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Irish Hammer 12:43 Sun Oct 31
West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️

I’m getting so much positive feelings being a Hammer at the moment. Long may it last ! Have a great weekend all. Enjoy the match to everyone going tomorrow ! ⚒️

Believe the data: West Ham are the best they have ever been

It would have come as a surprise to many to see Said Benrahma step up to take the fifth and decisive penalty against Manchester City. But for one member of David Moyes’ backroom staff, a goal must have felt like an inevitability.

When Benrahma dispatched his kick past Zack Steffen he was embraced by his team-mates and fans in the lower tier of the West Stand. The playmaker has started the season in promising form, scoring three league goals in nine appearances. The contributing factors for Benrahma’s shift in confidence are mainly due to the support he has received from Alan Irvine.

In May, it was announced Irvine would step down from his full-time role as assistant manager to become the club’s technical advisor. These days, he is tasked with providing scouting reports on the opposition team — he attended Wolverhampton Wanderers’ 1-1 draw at Leeds United last week, with West Ham set to face the Midlands club in a few weeks.

The former West Bromwich Albion manager remains a valued member of Moyes’ backroom team. When Irvine was in his previous West Ham role, he regularly had one-to-one sessions with Benrahma. Together, they set about a plan of how the playmaker would force his way into the starting XI. In January, the 26-year-old was struggling with the transition of playing in the Premier League following his permanent move from Brentford.

West Ham are flying high in the league and Europe (Photo: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
He was yet to score and had a poor return of two assists in 13 league appearances going into the second half of the season. Yet Moyes and his coaching staff were confident Benrahma would become an integral player. He just needed time to adapt. In a one-to-one session, Irvine referenced how Leighton Baines, Joleon Lescott, Tim Cahill and Phil Jagielka initially struggled to force their way to Moyes’ plans at Everton. But once they got into the team, they stayed in the team.

Those words of encouragement have had the desired effect. This season, Benrahma has started 10 of West Ham’s 13 games in all competitions and has only been taken off before the 85th minute once in the Premier League.

After every training session, Benrahma and Irvine would regularly study video clips. Irvine showed the playmaker every chance he had in games and where he was getting them, what was happening and where things were going wrong. They would then recreate those chances on the training ground. The duo would go away with a bag of balls and some mannequins, and Benrahma would attempt shots in those areas at young goalkeeper Nathan Trott.

Now Benrahma is the second-highest scorer at West Ham this season (four goals in all competitions, behind Michail Antonio on seven).

This special bond between Irvine and Benrahma is just one example of how Moyes and his coaching staff have transformed the culture at West Ham.

The club are flying. They are fourth in the Premier League, have won their first three matches in the Europa League and have been granted permission to increase the capacity of the London Stadium to 62,500.

Yesterday, The Athletic revealed how owners David Sullivan and David Gold are in talks to sell a 27 per cent stake in the club to Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, with the option of a full takeover in the future. Kretinsky’s planned investment is understood to value West Ham in the region of £600 million.

West Ham have kept clean sheets in their last four matches and are unbeaten in their last nine matches away. After missing out on a fourth-place finish last season by two points, they are again threatening to break down the door. They have knocked out Manchester United and Manchester City to reach the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2017-18.

To get an understanding of just how much West Ham have improved under Moyes, we can turn to Club Elo, a measure of team strength. The model works by teams earning points the same way they would in a normal game but they get more points for beating tougher sides and fewer for overcoming easier opponents.

Below shows how West Ham’s Elo rating has changed over time, from 1946 to 2021. Currently, their rating is higher than it was at its previous peak under John Lyall in 1986.

Lyall spent 15 years as manager and is fondly remembered for winning the FA Cup in 1975 and 1980. He also guided the club to their second European Cup Winners’ Cup final and a League Cup final in 1981.

Now, however, the Elo model ranks West Ham as the sixth-best team in English football, displacing Tottenham (22nd) from the supposed Big Six. Their rating (1,835) ranks 15th in all of Europe, sandwiching them between Sevilla and Juventus, just above the average of 1,800 for a Champions League-quality side.

