Premier League health check: the overachievers and underperformers | Paul Wilson

The table doesn’t lie but teams such as Burnley and Brighton are exceeding all expectations while Swansea and Everton have disappointed badly. Here’s how the 20 sides rank based on early-season health and vigourThey say the league table never lies, and this is of course true. What they don’t tell you is that during the dog days of an international break, when nothing falls or rises and hopes and fears are put on temporary hold, the narrative becomes a bit less compelling. You get sick of looking at the same thing, in other words, although Burnley, Brighton, Watford and Huddersfield will probably never tire of waiting for winter and the real meat of the season from a position in the top half of the table. As far as the first third of the season goes, some of those clubs are among the big winners, simply for delighting their fans Continue reading "Premier League health check: the overachievers and underperformers | Paul Wilson"

Premier League health check: the overachievers and underperformers | Paul Wilson

The table doesn’t lie but teams such as Burnley and Brighton are exceeding all expectations while Swansea and Everton have disappointed badly. Here’s how the 20 sides rank based on early-season health and vigourThey say the league table never lies, and this is of course true. What they don’t tell you is that during the dog days of an international break, when nothing falls or rises and hopes and fears are put on temporary hold, the narrative becomes a bit less compelling. You get sick of looking at the same thing, in other words, although Burnley, Brighton, Watford and Huddersfield will probably never tire of waiting for winter and the real meat of the season from a position in the top half of the table. As far as the first third of the season goes, some of those clubs are among the big winners, simply for delighting their fans Continue reading "Premier League health check: the overachievers and underperformers | Paul Wilson"

West Ham’s David Moyes appoints Alan Irvine and Stuart Pearce as assistants

• Moyes boss brings back former assistant Irvine and ex-West Ham player Pearce
• Sunderland coach Billy McKinlay set to follow “in the coming days”West Ham manager David Moyes has filled out his backroom staff by appointing Alan Irvine and Stuart Pearce as assistants, with Sunderland coach Billy McKinlay set to follow in the coming days. Moyes was confirmed as the Hammers manager last week after Slaven Bilic was sacked, despite significant adverse reaction from the club’s supporters. Now he has brought in two men he has worked with before, while Pearce returns to the club he made 50 appearances for between 1999 and 2001. Continue reading...

David Moyes assures Javier Hernández he has a future at West Ham

• Manager rarely picked the striker during his reign at Manchester United
• Mexico international sustained suspected hamstring injury on FridayDavid Moyes has moved to allay Javier Hernández’s possible fear of being excluded at West Ham as he was at Manchester United – though the Mexican’s first appearance for the Hammers under Moyes could be delayed by injury. Hernández has played more first-team football this season than he did in the whole of Moyes’s one incomplete campaign as manager of Manchester United. In 2013-14 the striker started only six league games and two of 10 matches in the Champions League, complaining at the time that: “My club don’t take me much into account.” Continue reading...

If the Premier League is so strong, why are the promoted sides doing so well? | Paul Wilson

Brighton, Huddersfield and Newcastle are surpassing expectations and are showing clubs such as Everton and West Ham how it should be done When Pep Guardiola suggested an English team could win the Champions League the other day he was asked if he did not consider the intensity of the Premier League a potential problem. Intensity being the word normally used to promote the idea that the English league is somehow tougher and more demanding than other leagues around Europe, with more competitive fixtures each weekend and a festive programme that usually sets out to be as gruelling as possible when other countries’ footballers are quite sensibly having a rest. “No,” Guardiola said. “I don’t believe in that. I think the best team will win; it’s nothing to do with intensity.” Continue reading...

David Moyes vows to take a hard line as West Ham United’s new manager

• No more Mr Nice Guy, says successor to Slaven Bilic
• At Preston players were probably crying at the work, Moyes adds David Moyes struck a positive and defiant tone as he insisted that West Ham United had taken a “good gamble” by appointing him and warned his new players not to cry about how much he will make them run in training. After claiming that the squad he has inherited from Slaven Bilic is too strong to be in a relegation battle, West Ham’s new manager said that improving the team’s fitness is high on his agenda. Bilic was sacked on Monday amid concerns over his training methods, which left many players feeling unprepared for the physicality of the Premier League, and Moyes said that he wants to rediscover his old aggression after finishing bottom of the Premier League with Sunderland last season. Continue reading...

David Moyes and West Ham both searching for their redemption stories | Barney Ronay

The idea of unveiling David Moyes on a gloomy November afternoon wasn’t in the London Stadium brochure but both West Ham and their new manager are in need of rebuildingFrom the Theatre of Dreams to the Temple of Dildo. For David Moyes the last three years have been a curious kind of journey. Through the fag-end of an empire at Manchester United, to Real Sociedad and the sack, to Sunderland and relegation, Moyes has strode past the smoke and wreckage with a strained kind of dignity, always somehow a little starched and pained in his crisp white shirts, eyes wide, a man watching things happen to himself. He is though still a story, still a name, still a man with a reputation to restore. For his unveiling as West Ham manager, the Great Briton Room on the third floor of the London Stadium was abuzz with a rare kind Continue reading "David Moyes and West Ham both searching for their redemption stories | Barney Ronay"