Hammer Time? West Ham and David Moyes Continue to Impress

Declan Rice, West Ham United (Photo by Chloe Knott Danehouse/Getty Images).
Declan Rice, West Ham United (Photo by Chloe Knott Danehouse/Getty Images). /

West Ham United could very well represent London in Europe next season.

Those words would’ve appeared unlikely to comprehend as plausible at the end of last season, or even the start of the current one. Yet they are both true and plausible, for David Moyes, formerly of Everton and disastrously of Manchester United, has taken the pieces scattered throughout the clubs ranks, and Hammered them back together, into an outfit with the appearance of a club that can go places.

Yet just how far can they go?

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The team is no one trick pony; to reach this point in the campaign with as many points as they have, you cannot be a single dimensioned club. Indeed, for the Hammers, this is the most points they’ve ever had in the Premier League as currently named, constructed and constituted.

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David Moyes has the club scoring well with Michail Antonio, Tomas Soucek and rather recent acquisition Said Benrahma all demonstrating class in front of net. Yet the defense, led by the young, highly desired Declan Rice has also been stingy through periods of the campaign in front of Lukasz Fabianski. The acquisition of Jesse Lingard from Manchester United was perfect as well, as the player likely feels himself key to the Hammers continued progress, as well as a larger fish, entering a smaller pond in many ways.

These players and their manager all come to work every day with to play their hardest, and the results they’ve managed against positive and negative competition have demonstrated themselves. What has separated this year from many others in the past, is that it just seems as though big upsets are not only possible, but probable. Yet the Hammers, while having found less success against teams of the upper echelon, have feasted upon the weaker clubs. Outside of their victories against Everton and Aston Villa earlier this season, as well as the recent Tottenham match, the club has been greedy against weaker teams, and weaker against more greedy teams.

Is this a sustainable model moving forward? And can the club do any real damage in any of the possible European Leagues should they manage to reach that location?

Perhaps, but it’s up to West Ham and their Form

West Ham would likely do best to reach the Europa League with the fifth position, although I doubt they’d argue with a Champions League coffer to purchase with. Yet with the development of the club still very much in the process of occurring, the UCL might just be a case of too much, too soon. Indeed, they might have really wonderful success against the relatively good of the Europa League, as opposed to the best of either England or Europe.

Sometimes it is good for a clubs journey to be like that of an old rollercoaster; a slow and steady build up, followed by the peak and all the variably changing factors that succeed that point. It would be unfortunate for the team to get thrust into a position they do not yet belong in, only to be beaten back into some type of submissive footballing state by a “Draw of Death” or something similar.

Their schedule for the rest of the season is not the easiest, yet with the position they currently have, they may not have to be as stellar as some of the clubs behind them necessarily. No one wants to play Manchester City right now, yet that match will be a difficult one to win; should they do so, it will be further fuel to the fire of belief that the club has built itself already. After that they host Leeds, before beginning a terrible stretch of opponents, ranging from Manchester United and Arsenal, to Wolves and Leicester City. Newcastle after that could be considered a break, unless you’re Everton, before Chelsea, Burnley and Everton sit waiting. After that, the season has just three final games, including ones against Brighton, West Brom and Southampton.

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Should the Hammers be able to weather the initial storm surge of games in the nearer future, they might be able to stock up late points as the campaign dwindles. With 45 points through 25 matches, West Ham is having its best season in what feels like decades; and they can truly stamp themselves as the best team in as long with a top five finish in a year where no one even considered them in the conversation. David Moyes deserves praise to be sure, and should he continue on the current trajectory he’s on, he might be able to further rewrite his career in more fascinating ways.