Hammers boss David Moyes has raved about Aston Villa and says Steven Gerrard has done things the right way ahead of the West Ham clash.
West Ham are now hitting the pressure point of their season with the race for the European places seriously intensifying and next Thursday’s huge Europa League last 16 clash with Sevilla on the horizon.
Aston Villa are a team on the up and will be seeking a measure of revenge at the London Stadium after losing 4-1 to West Ham in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
The Hammers have started to find some form of late but have paid the price for their profligacy in the last three games which ended in defeat to Sevilla, Liverpool and Southampton.
Moyes’s boys will need to put that right when they take on Steven Gerrard’s in-form Aston Villa on Sunday if they want to keep the pace in the race for the European spots.
Its says everything about the contrasting form of the two clubs over the last few months that Aston Villa can close to within six points of West Ham with a win at the London Stadium.
Gerrard has got a clear reaction since taking over at Villa Park and West Ham will need to be at their best to emerge with three points.
Speaking ahead of the clash of the claret and blues, Moyes raved about Aston Villa and and says Gerrard has done things the right way.
“I said, from last year, that Aston Villa have got good players,” Moyes said in his pre-match press conference (whufc.com).
“They’ve got some really talented young players. They’ve signed well in the transfer market…
“They’ve had some really good results, but I think the Premier League this year is so close. I think there are very little between the teams. Of course, there’s a bit between Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and maybe the rest, but I think after that there is very little between the teams from top to bottom…
“I think Aston Villa are in a good moment, so we’re going to need to play well to get the points.
“I’m extremely impressed with Steven Gerrard. There are so many top-flight players who quite often think the best route to go is to go right back into top-flight management. But Steven Gerrard took the U18s at Liverpool and had a couple of years at that.
“Then he took on a huge task at Glasgow Rangers, especially to try and stop Celtic winning ten in a row. He took that on, which in itself was a monumental achievement for Rangers supporters. It can be a real stressful job to manage Glasgow Rangers but he took that on.
“Now he’s gone on and taken on a big job in the Premier League at Aston Villa. I like the way he’s tried to develop himself and he’s not just jumped in thinking ‘this is easy, I’ll do this’. I think he’s tried to train himself up, get some experience and learn on the job. He’s doing a really good job.”
Gerrard is certainly building up an impressive body of work so far.
Let’s just hope the Liverpool hero suffers a bump in the road when he brings Villa to West Ham on Sunday.