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English Premier League

Appointing David Moyes would be another error made by West Ham

Jake Jackman

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Moyes

Slaven Bilic became the fourth Premier League manager to lost his job this season after West Ham made the decision to sack him after the 4-1 home defeat to Liverpool and David Moyes looks set to replace him. This has been a long time coming for the Croatian manager, as the team have been uninspiring since the beginning of last season. However, he will argue that he did a good job with the Hammers, with his Premier League points per game (1.33) the best of any manager that has been in charge of the club.

His overall Premier League record isn’t bad, as he won 30 of his 87 matches in charge, leaving him with a win rate of 34%. For a team operating outside of the top-six, this isn’t bad, but the big disappointment was his failure to kick on after an excellent first season in charge. He led the team to a 7th place finish and it was in this campaign that 16 of his 30 wins came. They were full of confidence during their final year at Upton Park and managed to qualify for the Europa League, which was a great achievement for the club.

Only three teams lost fewer matches than West Ham during that season and foundations were build that made supporters believe that they could become a force in the Premier League, especially with the move to the Olympic Stadium. It was important to retain that momentum, but a disappointing summer of recruitment followed. The likes of Simone Zaza, Gokhan Tore, Sofiane Feghouli and Alvaro Arbeloa can all be regarded as failures, while Andre Ayew has not done enough to justify a £21.7 million spend.

The unhappiness of star player Dimitri Payet didn’t help as he looked unmotivated and that attitude seeped into the rest of the squad and the supporters. A quick Europa League exit and a mediocre Premier League campaign saw the club disappear into mediocrity again. That summer was an opportunity missed and Bilic never fully recovered from that. There were some good results, such as the home win over Tottenham in May, but it was clear that the Croatian was unlikely to take the club forward.

It was clear to supporters and the wider public that a managerial change was needed at the club, but Bilic always managed to eke out results when the pressure was at its highest. The win over Tottenham was one example of that as it arguably led to the board keeping him in position during the summer. The end of last season presented the perfect opportunity to make a change, but they refused to do it and they are now suffering for that this season.

This summer represented another series of poor decisions made by the club that started with keeping the manager. Their recruitment was poor for the second successive close season, as they brought in Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez, Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta. There was little squad planning that went into these acquisitions. The motivation for signing all four was based on their reputations rather than how they would fit into the team.

Zabaleta was brought in to start at right-back in what was already a slow and ageing defence. Joe Hart has been on the decline for a number of seasons and isn’t an upgrade on Adrian. The other two players have proven themselves to be good Premier League attackers, but there is no defined system at West Ham and they have struggled to make an impact. These followed the January additions of Jose Fonte and Robert Snodgrass, who were signed based on their recent good form rather than being the right fit for West Ham.

The continual errors in judgement and lack of squad planning in recruitment have left West Ham with a problematic squad. Bilic has been criticised for being a poor tactician and this season looked like it was set up for disaster from the opening weekend. That is exactly what has followed.

At the time of the sacking, West Ham are positioned in the bottom three after taking only nine points from their opening ten matches. The most concerning statistic is their 23 goals conceded, which ranks them as the worst defence in the Premier League. Considering their lack of pace in the back four, this isn’t a surprise. Five of their losses have been by two goals or more. It is relegation form and they needed to make the change sooner rather than later.

What is next for West Ham?

For the reasons listed above, the West Ham job is not an attractive one for an incoming manager. The lure of the Premier League will always be enough to make it appealing for some, but they are unlikely to attract a top manager. A number of sources, including the Guardian, are reporting that David Moyes is set to take over on a six-month deal.

His Premier League experience is the only thing in his favour and that is overrated, as underlined by Marco Silva since he arrived in England. Moyes has failed in every post he has held since leaving Everton and there is little reason to believe he could replicate that with West Ham.

Last season, he oversaw a terrible campaign as Sunderland manager, as his side were in the relegation zone for the majority of the season and were condemned to the drop in April. For a manager that is portrayed as a good coach and an effective organiser of a defence, Moyes was awful at the Stadium of Light. There was little sign of fight from his players and his negativity in press-conferences was a major reason for that.

Within weeks of the season starting, Moyes admitted to Sky Sports that the club were going to face another relegation fight, which immediately set the agenda for the campaign ahead.

“Well, they would probably be right because that’s where they’ve been every other year for the last four years, so why would it suddenly change?

“I think it will be, I don’t think you can hide the facts, that will be the case, yes. People will be flat because they are hoping that something is going to dramatically change – it can’t dramatically change, it can’t.”

These are remarkable quotes from a manager of a Premier League and his lack of enthusiasm and defeatist attitude would have shattered any belief the playing squad had in their ability to avoid a relegation fight. It is acceptable to aim to avoid relegation, but there are ways to portray that message. This wasn’t it and it was an incredible piece of bad management that somebody with Moyes’ experience shouldn’t have made.

Considering West Ham’s current position and lack of confidence, it would be optimistic to think Moyes is the right man to turn things around. Bilic was often criticised for the way he carried himself, but the former Everton and Manchester United manager is unlikely to be any different in this regard.

According to Jason Burt of the Telegraph, the owners are having doubts about the appointment and that will not do much to inject positivity into the squad or supporters. If they do make this appointment, it would be another bad decision from the board and a string of bad decisions in the Premier League only lead to one thing, relegation.

