Moyes is more than a firefighter – now he deserves a new contract

Even at the outset of his first spell in charge at the London Stadium, the Scot knew there was some work to be done to rebuild his reputation that had been damaged after he left Everton.  

“Sometimes you have to repair things and maybe I’ve got a little bit to repair,” Moyes said on his unveiling for his first spell as manager of West Ham three years ago.

Moyes was back in management for the first time since after an ill-fated 10-month spell at Sunderland and, unfairly, was typecast as simply a firefighter, a short-term solution to save a struggling club from relegation.

He was overlooked for the West Ham job full-time in favour of Manuel Pellegrini after he kept West Ham up in 2018 but, after saving them from the drop for a second time last season, he has been given time to show he can build something like he did at Everton.

Moyes has said he would like to build “something really special” at West Ham – and he looks to be doing just that.

Hard work and grinding out results were at the core of his two successful survival missions at the London Stadium, but this West Ham side is developing into something far more than survivors of a relegation battle. Wins over Leicester and Wolves, their dramatic comeback at Tottenham and taking a point from Manchester City are clear markers of their progression.

Moyes has had a clear plan of what he wanted to do with West Ham, if he was given the opportunity to do so, since the end of his first spell in charge.

Before he was replaced by Pellegrini, Moyes would often talk of creating a profile of a “West Ham signing”. During his second spell he has signed young, hungry players with a point to prove in the Premier League. Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek epitomised that and have been roaring successes so far. Vladimir Coufal looks to be following a similar path too.

( Soucek has impressed since arriving in London, starting all three games. / West Ham United FC via Getty Images )

The performances Moyes has drawn from Michail Antonio bring back memories of the way he turned Marco Arnautovic into one of the most potent Premier League forwards in his first spell.

Moyes has brought a level of stability to West Ham not seen, arguably, since they left Upton Park. There is more progress still to be made, as the performance in the narrow 1-0 win over Fulham showed, but the 57-year-old has always insisted this is a process.

“Dave’s a builder,” West Ham coach Stuart Pearce told Standard Sport recently. “He built Preston and put Preston on the map, he certainly did the same at Everton as well. I think nothing would please him more than be able to build a legacy at West Ham.”

In order to build that legacy, Moyes deserves a similar level of security that he is giving to West Ham.

When he returned to the London Stadium last December, Moyes was handed a contract until the end of this season which included a performance related option of a one-year extension. In the work he has done in the past 11 months, he has done more than enough to deserve longer than that.

West Ham, as they often like to under David Sullivan, will leave discussions over any new contract until at least after Christmas.

Moyes praised the co-owners Sullivan and David Gold for swallowing their pride when they asked him to return and has built a good working relationship with them in his second spell.

When he came back to the club to clear up the mess made by his predecessor, Moyes vowed to leave the club with no option but to extend his deal in east London. Their minds should already be made up.

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