Opinion: David Moyes has to be the Premier League Manager of the Year

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It would be all-too-easy to dismiss David Moyes as a mere fluke.

Decrying the Scottish tactician as an unsustainable ex-Manchester United flop would be to offer a profoundly superficial analysis of the true capabilities of the Hammers boss.

Following a debate on the issue on Sky Sports, the job he is doing with West Ham simply has to render him as the natural candidate for Manager of the Year.

Now deep into March, the league has ventured well beyond the half-way stage and both ends of the table look to be increasingly coalescing around a select handful of teams.

West Ham’s march towards the top six is certainly a sustainable one, given their lack of major deviation from those spots during the course of the season.

It would be premature to hubristically assume the Hammers will be gracing continental stadia next season, but the Irons are well on track to achieving that – and Moyes deserves a large chunk of the credit.

It is well-documented that Moyes’ acumen goes well beyond the tactical – he revolutionised the culture at the club, laid down a system and recruitment changes soon followed. Indeed, the unearthing of Tomas Soucek is owed in large part to Moyes’ impetus, and the Hammers are truly firing on all cylinders.

With Manchester City increasingly looking certain to regain the title snatched away from them by Liverpool last season, Pep Guardiola would certainly be in the frame.

But such is the nature of his footballing genius that winning the title would be surprisingly banal; it is almost formal and it is almost an ominous expectation for a side so well-stocked with elite footballing minds and personnel. Take nothing away from Guardiola’s success, but Moyes has battled in worse circumstances.

Conversely, Moyes seems to have pulled off the near impossible. Many beyond the West Ham fanbase are quick to forget that West Ham were languishing in 16th last season and looked to be genuine relegation candidates.

To achieve such a systemic revolution in fortunes in little over a season-and-a-half is an overlooked footballing miracle – even if the Hammers are not quite yet where they want to be.

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