West Ham United were gearing up for a trip to face Tottenham Hotspur back in March confident of repeating the previous season’s heroics.
Michail Antonio scored a memorable goal as West Ham beat their bitter rivals Tottenham 1-0 to inflict Spurs’s first ever defeat at their impressive new stadium last term.
West Ham were confident of another victory – one which would have gone a long way to helping ensure Premier League survival after a torrid season.
Spurs had not won in four matches while West Ham had been improving and looking a real threat for the first time since Moyes’s return to the club.
West Ham were set to face confidence-sapped, injury-ravaged Spurs
Crucially Tottenham were ravaged by injuries and were set to be without five key players for the London derby including Harry Kane and Heung-min Son.
The global health crisis pressed pause on West Ham’s battle for survival, though.
And it gave the likes of Kane and Son a chance to get back fit for a run-in both would have otherwise missed.
Not only that, the duo will have a home game against Manchester United to sharpen their focus – and an extra day’s rest – before facing West Ham on June 23 in a game which now has a completely different complexion.
The pressure that had been mounting on Tottenham and Mourinho has dissipated.
‘Pointless moaning over Tottenham fortune’ says Moyes
And West Ham are suddenly under more pressure. The financial impact of the health crisis and potential relegation poses a serious threat to their future.
But speaking to The Evening Standard Moyes said it was pointless moaning over spilt milk.
“All we can do is look after our own mentality,” Moyes told The Evening Standard.
“When the lockdown came, I believe we were going in the right direction. We were happier with the way we were performing, but we still need to play much better.
“There’s no point looking back (to the fact Spurs would have been without Kane and Son).
Break has allowed Hammers trio to return too
“We can only deal in the here and now. And it’s up to me to get them organised correctly and mentally in the best place. I went through this a couple of years ago. A fight to avoid relegation. And then what we had were our fans. They played a big part in us finishing safe. The supporters won’t be there this time. But I can assure them they will always be in my mind and, one way or another, we’ll be playing for them.”
In terms of injuries, West Ham have benefited from the break too.
Although not to the extent Tottenham have in getting arguably their two best players back.
Jack Wilshere, Andiry Yarmolenko and Ryan Fredericks are now all fit for the run-in.
Whether any of them step up and make a telling contribution is another thing entirely. There has been little evidence of that so far this season.