When Moyes and his staff arrived two years ago for his second spell as manager, West Ham were in 17th, one place above the relegation zone. They have changed the culture at the club. For example, if a player arrives late for training at Rush Green, they won’t be fined by Moyes — it is left to the players to decide the appropriate punishment.

Many have highlighted the personalities at the club — Declan Rice, Antonio, Tomas Soucek and Pablo Fornals — as reasons for the positive mood around the club.

But West Ham have arguably one of the best coaching teams in the league. All of Moyes’ backroom staff have been managers, barring goalkeeping coach Xavi Valero. First-team coach Paul Nevin managed New Zealand Knights, who competed in the Australian A League. Stuart Pearce had managerial spells at Manchester City, England Under-21s, Team GB’s Olympic football team and Nottingham Forest, and had a caretaker role with the England senior side.

Kevin Nolan has held player-manager roles at Leyton Orient and Notts County. Billy McKinlay had brief spells at Watford and Norwegian side Stabaek. It is a hugely experienced coaching staff.

They have enjoyed little time to savour the penalty shootout victory over Manchester City on Wednesday — they held a meeting the following morning to start preparations for today’s game at Aston Villa. It is Moyes’ preference to have discussions with his coaching staff soon after games as it gives them the opportunity to look at what they need to do in training sessions.

Legendary manager Lyall rebuilt West Ham with good additions such as goalkeeper Phil Parkes, full-back Ray Stewart and forward Frank McAvennie. He also gave young players opportunities — Steve Potts, Kevin Keen, Alvin Martin, Paul Ince and Tony Cottee made their debuts under him.

Moyes has done likewise. Since returning to the helm in December 2019, he has given first-team debuts to Daniel Chesters, Harrison Ashby, Emmanuel Longelo, Jamal Baptiste, Trott, Oladapo Afolayan, Aji Alese, Mipo Odubeko and Jeremy Ngakia.

It is well documented that West Ham’s recruitment has also markedly improved too, with signings such as Benrahma, Soucek, Jarrod Bowen, Craig Dawson and Vladimir Coufal all proving value for money.

Antonio celebrates scoring the winner against Leeds United (Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Moyes is building a team that is capable of being perennial challengers for the top four and the prospect of winning silverware isn’t outlandish considering how impressive West Ham have been in cup competitions this season.

The club have a generational talent in Rice, an in-form striker in Antonio and an exciting emerging talent in Ben Johnson. By plenty of measures, West Ham are the best they have ever been.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Uncle Albert 1:10 Tue Nov 9
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
The best West Ham side I've seen in 50 years. Fantastic team spirit about them.

Nutsin 12:16 Tue Nov 9
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
Still a bit too early but fuck me have we ever claimed this many quality scalps in such a short period.

Everton away
Spurs home
Man U away
Citeh home
Liverpool home

And mix in 3 wins and an away draw in Europe.

That’s some run of results!

Happy Days!

, 11:33 Tue Nov 9
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
Not yet for me not done enough but it has the makings.

Looking back it’s the landmarks that stand out and we only really have cup wins to spot as highlights.

So for me the 64/65 Cup wins stand out, not particularly the 75 cup win but then we won the FA Cup in 80 and were robbed in 81 for the League cup. The 64/65 team was good but inconsistent, the 80/81 efforts were good too.

We might not win anything this season but to repeat the efforts of last season in terms of points and league position would be the best level of consistency I can recall.

one iron 8:48 Tue Nov 9
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
This westham side best ive seen in 62 years.

smartypants 1:41 Mon Nov 8
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
A work colleague phoned me this morning to say her son who's 8 and a spurs fan was moaning about all the glory hunters in his class, apparently they are now all starting to support WEST HAM and this is in the Midlands. One can only imagine the state of our support if this carries on

147man 12:35 Mon Nov 8
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
Geep is (as always) correct

The best points haul we have EVER been (after 11 games) is 29 in 1897/98

In (fairly) recent history we have 23 points after 11 games in the 2003/4 Season but we were of course in the Championship then

gph 12:23 Mon Nov 8
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
We're not YET the best we have ever been.

