David Moyes during West Ham's win over Bournemouth(Image: Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images)

Four questions David Moyes must find an answer two ahead of West Ham's brutal fixture run

The Hammers face Man City, Liverpool, Southampton, Arsenal, Wolves and Spurs in the next six weeks


West Ham's rearranged game against Manchester City has meant David Moyes will have to implement some plans a little bit sooner than expected and also for a different opposition.

The Hammers were due to face Liverpool on February 24 after their winter break but that all changed when their match at the Etihad last weekend was postponed due to Storm Ciara and has now been moved to next week.

Both sets of players have had five days off this week as part of their break and will report back to their respective training grounds on Saturday to resume training.

For West Ham, it's the start of a hideous run of games over the next six weeks and their battle against the drop couldn't look much tougher on paper.

Moyes, assistants Alan Irvine, Kevin Nolan and Paul Niven will have been concocting plans this week at how to go forward after the manager finally got his backroom team sorted almost two months after coming back to the club.

So what are the biggest issues facing the Hammers manager over the coming days and weeks?


Moyes doesn't seem to know what his best team is yet and as such, doesn't really know what the best formation is.

The manager has flirted between playing five at the back and four at the back in different games, going forward it has usually remained the same with Sebastien Haller ploughing a lone furrow up front on his own, but defensively it is haphazard.

That has shown up in the Hammers failing to keep a clean sheet in the league since they beat Bournemouth 4-0 on New Year's Day, Moyes' first game back in charge.
David Moyes with Declan Rice and Mark Noble of West Ham(Image: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

In a four, Angelo Ogbonna has been the constant at centre half while Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop have shared duties though seemingly, the latter has won the spot for now.

Ryan Fredericks' injury hasn't helped over on the right hand side and his return to action will bring some constant over on that flank as Pablo Zabaleta has looked every one of his 35 years of age when deputising.

The return of Felipe Anderson and also Michail Antonio, added to the signing of Jarrod Bowen, throws a few more issues into the mix going forward, with Moyes needing to decide whether to deploy Bowen or Anderson on the wings or as a second striker to support Sebastien Haller, a position that Antonio can play as well.

One striker or two?

As mentioned above, Haller needs help up front.

Moyes has deployed the Frenchman as a lone striker as he tried to pack the midfield and shore up the defence but it hasn't really worked and we have seen before, the win at Southampton in December, that Haller and Antonio work well together.

Haller's shot map since Moyes came in tells its own story, which you can see below:
Sebastien Haller's shot map since Moyes took over(Image: Twenty3)

The £45million summer signing has been lacking in service since the Scotsman came in and has only managed to get off nine shots on goal in eight games as he desperately lacks support.

Moyes has to make a decision whether to persist with the one up front to try and serve his defence better or whether to finally give Haller the support he needs in the final third of the pitch.

The make up of the midfield

Mark Noble, Robert Snodgrass, Manuel Lanzini, Pablo Fornals, Tomas Soucek, Declan Rice - all players vying for seemingly three places in Moyes' team going forward as is his prefferred formation from what we have seen so far.

Lanzini and Fornals are two number tens, Snodgrass is borderline undroppable at the moment, Soucek has arrived from Slavia Prague plus you've got the two constants of captain Noble and Rice.

Is Moyes likely to drop his skipper for a crucial relegation battle? No. The manager also referred to Rice as one of the best defensive midfielders in the country just a fortnight ago.

So that leaves the others fighting for one place. Soucek got it against Brighton to make his debut but there is one thing that midfield lacks - mobility.

Moyes needs to find it from somewhere.

Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko's returns

Both are in contention to make it back for the City game on Wednesday, Anderson has more of a shot than Yarmolenko does, but it bolsters Moyes' ranks nonetheless.
West Ham winger Andriy Yarmolenko(Image: James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

Yarmolenko played a crucial role in the Hammers good start to the season (which feels like a hell of a long time ago now) but once again, his injury issues have returned to roost.

Anderson, on his day, is arguably West Ham's best player. His pace and mobility and trickery have certainly been missed despite him not having the best of campaigns so far.

Both of them will have a point to prove to Moyes when they return and they both provide another selection headache for the manager when they are both fit.

The duo can both be gamechangers in the run in for Moyes, if he can accomodate them into his system.