West Ham seem like a completely different side this season. A key factor behind our improvements has been David Moyes switching to a 3-4-3 or 5-4-1 system.
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The Scot deserves great credit for having the foresight and courage to mix things up after our pathetic opening day defeat to Newcastle United.
Things are looking up for the Hammers. We are currently sitting in 13th spot in the Premier League table, having taken 11 points from our opening eight games.
That is a very respectable return. Especially when considering the fact that West Ham have already played six of last season’s top eight teams.
Changed forced upon Moyes?
The Athletic suggest that Moyes’s hand was forced, however. They claim that in over 500 games in charge of Everton, the Scot used the 3-4-3 or 5-4-1 system fewer than 20 times and never used it at either Manchester United or Real Sociedad.
It is suggested that Mark Noble’s injury and a need for greater defensive solidity prompted Moyes into the formation switch.
The first part of that claim is slightly unfounded, however. Noble has only been forced to missed our last four games. And he was available for selection long after West Ham changed systems.
It is true, however, that Moyes’s preferred formation is 4-2-3-1. But the real truth of the matter is that you pick a system that best suits the players you have at your disposal.
And in fairness, not all managers do that. Even some of the world’s best. So whatever the reasoning behind West Ham’s change in formation earlier this season, Moyes still deserves huge credit.
Now it’s up to the Scot to prove that he has what it takes to guide us towards a new era of success. As long as he is sufficiently backed in the transfer market, there is no reason why he won’t be able to do just that.