Sport Soccer

Wednesday 21 August 2019

David Moyes hoping to rediscover his winning habit at West Ham

Can David Moyes improve on Slaven Bilic's record at West Ham?
Can David Moyes improve on Slaven Bilic's record at West Ham?

West Ham have turned to David Moyes to lift their Premier League fortunes - but he will also need to turn around his own declining record.

Predecessor Slaven Bilic managed a near-35 per cent win rate in Premier League games with the Hammers - making him statistically their most successful manager in the competition - and it rose to 37.8 per cent across all competitions during his nearly two and a half years in charge.

Moyes, by contrast, has won 20 of his last 85 games in management with Sunderland and Real Sociedad - West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan will be hoping his time at Preston, Everton and Manchester United is more representative.

The rise

The Scot's career began with success in the lower leagues as he led Preston to the third-tier title in 2000, taking them into what is now the Championship before making the play-offs the following season.

It added up to a 48 per cent win rate - 113 in 234 games - and earned him his top-flight chance when Walter Smith left Goodison Park.

Eleven years at Everton made him the club's longest-serving manager since Harry Catterick in the 1960s and '70s and brought four European campaigns and an FA Cup final.

He maintained a 42 per cent win rate in over 500 games and was selected as the man to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United following his compatriot's retirement.

The fall

While his Old Trafford stint brought him the highest winning percentage of his career, 52.94 per cent, that was almost a given considering the resources at his disposal.

More relevant was the club's slide to seventh in the league and Moyes' perceived negative style of play, particularly while rivals Manchester City and Liverpool battled it out for the Premier League title in free-scoring fashion. Moyes was sacked less than a season into a six-year contract and is still searching for the chance to rebuild his reputation.

He started encouragingly in Spain, losing only one of his first eight games with Sociedad which a 1-0 win over Barcelona along the way, but he managed only 12 wins in 42 games (28.6 per cent) before his reign ended after a year.

Things got even worse at Sunderland with eight wins in 45 matches - a dismal 18.6 per cent - as the club finally succumbed in their annual fight against relegation.

The future

The hope at the London Stadium will be that West Ham can measure up to Everton in terms of stature, given the money and the facilities at their disposal and the talent in their squad.

If so, Moyes will be seeking to produce similar improvements to his time on Merseyside and the gamble could be successful.

If Gold and Sullivan have got it wrong, however, the future looks bleak for both Moyes and West Ham.

PA Media

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