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David Moyes has redeemed himself as one of the best Premier League managers of the moment.
West Ham surged to a 4-1 win over Leicester on Monday, adding to their 4-2 win against Newcastle to sit first by three goals.
It marks a strong contrast to the team Moyes inherited from Manuel Pellegrini in December 2019, languishing above the relegation zone despite spending over £80m on new players.
While they avoided the drop by five points in 2020, they hit 65 points last season to secure European football.
The Hammers’ upward trajectory marks a contrast to former side Manchester United’s fortunes, with their draw against Southampton casting doubt over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s title-winning ability.
Moyes has history with the Red Devils, lasting just nine months as Sir Alex Ferguson’s replacement seven years ago – but what has changed since then?
Daily Star Sport has delved into the analysis charts to pick out what is giving Moyes the edge and what he would bring to Old Trafford if he replaced Solskjaer today…
One of the Hammers’ most damning stats under Pellegrini was their mileage, with their 2018/19 total distance in the bottom six.
Fast-forward to now and West Ham are one of the hardest-working teams in the English top-flight, with winger Pablo Fornals covering more distance than any player this weekend.
United were one of the teams below the Hammers in the 2018/19 season – and that could be a factor in having only 24 clean sheets from 61 games.
What do you think David Moyes would change at Manchester United if he had a second stint as manager? Let us know in the comments section.
This was an issue even when the Scot was in charge at Old Trafford, with Michael Carrick agreeing in autobiography Between the Lines [via Liverpool Echo] as he pushed to increase distance covered.
If Moyes was to make his way back to Old Trafford in today's world, the work rate on the pitch would undoubtedly be one of his first target areas once again.
Another big factor in Moyes’ West Ham squad is their ability to break away quickly, scoring six goals from the counter-attack – joint-second with United.
They adopt a 4-2-3-1 to achieve that spring.
And it seems to be a lesson that was learned from his time at United, regularly being criticised for pushing the ball into wide areas for crosses that were easier to clear.
With talents such as Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood at his disposal, though, a counter-attacking United under Moyes would have been lethal.
Buying players for his style
Moyes inherited a squad featuring record signings Sebastian Haller and Felipe Anderson – but they were cleared out last year to bring his identity.
The huge successful loan spell of Jesse Lingard, a player he worked with at United, and the arrival of Said Benrahma from Brentford gave West Ham their attacking potency.
With the Hammers still doing battle with Chelsea over Kurt Zouma, it shows his ambition to bring players with European experience to bolster the squad.
Transfers have not exactly been a problem for Solskjaer, having negotiated deals for proven winner Raphael Varane and forward Sancho this summer.
But the pair have cost the club more than £100m, which has left some questioning whether more is needed in a short time.
With Moyes developing a strong style of negotiation for the Hammers, things could look different today.
Connecting with fans
Before Moyes’ on-pitch success in his second stint at the London Stadium, the division between club and fans had rarely been bigger.
Following the poor run of form, nearly 2,000 supporters marched on the ground against owners David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady in February 2020.
But 60,000 filled the London Stadium with noise for the first time since February 2020 for the win against Leicester, with the manager comparing it to former ground Upton Park.
The Hammers faithful regularly get a mention in the Scot’s press conferences.
With Solskjaer still having some doubters among the Old Trafford faithful, while they are still recovering from the European Super League fallout in the relationship to the club.
Under Moyes in today's world – after some argued he was not given enough time the first time round – he may be able to re-connect the entire fanbase to United alongside on-pitch success.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
- West Ham FC
- Manchester United FC
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