But we're on the way, and there's a good chance it might last longer, too.

Attwood 12:12 Mon Nov 8
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
You just might be right Irish

Pentonville 9:40 Sun Nov 7
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
Oh and crassus needs what's app. Sms is so 1986

Pentonville 9:40 Sun Nov 7
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
Crassus and Irish. 2 of my favourite posters. What a time to be west ham gents.

Crassus 9:21 Sun Nov 7
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
Fair play Irish mate, be loud and proud
Then do what your nationals do best, drink the plastics under the table and batter anyone still standing ;)
Jest aside, good for you son

Irish Hammer 8:52 Sun Nov 7
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
Sorry for the old thread bounce. But fucking hell I enjoyed that. Stood up in a full boozer in Spain full of scousers, not a single other hammer in it and sang bubbles along with the crowd at the end with tears in my eyes.

I am estatic right now. We are Massive


Fortunes Hiding 5:53 Tue Nov 2
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
Well Swiss has told us

Swiss. 5:50 Tue Nov 2
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
People need to calm the fuck down as we're only 10 games in we're being compared to '86.

So we won away to 3 shit teams Viila, Everton and Leeds. Lost at home to on the day a better team, Man U who are looking pretty average, bar the Spurs game. (and they were dog shit) Struggled at home, and were bossed, by Palace and Brentford. OK beat Spurs 1-0 who are shit. Beat the mighty European super clubs Zagreb, Genk and Vienna.

The Liverpool home game and Wolves away will be a better test of how far we have come.

Side of Ham 1:22 Tue Nov 2
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
Ward & Devonshire's consistency of choice of pass/cross/long ball were immense and I'm afraid Antonio on the wing would have been too much hit & miss with how good a footballing side the 85/86 team were.

These 2 teams (85/86 & Now) need to be credited for what they are achieving as teams not the differing styles.......as it stands 85/86 just get it but if this team follows up on last season by matching it or doing better then they are the best team due to that fact.......we've never had a team consistently good and this one hasn't achieved that yet, so it's too early.

zico 1:12 Tue Nov 2
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
I agree with Boleyn. Rice and Cresswell are the only two who I would put in that 85/86 line up on 85/86 "form" obviously. I love Coufal but Stewart was better IMO and he could also play centre back. If you put Soucek in instead of Dickens the way of play that year falls apart as Dickens made it tick. Certainly when teams dropped deeper or played with a sweeper, which many did to counter Cottee/McAvennie the following year, sure Antonio and Soucek would be a great plan B to mix it up. I always think Ince and Dicks in 85/86 would have made the difference as long as Julian stayed on the pitch!

Regardless though what the Club has to learn from that era is that you have to strengthen when you are doing well. Same as last year if we lose Antonio, Rice and Soucek we could struggle so we need quality to add to the squad.

SDKFZ 222 11:49 Mon Nov 1
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
My first season supporting us in the flesh was actually 1972-73. We finished 6th that year and Pop ended up with the golden boot for his scoring exploits. I assumed it would always be like that, but the following season we fought against relegation for most of the season, but pulled through with just a few weeks to go before the end of the season.

The highlights of 73-74, for me, were beating Man Utd at home in a ‘4 pointer’ (only 2 points for a win in those days) and for beating Leeds at home, 3-1, being one of only four teams to have beaten them that season.

Athletico Easthamico 11:18 Mon Nov 1
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
Coufal better defensively .

Definitely better going forward also.

Steady 11:09 Mon Nov 1
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
Ray Stewart right back all day even as good as Coufal is, plus Tonka would take penalties

Athletico Easthamico 11:03 Mon Nov 1
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
Coufal in for Stewart.
Oggy for Gale.

angryprumphs 10:49 Mon Nov 1
Re: West Ham are the best they have ever been ⚒️
boleynkid 10:06 Mon Nov 1

I would LOVE to see Antonio play with either of them, they would both have enjoyed playing off him. Not sure you can compare though.

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