West Ham boss makes it 200 Premier League wins in emphatic style
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 January 2018
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Arnautovic and Lanzini are the Hammers heroes as Huddersfield are humbled
West Ham boss David Moyes had a big grin on his face as he waited to go in for his press conference and it was no surprise after watching his side thrash Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium.
It was the Hammers’ first double of the campaign, it lifted them up to 11th place in the table and on a personal note it was the manager’s 200th Premier League win.
He joined such leading lights as Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Harry Redknapp, but it was this win that he was revelling in more than anything else.
“We’ve got a long way to go, but the players have done brilliantly well since we came in and a lot of praise must go to them,” said the Scot after the thumping 4-1 win at Huddersfield.
“I thought they were terrific, beating an opponent who were one of the teams around us in the league, so it’s really important.”
It was and it was the emphatic way that the Hammers did it that was so impressive.
The defence was solid, the midfield strong and up front the partnership of Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini were simply unstoppable.
“The two centre forwards were a threat all day,” said Moyes. “Every time it went to them, it looked like that were causing problems.
“It was a real team effort though, everyone worked hard and did their jobs and I have to praise them all.”
That could well be the biggest difference between Moyes and Slaven Bilic. For Moyes everyone did their job, for Bilic, most of the players didn’t know what their jobs worth.
And there is Arnautovic. The Austria international was an embarrassment at the start of the campaign.
Bilic could do nothing with him, but under Moyes has scored six goals in seven games, provided assists and become a cult hero with the fans.
“I’m really pleased with Marko,” said Moyes with understatement. “Everybody told me he hadn’t performed before I came, but everybody knew how good he was at Stoke City and that’s why we paid a big fee for him.
Giving him a freer role up front has given him a chance to show other sides to his game, with the effort and the way he has worked.”
The Huddersfield defenders will be having nightmares about Arnautovic and Lanzini after this game.
The dynamic duo cut through them at will and if things had gone better in the first half, it could easily have been a more emphatic win.
“Manu could have played him in a couple of times in the first half, but he didn’t get the pass. In the end, it was Marko playing in Lanzini to score, so his all-round play was very good. He’s done really well.”
The win at Stoke just before Christmas was an excellent one, but this was even better and shows just how explosive this West Ham team can be on the break.
Huddersfield did manage to equalise in the first half and go in level, but it was the Arnautovic strike at the start of the second half that knocked all the stuffing out of the home side.
“Undoubtedly the goal in the opening seconds of the second half was a game changer,” said Moyes.
“You need bits to go for you in football matches and we got a goal right from the kick-off which gave us a great start.”
It did, but the way West Ham were playing, they always looked like making good chances and adding to the early strike from Mark Noble after they had forced a defensive mistake.
Arnautovic teed up Lanzini for the third and the Austrian’s run into the box allowed the Argentinian to finish superbly and make it four.
The pair went off to great ovations from the Hammers fans, leaving Andre Ayew completely isolated and frustrated up front, but this was about the front two.
Andy Carroll, Javier Hernandez and Diafra Sakho could all be off this month if the rumours are right and with Michail Antonio injured, there are few options for Moyes.
But it looks like he may have stumbled upon a great partnership that could test any defence.
We shall see.