West Ham play with New Year resolution as Moyes inspires team to thumping win
PUBLISHED: 12:52 02 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:52 02 January 2020
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Come on the feel the Moyes at the London Stadium
If this New Year's Day victory over beleaguered Bournemouth tells us anything, it is that the team had stopped playing for departed boss Manuel Pellegrini.
After four consecutive home defeats, new boss David Moyes turned all that round in 90 one-sided minutes full of vigour, endeavour and yes, even goals!
Many fans had castigated the appointment of Moyes for a second time at West Ham, panning the board for what was seen as a backward step.
But what you do get with a Moyes team is 100 per cent commitment, closing down of opposition players and the desire to get the ball into the box.
We had seen precious little of that under the Chilean boss in recent weeks and even without the injured Michail Antonio, there was a spring in West Ham's step.
Inspired by skipper Mark Noble, whose message to fans before this game had received a mixed response, the Hammers took this game by the scruff of the neck and never looked back.
Luck was on their side. The luck of playing against an injury-plagued Bournemouth side as bereft of confidence as the Hammers had been before Pellegrini's sacking.
There was the luck of Noble's deflected shot for the first goal, that may have been going wide, and the awarding of a debatable penalty which allowed the skipper his second and West Ham's third.
Add to that, the Cherries hit the post and Aaron Cresswell's red card was immediately rescinded to a yellow by VAR.
West Ham deserved their luck, though, as they also put in a superb display of dominance.
At the back, Angelo Ogbonna kept Callum Wilson quiet for almost the entire 90 minutes, while Fabian Balbuena looked back to his confident best.
Ryan Fredericks delivered the cross that allowed Sebastien Haller to notch his sixth goal of the campaign, while Declan Rice launched a superb crossfield pass that put in Felipe Anderson to round off an excellent performance with his first goal of the season.
Lukasz Fabianski restored calmness to the defence with an effortless clean sheet, while Pablo Fornals continues to improve with every Premier League appearance.
Robert Snodgrass was a non-stop running machine and then there was Noble.
Some have criticised him in recent games and he was left out of the Leicester game, but here he was at his swashbuckling best.
For Moyes it was a stunning return and from sitting in the bottom three at kick-off, they moved up to 16th.
"I'm smiling and that makes a change!" joked Moyes with the dry wit of Billy Connolly.
"I've go to say the players were brilliant. It was a great display and I was disappointed we didn't get another."
There were some fine individual displays from players who have struggled in recent weeks.
"It was good to see people like Seb (Haller) and Felipe (Anderson) getting a goal and it would be wrong of me not to say how well Mark Noble played," smiled Moyes.
"I think I've come back and it's a new man. Maybe it's his brother because he was so good he looks much younger than when I left!"
The whole team looked younger, more determined and just hungrier than under Pellegrini.
One win does not solve the problems and the Cherries were simply awful, but at last West Ham have made a move in the right direction and for that we can thank Moyes, if not the board.