The Sunday Post (Inverness)
Moyes’ modern-day Mcavennie has the Hammers flying
David Moyes’ has rightly taken a lot of credit for West Ham’s remarkable transformation this season. Hammers legend, Tony Gale, concurs – but gives a lot of credit for their lofty standing in the English Premier League to a modern-day Frank Mcavennie.
Jesse Lingard, on loan from Manchester United, goes into today’s meeting with Leicester City with six goals and three assists in eight games since joining in January.
Victory will keep West Ham in the top four, regardless of other results, with only seven games left. Gale was part of the side that finished third in 1986 under John Lyall – the club’s highest-ever finish. Mcavennie had headed for Upton Park at the start of that season – with St Mirren receiving a cheque for £340,000 in return – and ended it with 28 league goals, second only to Gary Lineker.
Gale recalled: “Lingard reminds me of when Frank joined us.
“He was a different sort of player, but he had that same infectious personality. And he ran his socks off for the team, just like Jesse is doing.
“It’s infectious. As well as the hard work, like Frank, Jesse has a bit of classtogowithit.
“He’s dragging the rest around with him, and they’ve kicked on again since he arrived.” Having only avoided relegation last season with one game to spare, Moyes has got the boys from the East End flying.
The Glaswegian has even been spoken about as a contender for manager of the season.
But after unsuccessful spells at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland, Gale is convinced that West Ham has provided the perfect environment for Moyes to thrive.
“It’s nice to be talking about West Ham at the moment in a positive way, and not about just avoiding relegation,” Gale continued. “There are a lot of happy Hammers, and ex-hammers like myself, holding their heads high – and that is all thanks to Moyes.
“He’s got a very honest bunch of players at his disposal, whereas in recent years, I’m not sure if they were all totally honest. “If this group goes down in any game, they go down grafting.
“I think David has found a good home at West Ham.
“He always talked about Everton as the people’s club and West Ham is the same. It’s a people’s club.
“He had a taste of it during his six-month spell in 2017-18 when he kept West Ham up. “He’s found a home again in a roundabout way after all these years, and a lot of fans really appreciate the job he is doing.
“Plus, I don’t think I’ve seen him smile as much as I have this season. “David’s playing up this opportunity of European football, and it’s great to see. A chance like this doesn’t come around too often and you have to grab it.”