And why can’t they afford to dream if they are currently in fourth place in the English Premier League (with the pending games that some teams have), which would give them a qualification to the UEFA Champions League, a great prize for a team that is fighting against big clubs like the current champions Liverpool FC, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC or Tottenham Hotspur FC.
This story has brought together a manager whose last significant success was when he coached Everton FC until 2013, with a club like West Ham United FC whose best performance in the English Premier League was a 7th place in the 2015-16 season. The Hammers were wandering in the middle of the league table as they transitioned from one style of play to the another one as they changed managers with so many different styles. In recent years, they went from managers like Salven Bilic or Manuel Pellegrini to David Moyes or Sam Allardyce.
Unlike other seasons, West Ham United’s summer transfer window has been quite calm, possibly due to the pandemic, and quite successful since the main signings were the Czechs Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal, two important pieces in David Moyes’ setup, especially Soucek. This season, David Moyes has changed his usual 4-2-3-1 for a 5-4-1 that becomes a 3-4-3 when attacking, although recently, due to Masuaku’s injury, he has returned to use the 4-2-3-1 formation. These tactical variation have been adapted to Moyes’ idea of defensive solidity where both the defensive line and the midfielders remain quite close, considerably limiting the range of action of the opposing attackers.
This defensive approached is accompanied by a quick and brilliant transition when moving to an offensive position where Antonio, Fornals and Bowden, with their speed and dribbling ability, manage to take advantage of the spaces left by the rival when counterattacking. This shows the great physical condition of the Hammers to play at this level with the intensity necessary so that these counterattacks can be capitalized. The midfielder relies on two fundamental players of David Moyes’ team: Declan Rice and the aforementioned Tomas Soucek, both of whom bring a lot of balance and recovery in that area of the pitch. Soucek stands out in the aerial game where he is the English Premier League player who wins the most aerial duels in the league, which has allowed him to be the team’s top scorer with 7 goals. If we make an analogy of this West Ham with Moyes’ Everton FC, the Czech would be the equivalent of Marouane Fellaini.