Head-To-Head: Pep Guardiola vs David Moyesby Chloe Beresford / 01 December 2017, 15:56Tweet
It has truly been a case of “out of the frying pan and into the fire” for West Ham supporters. After a 4-1 defeat to Liverpool - their sixth league defeat of the season - the long under-pressure Slaven Bilic was fired and their answer was to appoint David Moyes in his place.
Hammers fans were obviously concerned over this choice, the record of the Coach since leaving Everton for Manchester United a genuine disaster.
Sacked after one season in charge of Real Sociedad came after his firing 10 months down the line at Old Trafford, and his last job at Sunderland saw him take the Black Cats down to the Championship before losing his job once again. A 1-1 draw with Leicester during his first game at West Ham hardly set the world on fire, and the Scottish boss really came unstuck against his former side Everton.
It was with the Toffees that Moyes last found genuine success, his recent miserable experiences perhaps down to a failure to modernise his methods as those around him have moved on. Wednesday’s 4-0 defeat to an Everton side that have their own problems could not have been a worse return to his old stomping ground at Goodison Park, a wonder-goal from former prodigy Wayne Rooney only serving to rub salt into the wounds.
There has already been talk that the 58-year-old could be in danger of losing his job after such a humiliating defeat, one that took the Hammers into the relegation zone. The Coach talked about individual errors after the match - something that for now will distract from his own failings - but he is ultimately responsible for ensuring that these mistakes do not continue.
Once Everton appoint Sam Allardyce there will be 9 British managers in the Premier League including all of the bottom 7, none in the top 6. Average age: 53. Major trophies between them: 0.— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) November 29, 2017
"I don't think it is because we are not organised or not running hard enough to get back into position, or the players are not showing the right attitude,” he told the Independent after the match.
"I actually think it was individual mistakes in the games that are costing us, so we either have to eradicate it or find people who are not going to make the individual mistakes."
A side that are guilty of committing such errors could not be facing a worse opponent this weekend, as Moyes takes his side up North again to face Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Whilst it has been well-documented that top-of-the-table City have scored 44 goals in 14 Premier League matches, the record of the West Ham boss against top sides makes for even worse reading.
Moyes was winless against any of the top-six sides whilst in charge of Sunderland last term, losing 10 and drawing two of those 12 encounters. The Scotsman has also never defeated Guardiola, notching up one draw and three defeats in four matches versus the Catalan boss. Furthermore, with a meaningless Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek, City can afford the luxury of starting a full-strength squad against an injury-weakened West Ham.
The match itself may well be a foregone conclusion, but it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Guardiola this week. The boss was captured on camera in a bizarre exchange with Saints winger Nathan Redmond after their late win over Southampton. Wildly raising his arms and ranting at the 23-year-old, The Sun claimed that a lip-reading expert caught the boss calling him a w****r, an allegation that was sternly refuted by Redmond on Twitter.
Pep will not rest until he has improved every jet-heeled-but-inconsistent wide man in the United Kingdompic.twitter.com/nvuPEx4rEy— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) November 29, 2017
“He was very passionate, intense and aggressive - but he was only very complimentary and positive to me,” he wrote.
“He commented on my qualities as a young English player and how he wanted me to attack his team more during the game in a similar way to last season. I told him I was doing what my manager had asked me to do in the game. That's it.”
Nonetheless, the FA have asked Guardiola to explain his actions, which he has since apologised for. The incident may have been a distraction, but it won’t be enough to sideline City this weekend as they march on at the top of the Premier League.