West Ham United: How David Moyes can save Hammers' season

David Moyes oversees training in preparation for his first game as West Ham manager against Watford (Sunday 16 November, 16: 00 GMT)
David Moyes is preparing for his first match as West Ham boss - against Watford on Sunday

The son of a ship-building draughtsman, David Moyes has planning and attention to detail in his DNA.

The new West Ham manager also has hard work wired deep into his psyche.

It was a combination of those qualities that led to him being described as Britain's best pound-for-pound manager while at Everton.

The Scot led the Toffees to a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League in 2005 - on a relatively low budget.

His star has dimmed since leaving for Manchester United in 2013 - he lasted 10 months there, and subsequently struggled at Real Sociedad and Sunderland - but Moyes says he is ready to light it up again.

It will not be easy to do that at West Ham - a side low on belief, sorely lacking cohesion and under the threat of relegation in a new stadium which is yet to feel like home.

BBC Sport examines some of the key areas the 54-year-old must focus on.

Fitter, faster, stronger

West Ham's mark of 4942 sprints this season works out an at average of 449 per match. That is a league low with Manchester City leading the way with an average of 563
West Ham players have performed 4,942 sprints this season - an average of 449 per match, the lowest in the Premier League. Manchester City lead the way with 563

Of the 23 Premier League goals the Hammers have conceded so far this season, 11 have come after the hour mark.

They conceded a 96th-minute equaliser at Crystal Palace to drop two points, let in an 85th-minute leveller at Burnley, and were booed by their fans during a lethargic second half of a 3-0 home defeat by Brighton.

Tired legs, tired minds or both?

Whichever is true, Moyes must trigger quick improvements without the benefit of a pre-season. By holding double training sessions during the international break, he has already underlined his approach.

That intensity will not drop. At Everton, he would work his players relentlessly to ensure they had an edge on opponents.

Former Toffees captain Phil Neville remembers one gruelling pre-season run - known as 'the horseshoe' - Moyes made his players complete.

"His method is to push you to your limits in training and then the match is easy," he told the Liverpool Echo in 2013.

"If there was ever a time I thought, 'I could probably shoot you', it was then.

"Afterwards Mikel [Arteta] was feeling dizzy and laid down on the floor of the dressing room. I was bent over cursing in the corner calling him the worst manager in the league.

"He came in, saw that, and said 'we'll be all right from now on' and we were."

Get the forwards firing

West Ham have scored just 11 league goals so far this season from 116 shots. Moyes has to get them firing again.

He must ensure there is no bad blood with Javier Hernandez, who had only a peripheral role under the Scot when both were at Manchester United.

The Mexican striker has been one of the few positives for the Hammers this season - four league goals meaning he has double the tally of any of his team-mates.

Moyes will also need to keep Andy Carroll fit - and find a way to get the best out of a man whose attributes could be a good fit for a manager who likes his sides to get plenty of crosses into the box.

West Ham have played 990 minutes of Premier League football this season, and Carroll has featured in just 338.

But perhaps Moyes' toughest task will be to turn around the downward trajectory of Marko Arnautovic's club record move to east London.

Arnautovic, signed in the summer for £25m, is without a goal in nine appearances.

Last season, while playing for Stoke, he scored seven goals and created eight of what statisticians Opta call 'big chances' - where a player should reasonably be expected to score.

The latter tally was more than any of his team-mates. So far this season, he has created just one.

He cost more than twice the £11m Sunday's opponents Watford paid for Richarlison, but his statistics pale in comparison with the Brazilian forward.

Marko Arnautovic and Richarlison stats

Arnautovic, though, is defiant.

"I know how strong I am mentally, how I work on myself," he said during the international break. "I have lost nothing and I'm not in crisis."

It has been reported that Moyes has been told he can sell the Austrian in January, but if he can get him back to his best, he will be an asset.

And it seems as though the Scot will not be afraid to dish out some tough love to his players.

"I'm going to be direct," he said. "If they don't like it, then I'm sorry."

Discipline - in every sense

The Hammers have conceded more penalties (four) than any other side in the Premier League so far this season. They're also fourth in the table of most fouls, with an average of 19.

Against Crystal Palace last month, they went in at half-time leading 2-0, only for Angelo Ogbonna to concede a penalty five minutes after the restart.

That came two weeks after Carroll was sent off for two bookable offences in the space of 99 seconds against Burnley, and even the experienced Pablo Zabaleta has conceded two spot-kicks.

Andy Carroll walks off after being dismissed at Turf Moor in October
Andy Carroll walks off after being dismissed at Turf Moor in October

Then there is the tactical ill-discipline, such as Michail Antonio opting to cross the ball rather than keep it in the closing seconds of the match with Crystal Palace, who broke upfield to snatch a 2-2 draw.

In solving these issues, Moyes can again draw on his experience at Everton. In 2007-08, they picked up a league-low 27 yellow cards as they finished fifth in the Premier League.

And he will hope the additions of his former Goodison assistant Alan Irvine and no-nonsense former England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce help matters.

Find the next Pienaar and Baines

After what proved to be Slaven Bilic's final game in charge - a 4-1 home defeat by Liverpool - left-back Aaron Cresswell acknowledged he and his team-mates had let the manager down.

Having formed an effective partnership with Dimitri Payet down the Hammers' left, the statistics make it clear that Cresswell's form has dipped.

Last season, he delivered the second-most successful crosses of any West Ham player (17), but he has managed just four so far this term - three fewer than Zabaleta on the other flank.

Perhaps Andre Ayew's recent improvement - he has scored three goals in his past three appearances - can help bring the best out of the man playing behind him on the left.

If it does, it could be a case of back to the future for Moyes.

Under the Scot's guidance at Goodison, defender Leighton Baines and midfielder Steven Pienaar became one of the most potent left-sided pairings in the Premier League.

In the 2012-13 season, Pienaar scored six goals and contributed six assists, with Baines netting five goals and having five assists.

The stats which show how effective Baines and Pienaar were under Moyes
Then Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard described Baines and Pienaar as "the perfect combination"

Trust in youth

At Everton, Moyes nurtured a young Wayne Rooney, and blooded future England internationals Jack Rodwell and Ross Barkley.

He also put his faith in Seamus Coleman, who he signed from Sligo Rovers as a raw 20-year-old and would become a first-team mainstay.

Like the Merseysiders, West Ham fans are justifiably proud of a respected academy, which has produced talents such as Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Frank Lampard and Jermain Defoe.

Moyes could win some early credit from a supporter base nursing wounded pride and feelings of dislocation at their new stadium by putting his trust in youth once again.

Should he do that, centre-back Declan Rice could be the player most likely to benefit.

The 18-year-old has already made eight appearances this season.

Having guided Coleman from the fringes of his club side to the Republic of Ireland national side, could Moyes do the same with Rice?

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