In seasons gone by, West Ham have often struggled against a certain type of team, which has led to questions about mentality.
Usually, sides like Sheffield United, for example, would be West Ham’s kryptonite as they would harass and bully them into defeat.
The physical nature of such teams would, more often than not, prove too much to handle as their inability to compete with the rough and tumble of the Premier League’s finest exposed them time and time again.
Under David Moyes, however, these gaping weaknesses in West Ham’s game have become increasingly tighter, as Sunday’s professional victory against the Blades demonstrates.
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The Scot, despite having his fair share of doubters amongst the Hammers fanbase, has recruited wisely – with the likes of Tomas Soucek, Jarrod Bowen, and Vladimir Coufal being drafted into east London – whilst also finding the system to get the best out of his squad.
The five at the back formation has solidified the defence, proven by the Irons having kept the joint-most clean sheets in the Premier League, whilst having the second-best defence overall with just ten goals conceded in 9 games.
Ahead of this imperious defence sits the aforementioned Soucek along with team captain Declan Rice, who both expertly transition defence into an attack by starting quick counter-attacks, giving license for the front three to then flourish.
Bowen and Pablo Fornals have been ever-presents in this new system, whilst Michail Antonio’s recent injury has given Haller the chance to prove his worth in his absence – as he did so by firing home the winner at Bramall Lane.
Antonio is likely to be fit for next Monday’s clash against a much-improved Aston Villa, so it will be interesting to see who Moyes opts to lead the line.
Every player seems to not just know their role perfectly, but each other’s roles too, and this is what makes the system work so impeccably.
Maybe, just maybe, when the Hammers come up against the likes of Burnley this season, you should no longer automatically expert a “typical West Ham’ performance.