West Ham were right to back ‘perfect’ David Moyes and have ‘recruited well’ in the summer insists Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe.
The fact Newcastle are pushing for a Champions League spot and have just made it to their first cup final since 1999 is not the only surprise ahead of the visit of West Ham.
Perhaps just as eyebrow raising is the fact Moyes remains manager of the Hammers after coming through – for now at least – an intense period of speculation over his future.
While Newcastle have gone from relegation candidates to Champions League hopefuls in the last year, the Hammers have been the polar opposite.
After making the Europa League semi-finals and finishing seventh last season, West Ham have endured a torrid Premier League campaign thus far and are in a relegation battle.
The regression, after spending £185m on nine new signings in the last two windows, has piled the pressure on Moyes.
But West Ham’s owners have stuck by the Scot. There have been some green shoots of recovery in back-to-back wins over an awful Everton side and League One Derby.
Much stiffer tests await this month, though, starting with Saturday’s daunting trip to Newcastle before games against Chelsea and Spurs.
Many West Ham fans feel the club should have sacked Moyes when they lost at home to Brentford and Wolves after the World Cup break.
But West Ham were right to back ‘perfect’ Moyes and have ‘recruited well’ insists Newcastle boss Howe.
Speaking ahead of the visit of West Ham to St James’ Park, Howe insists Moyes remains the best man for the Hammers job.
And he says what West Ham are experiencing merely shows just how competitive the Premier League has become.
West Ham were right to back ‘perfect’ David Moyes and have ‘recruited well’ insists Newcastle boss Eddie Howe
“I think it’s the strength of the Premier League and it can happen to anyone at any time,” Howe said of West Ham’s struggles this season.
“It’s such a difficult division that you can go a couple of games, make a difficult start, and then once you’re in that position, it’s difficult to immediately get out of it.
“I think they’ve got a top quality squad, some really good players and they recruited well in the summer. David (Moyes) is an incredible manager, with his experience and the teams he has managed.
“He’s the perfect man for West Ham in this moment.”
Cynics would say perfect for Newcastle yes because West Ham’s struggles mean it is one less club competing with the Magpies for the European spots.
Let’s hope Howe is right and Moyes manages to turn the ship around quickly.
Newcastle v West Ham is a 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday and will be shown live on Sky Sports.