David Moyes at West Ham.
There was a good number of football fans around – West Ham’s as well – who laughed at the notion that David Moyes arrived at Hammers looking to bring an ‘entertaining’ brand of football with him.
Sitting 18th in the standings with only two Premier League wins this season West Ham have taken just nine points in 11 league matches, while also conceding 23 goals and the entertainment factor has not exactly been the priority for relegation-threatened side. And for a manager of David Moyes’ reputation to come on a promise of excitement and entertainment, it all sounded too funny.
As a subject of ridicule and mockery across the United Kingdom for his miserable episodes with Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland, David Moyes has a big point to prove at West Ham, however.
With his reputation on the ropes, former Everton boss is determined to make most of his short-term spell in London but judging by the early looks of it he is not showing the desired level of courage and determination to truly shake things up at West Ham.
Ace Up Moyes’ Sleeve
The Hammers spend a reported £42 million on new players this summer with the majority of that sum being a club-record £20 million fee for former Stoke City striker Marko Arnautovic.
The Austrian international, however, failed to live up to the billing and to justify the hefty price tag, having failed to score a single goal in his nine appearances for the Hammers. Often perceived as a rogue player and a controversial figure who is difficult to control, Marko Arnautovic can still be David Moyes’ ace up the sleeve – if Scott decides to keep him that is.
The latest reports emerging in the British press, however, have it that David Moyes is prepared to bin the 28-year-old forward after just months of service with West Ham. The Scot is looking to bolster his midfield and defence and is thus prepared to offload the club’s record signing to fund new arrivals during winter.
But should he sell Arnautovic?
My take is – No. At 28 and with only a couple of years left at the top level, Arnautovic is not yet the footballer he wants to be. And he’s well aware of it. With media pressure upon his shoulders and under constant scrutiny, Marko Arnautovic also has a big point to prove and by joining forces with David Moyes I truly believe their partnership at West Ham has the potential to become a mutually beneficial one.
West Ham boss Moyes and striker Arnautovic seem to be at the same stage in their career and at the crossroads that could determine how football world will go on to remember them.
Will that be a failed hair of Sir Alex Ferguson, an uninventive tactician and a rogue footballer, a teenager who spent years running with gangs in Vienna? Or will it be something completely different?
Potential Game Changer
The partnership between Moyes and Arnautovic could, by all accounts, be a dangerous one. The Austrian forward is not shy to show emotions and to share his opinions which is in direct conflict with the reserved Scott. West Ham forward has fallen out with clubs and coaches throughout his career and not even Jose Mourinho could not keep him under control.
But Arnautovic is a long way off from being in Vienna or running late on his Inter Milan training sessions as a reckless young footballer. A couple of months ahead of him – and especially until the winter market opens – could prove crucial for his West Ham career.
In order to make the most of it, Arnautovic needs to sort his head. Having attempted to analyse reasons behind Marko Arnautovic’s slow start to the season, former West Ham boss Slaven Bilic claimed sendings off are to blame for throwing him off his mental balance and disrupting him early on at West Ham.
As a marquee signing of the summer, Arnautovic has the entire world watching him and pointing fingers towards him so it would be up to Moyes to sort his man out. He is seemingly deciding to go down the easier path of simply offloading the striker but should he show guts and courage to tackle the problems hands-on, Moyes himself could earn back his reputation in England.
Moyes could attempt to get Arnautovic’s head right and turn him into a consistent performer which, in the end, would make a world’s difference for West Ham in their relegation struggle.
The Hammers currently look a fine bet at 9/4 to be dropped off to the Championship and with Moyes at the helm, many fans believe these odds are of high value.
The Scott still has a huge chance to turn things around and present himself as an authoritative managerial figure and a tactician who knows how to get the best out of what’s served in front of him.
All he needs to do is to sort out Marko Arnautovic, the Austrian diamond in the rough.
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