David Moyes Returns to West Ham as Manager on 1.5-Year Contract

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2019

West Ham United's Scottish manager David Moyes waves to supporters on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Everton at The London Stadium, in east London on May 13, 2018. - West Ham won the game 3-1. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

West Ham United announced the appointment of David Moyes as their new manager on Sunday. 

The news came via the club's official Twitter just a day on from the Hammers' decision to part company with Manuel Pellegrini.

West Ham United @WestHam

We are pleased to confirm that David Moyes has returned to the Club as first-team manager. https://t.co/Y2fxo5hTCE

Moyes expressed his delight at returning to the club:

"It's fabulous to be back. It feels great to be home. I've missed being here because I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed being around the stadium and I loved being in this part of the world and I missed the club, so I can't wait to get started.

"I'm feeling very proud that I'm back here at West Ham. But I think more importantly I'll be looking to see what I can do and what I can make improvements to, how we can get some wins with the players and how we can get some quick wins on the field as well.

"I do believe that the squad of players I've got here is a better squad of players than when I took over before, so I am looking forward to working with them.

"I think there's got to be a short-term goal for us just now to get the wins to get us away from the wrong end of the league and what we're going to do over the next six months, then what we're going to do over the next period as well. The start is really focusing on the immediate games."

Pellegrini was given his marching orders on Saturday night, with a 2-1 loss to Leicester City earlier that evening leaving the team in the midst of a relegation battle. West Ham are in 17th in the Premier League, just a point ahead of Aston Villa in 18th.

Moyes, a former Manchester United and Everton manager, takes over at London Stadium for a second time and finds the club in similar circumstances to those at the start of his first spell.

The Scotsman took over in November 2017 with West Ham in the relegation zone. Moyes was able to steer the team to a 13th-placed finish, although the decision was made to part ways at the end of the campaign.

Per Oddschanger, despite helping West Ham out of trouble, Moyes' overall record doesn't compare favourably to that of Pellegrini's:

Oddschanger @Oddschanger

📊 David Moyes record at West Ham: ‣ Games: 31 ‣ Wins: 9 ‣ Draws: 10 ‣ Losses: 12 ‣ W/R: 29.03% 📊 Manuel Pellegrini's record at West Ham: ‣ Games: 64 ‣ Wins: 24 ‣ Draws: 11 ‣ Losses: 29 ‣ W/R: 37.5% #WHUFC ⚒ https://t.co/7nZ9F6YfVv

The 56-year-old has not been employed since leaving the Hammers in May 2018. He was strongly linked with a move back to Everton earlier in the campaign, but the Toffees appointed Carlo Ancelotti instead.

While a number of those supporters who frequent London Stadium will view the appointment as underwhelming, Jacob Steinberg of the Guardian defended the job Moyes did during his first spell in charge:

Jacob Steinberg @JacobSteinberg

Lots critical of Moyes’s low win percentage at West Ham. Context? Kept them up. Took over an unfit side in bottom three, playing in front of a disgruntled crowd at an athletics stadium. Squad was unbalanced and limited and he didn’t get to strengthen in January.

Football writer Daniel Storey thinks that going back to Moyes represents a failure from those at the top of West Ham:

Daniel Storey @danielstorey85

To be in the top 20 clubs in the world for revenue and have to appoint David Moyes to save your season once is careless. To do it twice is negligence. West Ham are a club under anti-leadership.

The club has invested heavily in the playing squad, with the likes of Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals arriving last summer. However, Pellegrini struggled to get the team playing with intensity, incision or organisation.

It will be fascinating to see whether Moyes can fare any better; while he's experienced, since doing a fine job at Everton, he's struggled in all of his managerial roles since.