The Best Way FORWARD

Desperation is what we witnessed over the weekend versus Burnley. Down 2-0 it was Danny Ings who would be the hero for the first time in a West Ham uniform. At half-time, David Moyes finally made a drastic change. Sent Jarrod Bowen back to the right side added Michail Antonio to the attack and played Kudus on the left. It worked. Why wouldn't it work again?
Moyes Ball functions better when Michail Antonio or Danny Ings are in the Center Forward position.
Moyes Ball functions better when Michail Antonio or Danny Ings are in the Center Forward position. / Vince Mignott/MB Media/GettyImages

In what could be his final three months as West Ham’s manager, David Moyes should leave it all on the pitch. When a team like Burnley, which is starring relegation in the face and is by far the worst team in the league, has your scheme and starting 11 figured out it's time for a change. That was abundantly clear in the 2-2 tie. In the first half, it just felt Burnely had West Ham figured out. It wasn’t until some major changes and moving pieces that West Ham took over the match and played the “exciting” brand of football the fans had been waiting for. 

The biggest move was returning Jarrod Bowen to the right side. For the sake of trying to advance in Europa and securing a tournament spot in the Premier League standings, Bowen should not have to play another match at center forward the rest of the season. You have Michial Antonio playing for his future and Danny Ings in the best form he’s been in since joining the Hammers, take advantage of it. As much as Mohammed Kudus prefers to play on the right side or center he looked like a natural on the left side. Again for the sake of staying alive,  make sure he stays on the left side. Finally, there’s Lucas Paqueta who should be in the middle over James Ward-Prowse. Return him to the defensive midfield with Edson Alvarez and now you have the best possible lineup in a desperation game Thursday versus Freiberg and this weekend versus Aston Villa. 

Change it up! Keep the opposing team guessing and let them figure out how to make adjustments during the game, not before it even starts. Despite the pleas of fans to attack more, Moyes will most certainly return to a defensive counter-attacking style. The problem with changing that up is that while West Ham attacked, Burnley was quick on the counter and the squad adapted, leaving the defense to fend for itself and depending on heroics from goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. 

Going into Thursday's match with Freiberg 1-0 up, it’ll be interesting to see if Moyes sticks to his usual starting 11 or goes for a more unconventional lineup like the one he had in the final minutes versus Burnley. What the 2nd half showed fans is that Bowen is honestly too valuable on the wing to sacrifice him as the lone striker. The 2nd half also showed that with Kudus and Bowen on the wings, more balls were entering the box. They had more chances with Antonio playing upfront than they did with Bowen. 

It does seem like Moyes has lost his grip on this team. The pressure has mounted for a long time. For the third season in a row, West Ham are running out of gas at the worst possible time. Maybe this is the end for one of the winningest managers in West Ham’s history. The question now becomes whether he will finish with a bang or continue to unravel right out of the top half of the league.