London Stadium feels like home as fans return to witness Moyes revamp


avid Moyes has developed a keen habit of banishing cliches during his time at West Ham and another one fell tonight.

Over their record breaking season last year a theory developed that the Hammers were excelling in no small part due to the absence of supporters in the stands, especially here at the London Stadium.

This week Moyes challenged his players and the returning masses to prove those theorists wrong and they did so in wonderful unison. A red card for Ayoze Perez certainly helped West Ham’s cause but even before then they had been sharper and hungrier, driven on by a raucous crowd. That Leicester played on with ten men did not feel a defining factor as West Ham made it two wins from two this season.

The Scottish manager wanted those coming back to see a team unrecognisable from that which last played in front of a full London Stadium and one which had them off their seats throughout. Moyes could not have asked for a better goal to encapsulate what he has brought to east London than the opener here. Aggressive play to get on the front foot and quickly pouncing on a loose touch from Jamie Vardy, before breaking in a flash and finding the bottom corner.

The team and crowd fed off one another on the sort of night that has been so lacking since the move here from Upton Park. The London Stadium certainly felt like home tonight.

A night that in years gone by many would have feared turning sour ended with chants of “We are top of the League” and Moyes being serenaded by a remaining group of supporters as he conducted post-match media duties.

“It’s a super night for us,” said Moyes. “The team played really well. The sending-off changes the game a little bit we did a lot of good things.

“It reminded me of Upton Park tonight. It was great.”

Eight goals in two games to start the season also underline that this side are no flash in the pan. Many raised an eyebrow when Moyes said he wanted to go better than last season’s record Premier League points tally and sixth placed finish, especially considering West Ham are the only side not to make a permanent signing so far this summer. Few will question that ambition now and should new faces arrive over the next week then this squad will only improve given Moyes’s hesitancy and track record in the market.

Too often West Ham fans have left this part of east London with the wrong kind of memories. Here they headed away with smiles, cheers and plenty of hope for the season to come.

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