It’s now time to look back over some of the main causes of discussion from Saturday lunchtime’s historic London Derby victory over Chelsea in The Premier League, as David Moyes delivered West Ham United just a third triumph of the season.
Moyes Finds First Win Of Hammers Reign
After four winless games, new Scot Manager Moyes has finally found the first victory of his tenure, coming in some style, against high-flyers and London Rivals Chelsea.
The former Manchester United man had begun his era with a defeat at Vicarage Road, that was then improved on the following week, drawing at home to Leicester City.
Before a poor showing at Goodison Park in a 4-0 thrashing and a slim defeat to League leaders Manchester City, but Saturday’s aggressive and solid showing was a huge improvement on those previous performances for many.
The hosts went at the visitors from the very off, putting Antonio Conte’s team on the backfoot straight away and also restricting them to few clear openings when they did come forward.
A huge component of this was the new Boss’ tactics as he tailored the Xl to deal with players like Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata, the return of Skipper Mark Noble and the goalkeeping decision, which we will touch on later, all proved to be key.
But, with so many injury worries, the Gaffer seems to have found a team that he is comfortable playing with, “a David Moyes Xl” as many would put it, although still without the likes of Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez.
Three points in the former centre-back’s fifth game in Claret & Blue has seen us up and into 18th place, a small step closer to safety, level on points with West Bromwich Albion a place above.
However, the question remains, will Moyes stick or twist with his side for the visit of Arsenal to Stratford on Wednesday night?
Arnautovic Shines To Net First Goal In Claret & Blue
One man who has certainly improved drastically in the eyes of Hammers under the new Gaffer is club-record signing Marko Arnautovic and never was that seen more than in East London two days ago.
The former Stoke City winger was a force in both defence and attack on the wing throughout his 69 minutes on the pitch, contributing superbly in both areas.
However, he will be remembered most in the game for scoring the affair’s definitive goal by being in a superb position to receive a Michail Antonio pass, after a great passage of play between Pablo Zabaleta and Manuel Lanzini.
Arnautovic still had plenty to with the ball though, turning and moving into the box to finish neatly past Thibaut Courtois in the far corner, his maiden Hammers strike almost six months after arriving in East London for a fee of around £25 million.
Despite this, the attacker was somewhat upstaged by another player on the wing, the left-back converted to left winger Arthur Masuaku, who was awarded Man of the Match for his efforts.
The DR Congo International could be seen putting many a high-quality ball into the box, also impressing many with various superb runs up and down the line.
His brightest moment surely came in the first-half though, when his skill and footwork saw him dribble away from as many as three Chelsea stars with a triple turn.
Masuaku has been able to cement his starting place with the help of injuries and a series of impressive cameo performances from the substitutes’ bench under both Slaven Bilic and Moyes.
However, one thing is for sure, both Arnautovic and Masuaku will need to be on the very top of their games if they are to be effective against The Gunners in midweek, can they do it once more at The London Stadium?
Easy Afternoon For New No1 Adrian
One of the biggest storylines pre-match in Stratford was surely the news that Spanish keeper Adrian San-Miguel was to retain his starting place ahead of England shot-stopper Joe Hart.
The decision came in the wake of a quite brilliant showing from Adrian at The Etihad Stadium last Sunday as the keeper kept out some of Manchester City’s finest in a clash that Hart was ineligible for against his parent club.
Having grasped his opportunity with both hands, in a literal as well as a metaphorical sense, the former Real Betis man had relatively little to do, making two saves of note.
When he was called on though, Adrian was stern in keeping out N’Golo Kante’s low effort, before Davide Zappacosta tried his luck minutes later and he was equal to the task once more.
The smart shot-stopper is surely set to keep his position in the first-team, it could be a big World Cup year for him, however, he will certainly need to keep his wits about him over a very busy Festive period indeed.
What Did The Managers Have To Say?
Let’s hear from both Managers in their post-match Pressers at The London Stadium, which MooreThanJustAClub were lucky enough to be in.
“(It was) a really good start to the game by us and then we got a goal, which was a really well-worked goal and then it was a completely disciplined, organised performance”.
“Maybe if we had a little bit more quality at times we might have got ourselves a second or third goal, especially on the counter-attack”.
“We had taken confidence from the City game, I think today there was a bit of similarity, we needed to stop conceding goals, I think we’ve got players who can score, and we kept a clean sheet, when was the last time we kept a clean sheet”?
“Look, we had a good plan, organisation to see how we could try and hurt Chelsea a little bit but obviously try and make sure that their quality and ability wasn’t going to overrun us really”.
“To talk about the Title race after a defeat, I think that is a bit strange, especially if this is the fourth defeat in this season in 16 games”.
“Today we lost the game against West Ham, it was very difficult because our start was bad, and we conceded this goal, then it was difficult to come back”.
“I think today, many players were tired, and it is difficult when you play in two days, we started pre-season with the same players and a lot of players are playing, mostly always”.
“I think in the final pass we made a lot of mistakes, when you shoot for 19 times in a game it means that you attack, but we can do better”.
So, now that we have covered everything that there was to talk about in the wake of a much-happier weekend for the majority of fans in East London, will we be drawing on more positives come Wednesday night, after Arsene Wenger’s North Londoners have visited Stratford?