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Moyes has learnt from his mistakes, says former Hammer

Filed: Friday, 26th January 2018
By: Staff Writer

Former West Ham United and Wales central defender Danny Gabbidon believes that the Hammers have made a solid appointment with the capture of David Moyes.

Gabbidon, now 38, spent six years at the Boleyn Ground between 2005 and 2011. And in an inteview with Betstars, he revealed that the new boss had his full backing - having hopefully learnt his lessons from past mistakes.

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"I was a little bit surprised at the appointment but the more time I had to think about it, it started to make more sense to me," said Gabbidon. "Heís come in and done a really good job.

"He was exactly what West Ham needed at the time - someone to come in and organise them, make them a lot more difficult to beat, get the players working hard for each other and come in and be authoritative and let the players know exactly whatís required when they go out on the pitch.

"All he can do is keep winning games of football. Thereís still a long way to go and a lot of points to play for but if he can get a good finish and possibly a good cup run then I think that will be enough to keep him in the job going forward.

"Itís great to see the positivity that heís shown since taking over the job because I think that was probably his biggest downfall in the Sunderland role. He was very negative and I think he has kind of learned from his mistakes."

Gabbidon also revealed that he felt Moyes' predecessor Slaven Bilic - who was fired last November following a string of poor performances and results - had been given plenty of opportunities to change the club's fortunes, adding that his dismissal was probably deserved.

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"A change had to be made," he said. "You were looking at Slaven Bilic on the sideline and he looked like a broken man. He looked like someone who no longer had the answers to get results for his team.

"I think he had plenty of time given to him by West Ham. Itís unfortunate. The first season he came to the club I thought he did very well. The players were playing for him, they had a style of play which was exciting. But for whatever reason, the second and third season werenít as good.

"He had a lot of off-the-field issues to deal with, problems with players but I think a lack of confidence from up above from the owners as well. I think that distracted him a little bit from what his job was really Ė to manage the players, to keep on top of the players and make sure that theyíre performing week-in, week-out.

"If youíre not getting things right consistently then youíre going to be shown the door and unfortunately thatís what happened. Theyíve moved on now and David Moyes is doing a decent job."

Returning to the current squad, and with regards to which particular areas of the team manager Moyes needs to strengthen during the next few days with the transfer window deadline rapidly approaching, Gabbidon maintains that the team is still desperately in need of a defensive shield.

"They have a good squad already, but they need a defensive midfielder," he said. "You look at the midfielders in their squad and that is where there is an imbalance - they donít really have a strong player who can sit in front of the defence to do that kind of dirty work and put out fires, stop attacks occurring.

"Also possibly another striker needs to come in with Andy Carroll now being injured for a period of time and Javier Hernandez not really playing in the first eleven. Marko Arnautovic has kind of being doing that job at the minute, but heís not an out-and-out striker even though he's doing it really well and scoring goals.

"I was a little bit surprised to see Carroll's link with Chelsea - not because heís not a good player, more his injury issues really. I didnít really see him fitting Chelsea and how they like to play. Maybe Antonio Conte is looking for something totally different and to have a different option for maybe when games are not going how he wants them to.

"But with Carroll injured, I think itís important now to keep hold of Javier Hernandez. Itís vitally important that they keep hold of their better players. Heís a fantastic option to have from the bench."

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Moving on to this weekend, and West Ham's FA Cup 4th round tie at Wigan, Gabbidon admits that he has some sympathy for David Moyes' plan to field a weakened side - even though he admits that one of his career highlights was featuring in the 2006 Final against Liverpool at Cardiff.

"I donít think Moyes is going to be able to field his strongest team because West Ham have a fair few injuries to their squad," he suggests. "I think the main reason David Moyes was brought to West Ham was to keep them in the Premier League.

"Obviously, they were performing pretty badly under Bilic, so the league will take precedence. Yes, they would like to have a good cup run but if they were to go out I donít think it would be a disaster for West Ham because it is all about Premier League survival for them.

"That said, my favourite season [at West Ham] was when I first signed for the club. We were able to get to an FA Cup Final and had a really good finish in the Premier League, via which we qualified for Europe."

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