West Ham half-term report: Angelo Ogbonna helping David Moyes shun Hammers’ “flaky” tag

After a rocky start following the sale of Grady Diangana, defeats to Newcastle and Arsenal and a positive coronavirus test for manager David Moyes and two players, West Ham hit an purple patch. 

Wins over Wolves and Leicester were followed by a dramatic 3-3 draw with Tottenham, a point against Manchester City and a narrow defeat Liverpool before they beat Fulham on Sunday. Michail Antonio shone before a hamstring injury, but West Ham hope he’ll be back after the international break.

Jack Rosser assess their start to the season…

Season so far in one word

Progress

How is the manager doing?

Moyes has talked relentlessly about making his West Ham team more consistent, and shunning their “flaky” reputation. His shift to a back three has brought solidity and success, even while he was working from home in self-isolation. The Scot is starting to build a side in his own image and is proving his doubters wrong.

Best playerPool via REUTERS© Provided by Evening Standard Pool via REUTERS

Angelo Ogbonna. Michail Antonio has been tremendous in leading the line alone, Tomas Soucek has been an unrelenting presence in midfield, but Ogbonna has been at the heart of bringing the stability Moyes has craved. His manager will be hoping the groin injury he sustained against Fulham not a big issue.

Biggest let down

It is a tough call picking out anyone who has been a let down given the good start West Ham have made. After such a bright start to his West Ham career, Issa Diop has never really kicked on. Since he dropped out of the team after testing positive for Covid-19 test, he has never regained his place in the starting XI.

How are the summer signings doing?a man holding a sign: West Ham United FC via Getty Images© Provided by Evening Standard West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Vladamir Coufal has been a roaring success. Thrown in at the deep end at Leicester after just two days of training, the Czech has already usurped Ryan Fredericks as the first choice right-back. Said Benrahma is being carefully introduced and, after setting up the winner for Tomas Soucek against Fulham, will hope to be dazzling in the final third after the break.

Fans’ mood

Always a hard one to judge in east London, there are divides over some issues and the board remain constantly unpopular, but support for Moyes is on the rise and things are looking up.

Overall half-term grade: B

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