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

West Ham United

Manuel Pellegrini move for former player Willy Caballero makes sense

The Argentine goalkeeper is currently at Chelsea but West Ham may make a move.

Mathew Coull

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West Ham United need a new goalkeeper this summer. Last year they signed Joe Hart to replace a reasonably in form Adrian. The England stopper flopped at the London Stadium. Adrian, however, has not shown some of his previous better form since coming back into the side.

The Hammers can now start planning for the upcoming season and begin thinking about potential transfer options. They have appointed a new manager and Manuel Pellegrini is expected to get plenty of backing in the transfer market this summer.

One player that he might want to consider signing is a man he has worked with on two separate occasions in the past.

Willy Caballero is currently the back-up to Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea. The Argentine stopper may be 36-years-old, but he still has plenty to offer. When it comes to saving penalties, there may not be anyone better in world football today.

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Pellegrini is the man who first brought the veteran stopper to England. The Chilean signed his fellow South American as back-up to Joe Hart back in 2014. He has also previously worked with him at Malaga and, as reported by The Sun, a reunion at West Ham does now seem like a possibility.

It would be a smart piece of business for West Ham. Caballero is surely not happy sitting on the bench at Stamford Bridge. At West Ham, regardless of whether they bring in another new face or not, he is more likely to get first-team football and enjoy the latter stages of his career.

It is a deal that makes sense on paper and would not come at a heavy price for West Ham. Fans should hope that Pellegrini can put this one together in the coming weeks.

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Everton

Everton should forget Luis Muriel and target his team-mate Wissam Ben Yedder instead

Everton are said to be interested in the Colombian striker again this summer.

Mathew Coull

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Everton are reportedly interested in the signature of Sevilla striker Luis Muriel. It is being reported in Spain that the Toffees are keen on signing the Colombian international this summer in order to strengthen their attacking options.

Fichajes and Estadio Deportivo in Spain have both reported the news and Everton have of course been linked before. Last summer, before Muriel made his switch to Spain it was reported by numerous sources, including Marca, that Everton wanted to bring the forward in from Sampdoria.

On the one hand, Everton fans will be happy the club are looking into new recruits for next season. However, Muriel is not the player at Sevilla that Everton should be targeting.

(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

The 27-year-old managed just nine goals and four assists in 46 appearances for the Spanish side last season. That sort of form should hardly have Everton reaching for the chequebook.

If Everton are going to look at a forward from Sevilla, then they should be targeting French striker Wissam Ben Yedder instead.

The 27-year-old has been a far more impressive player this season, despite often coming on from the bench. He scored 22 goals and assisted five in 42 games, a much better rate than the man Everton are apparently chasing.

He also clearly loves English opposition. He scored a famous double against Manchester United to knock the Red Devils out of the Champions League and also scored three times in two appearances against Everton’s Merseyside rivals Liverpool in the Group Stage.

(Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)

Everton do need to make improvements across the camp, but it is hard to see how Muriel would make a significant difference to the Everton strikeforce.

Ben Yedder, on the other hand, would be a much more impactful arrival and he could hopefully continue his fine form against English sides but in an Everton kit.

With talk of Everton flop Sandro Ramirez heading the other way as part of the Muriel deal a fee could easily be negotiated to bring in the French forward.

If Everton are targeting a Sevilla striker this summer, then Ben Yedder is the man they should be going for, not Muriel.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Alderweireld out, De Ligt in and £25m up would represent a Tottenham transfer masterstroke

Tottenham Hotspur look set to lose the Belgian this summer.

Mathew Coull

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It seems just a matter of time now before Tottenham Hotspur lose their Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld. The 29-year-old has rejected the club’s offer of a new contract, reported by the Mirror to be worth around £120k-a-week. Despite the doubling of is wages he is said to be unhappy at the length of any deal and now appears set to leave.

The Mirror report this morning that Spurs want a fee near the £75 million Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk. Tottenham still consider Alderweireld to be among the best defenders in the Premier League, despite an injury struck campaign. Therefore, a fee must match that paid for the Dutchman.

Spurs, according to the same report, have also identified the man they want to replace Alderweireld in North London. Once again they will apparently turn to Ajax. Following on from bringing Davinson Sanchez to the club last summer, 12 months on they are set to target Matthijs De Ligt.

(Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The fee for the 18-year-old is said to be in the £50 million region and if these two deals pan out as reported than Daniel Levy and co have done fantastic business for Tottenham Hotspur.

Alderweireld is undoubtedly a world-class defender. However, injury concerns are a concern, especially as he approaches his 30s. A fee of £75 million would be more than fair compensation for his services at this place in time.

As for De Ligt, he is probably the best young defender in world football. Despite his tender age, he is already a full Dutch international, recently making headlines for a stunning performance v Portugal. He kept Cristiano Ronaldo out at one end whilst his marauding style in a back-three also saw him bag two assists in a 3-0 win for the Dutch.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Many in his homeland are comparing him to Dutch legend Ronald Koeman and the similarities are obvious to see.

Some of the biggest clubs in world football are keen on De Ligt. Tottenham do however have an advantage due to their good working relationship with the Dutch champions – who they have done business with over Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Sanchez.

If Tottenham can bring in De Ligt and still have £25 million to spare from the Alderweireld deal then there is no doubt they have pulled off a masterstroke in the transfer market. Such a scenario will definitely pay off in the future when De Ligt is lighting up the Premier League.

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