After being sent off to pasture in managerial obscurity, few thought David Moyes would find a home at the London Stadium — and even fewer saw a top-four challenge on the horizon.
Despite having his doubters at the beginning, we find ourselves watching a revitalised West Ham scrap for Europe in the 2020/21 Premier League season’s final third.
At the time of writing West Ham United sit pretty in fifth place, ahead of Tottenham and Liverpool, with a game in hand on fourth-placed Chelsea — a dramatic change in fortune no doubt, but in this article, we take a look at whether the Hammers’ top-four hopes are as serious as they first appear by:
- Leveraging the expert opinions of sports betting sites
- Exploring how the Moyes effect has turned West Ham around
Read on as we take a deeper look at this resurgent West Ham team and decide whether it’s Champions League or bust for Moyes’ boys.
Do the odds favour West Ham’s top-four aspirations?
Before drawing ourselves into the emotion of European glory, we must first look at the raw data to get a more grounded look at West Ham’s chances of getting into the competition.
Looking at sports betting odds and other online casinos is an ideal starting point because they reflect the likelihood of each team reaching the top four using a collection of data and expert opinion.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll be looking at the betting odds on Bet365 — a top reviewed site at Online Casinos which has become synonymous with the Premier League.
Let’s see how West Ham stacks up against the other top-four favourites:
- Manchester City: almost certain (not taking bets)
- Manchester Utd: 1/9
- Chelsea: 2/7
- Leicester City: 8/13
- Tottenham: 11/4
- West Ham: 11/4
- Liverpool: 7/2
Having all but won the league, Manchester City is certain to finish in the top four, with Manchester United as a likely second, bar any late-season meltdowns. After checking off these two favourites, however, the odds become much tighter.
Though an outside one, West Ham have every chance to finish in a coveted top-four position, especially given the patchy form of perennial challengers Liverpool and Spurs.
Who is responsible for West Ham’s Prem resurgence?
West Ham’s dramatic improvement is down to one man — David Moyes
When you think of a typical David Moyes side, you see an organised, strong, and powerful team that exudes consistency. But this hasn’t always been the case…
Hearts sank as fans discovered cult hero Slaven Bilić would be replaced by the experienced, yet rather unambitious Moyes returning for his second spell at the club. Many thought the Scot would only cement the Hammers’ impending spiral into Championship football, and not without good reason: Moyes’ stint with Sunderland saw them face the drop in unceremonious fashion, plus his first spell at West Ham saw him sacked and replaced by Manuel Pellegrini.
Nonetheless, his last few years at the helm have turned West Ham from an odd patchwork quilt of bygone stars — Victor Moses, Mauro Zarate, Jack Wiltshire, Alex Song, Andy Carrol — into a proper team, bleeding the shirt they wear.
Made clear by a dramatic comeback against Spurs earlier in the season, Moyes’ astute work in the transfer window, signing players like Vladimír Coufal and Tomáš Souček, provided some much-needed grit, spurring a sense of passion back into fan favourites Michail Antonio, Aaron Cresswell, and of course, Manuel Lanzini who put away what could potentially be the goal of the season.
The January loan signing of a perennial bench warmer in Jesse Lingard got alarm bells ringing, but even this has proven to be a brilliant move that’s injected new life into the side.
This season shows we owe David Moyes an apology. Far from washed up and on the fringes of managerial obscurity, Moyes is proving a once outdated style of football can still hang with the Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp’s of this world.
Whether the Hammers make it into Europe or not is anyone’s guess, but much to the delight of fans, West Ham are certainly showing a competitive streak once again. It’s only a shame the team aren’t doing it in front of a packed out London Stadium.