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Is David Moyes getting the credit he deserves after saving West Ham from relegation twice?

It was telling that Declan Rice opted to dedicate West Ham’s critical victory over Watford to David Moyes. 

The Hammers are effectively safe now and that 3-1 win over their relegation rivals last Friday was season-defining. It is mission complete for the manager, again. 

This has been a rocky ride for Moyes to say the least but twice now he has rescued West Ham from the dreaded drop. Rice and Co stuck by him and perhaps, like the midfielder, more need to give the Scot credit. 

‘A special mention to the manager because we’ve had it tough’ Rice told Sky Sports.

‘Since we’ve come back in, we’ve had it really hard and to get three wins in five is something we’re proud of as a team.

‘They (coaching staff) work non-stop, 24/7 to get the best team out, to get the best tactics on the pitch and luckily we can get the three points for the manager as well,’ he said. 

Clearly Moyes is well liked and has his squad working hard for him in far from ideal circumstances behind closed doors.  

Rice’s commendation must have been music to his ears. Since his Manchester United sacking, the team his side face tonight, the 57-year-old has been perceived in a largely negative light. 

Having been parachuted in to replace Slaven Bilic in November 2017, Moyes found the club marooned in the relegation zone. 

After disappointing experiences at United, Real Sociedad and then Sunderland, his appointment wasn’t exactly greeted by huge fanfare at London Stadium. 

But in spite of the precarious nature of his six-month deal, Moyes steered the club to a creditable 10th place and in January of 2018 picked up the 200th win of his Premier League career. 

Only Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Harry Redknapp had reached that milestone before him. Certainly not bad company to be in.

In spite of his good work, West Ham opted not to renew or extend his deal and instead chose to appoint Manuel Pellegrini. 

All the talk was of a push for the Europa League spots but by late December last year, they were hovering precariously just one point above the relegation zone. 

It was certainly not a case of an instant turnaround and the Hammers came back from lockdown looking nervously downwards in the table. 

And the inauspicious restart of defeats by Wolves and Tottenham had the pressure mounting.   

But Moyes has manufactured a transformation in recent weeks. Wins over Chelsea, Norwich and then crucially Watford have lifted them to safety. 

A run of 10 points out of a possible 15 was just what the doctor ordered. West Ham’s blushes have been saved and their Premier League status secured. 

Of course, every side is having to deal with the lack of fans and alien nature of behind closed doors football. 

But the situation off the pitch has been far from ideal for Moyes for much of the season with fans widely unhappy with the ownership of David Sullivan and David Gold.

He has dealt with the negativity with the same stoic nature and dedication that Everton fans became so used to during his 11 year stint at Goodison Park. 

Now that safety has been secured, there’s no doubt Moyes would dearly love a statement win over Manchester United. 

Old Trafford was where his reputation began to erode but keeping the Hammers afloat for two successive seasons has seen his stock rise once more. 

It will be fascinating to see how both Moyes and club fare next season given time, rather than another rescue mission. 

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