ West Ham limped to 40 points for the season.
In Europe, though, if the previous season had been a great experience, we achieved the ultimate aim this time. Winning the Europa Conference league, our first trophy in 43 years, was a dream come true for a success-starved fanbase. The fact we did it by not losing any games, 13 wins, one draw, underlines the fantastic achievement by all involved.
Moyes now joins Greenwood & Lyall as the most excellent managers of West Ham. This season, the league form has improved vastly while the performances are mixed in quality. Sections of the fanbase want him to go, preferably ASAP, though some hope it will be the end of the season. Many will sometimes accept the dour football because it works well enough for them.
Moyes’s 2nd spell record is as follows. Played 153 Won 61 drew 32 lost 60 Scored 220, 1.43 P.G, Conceded 208, 1.35 P.G, points 215. Average league position 9th.
Every manager has now been listed, The next step will be to collate the stats, score them as per the process, build the table and reveal who, Statistically speaking, is the greatest West Ham United manager we have had in top-flight football.
Part six will look at the overall manager stats .