West Ham manager David Moyes has, perhaps undeservedly, earned himself the reputation as a manager whose style of football provides negative connotations.
Words like pragmatic, defensive, and boring are often associated with the West Ham manager and his tactics, and this tag has since remained since he became the Hammers boss last December.
The evidence, though, statistically at least, suggests that these labels are misguided and, in fact, point to quite the contrary.
West Ham admittedly got off to a slow start to the season with a tedious loss at home to Newcastle, but ever since that game as Moyes switched formation to a back five, the Hammers have looked like a completely different outfit to the one that put up such a weak fight in their opening fixture.
Arsenal was up next and, while this match also resulted in no points for the Irons, signs were there that the Scot’s offensive plans were beginning to come to fruition, with a goal from Michail Antonio accompanied by a hatful of missed chances that should have seen his side take home at least a point.
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Ever since then, the Hammers haven’t looked back in terms of not just goalscoring, but creating chances. Ten goals have been scored in their last three games against Wolves, Leicester, and Tottenham, respectively – opposition who would each expect to be challenging for European places come the end of the season.
West Ham sits seventh in the Premier League in terms of goals scored and jumps up to fourth since the aforementioned formation change post-Newcastle defeat.
This goalscoring form is backed up by the xG (expected goals) table, where the Hammers sit 5th, suggesting that it is no fluke that they are finding the net on such a regular basis.
Of course, one could argue that this Premier League season is still in its infancy stages and that it would be difficult for Moyes’ men to keep up those kinds of statistics over a larger time frame, but there is evidence to suggest that this is now the norm rather than an impressive bout of form.
Since the start of the last campaign’s post-lockdown period, West Ham has scored three or more goals on six occasions in just 14 games, almost achieving that impressive feat one in every two matches.
In comparison, only Manchester City have scored three-plus goals on more occasions than the Hammers since that re-start, whilst both Liverpool and Manchester United have matched their tally of six.
This highlights that Moyes may have found the key to the Hammers’ attacking success and in turn suggests that he may be deserving of more credit than he is currently getting.
The 57-year-old, however, will be happy to step back and let his players take all the glory for their goalscoring triumphs, as it means he can continue to quietly go about his business and maintain the upward trajectory that he, and the club, find themselves on.