David Moyes hails Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek and says their arrival brought ‘positivity’ which has turned West Ham from Premier League strugglers into top four contenders
- David Moyes pinpointed Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek’s arrivals as key
- West Ham have risen from relegation candidates to top four contenders
- Moyes added Jamie Vardy could be a good example for Bowen to follow
- Bowen is due to start in place of the injured Michail Antonio against Leicester
Jarrod Bowen has the ability to shoot West Ham into the Champions League at the expense of Leicester City role model Jamie Vardy on Sunday.
West Ham manager David Moyes pinpoints the signing of Vardy’s fellow non-League graduate Bowen – along with midfielder Tomas Soucek – as the turning point in the club’s dramatic rise from relegation candidates to top four contenders in the space of a season.
‘The positivity came from those signings last January,’ Moyes revealed. ‘It changed the look. We could score goals. Suddenly we went from being one of the least athletic teams in the Premier League to becoming one of the much better teams in the league. Right away that was a positive that gave us something to go with.’
David Moyes believes the signings of Tomas Soucek (left) and Jarrod Bowen (right) last season have been key to West Ham’s dramatic turnaround
His side have gone from relegation candidates to top four contenders in the space of a season
Moyes explained how he knew he had to make a radical change in approach whether it be adding a playmaker of new attacking target man.
‘You have to start somewhere on building a team and I wanted to get more energy’ he added. ‘I wanted to become more athletic and I wanted us to be more competitive and I thought that would be a good starting point.
‘Once we got them in and saw them we went ‘woah, listen, this is going in the right direction’. In our last nine games of lockdown we probably showed that and we have kicked on again this season.’
Leicester striker Vardy famously rose from the non-League ranks to play for England and win the Premier League title with the Midlands club.
Moyes believes Jamie Vardy is a good example for Bowen given their non-League roots
Moyes sees similarities with Bowen, 24, who got his break at non-League Hereford after failing in trials at Aston Villa and Cardiff City. His West Ham move came after a successful spell in the Championship with Hull.
‘Jamie Vardy is a really good example [for Jarrod] of what you can do if you dedicate yourself and you don’t give up, you don’t let anybody put you down and keep going.’ Moyes said.
‘That raw potential came from inside hunger, to take the chance when you get it. I wouldn’t say it’s proving people wrong but to prove to yourself you can compete and Jarrod Bowen is doing that.
‘He’s a great example, he has come through Hull and is trying to make his way in the Premier League.
‘But the really big thing is that you can’t lose your hunger, you can’t ever think you’ve made or can stop working at what you’re good at.
Bowen’s West Ham move came after a successful spell in the Championship with Hull
‘The minute you stop, it finishes for you. Jarrod is really hungry, he is at it.
‘He’s still trying to establish himself in his first full season in the Premier League and you’d have to say he’s making a good go of it, he’s doing a good job.’
Versatile forward Bowen, a goalscorer in his last two games including in the midweek win at Wolves, is due to start in place of the injured Michail Antonio on Sunday.
Proud Scot Moyes might even use him as a ‘false 9’ as he refused to concede any pre-match tactics to Leicester Irish counterpart Brendan Rodgers in the battle of Britain’s top two top flight managers.
A home win for West Ham will close the gap to just one point behind third placed Leicester and complete a league double over the impressive Midlands side.
Moyes, who managed Real Sociedad after Manchester United, continued: ‘I think we have got some unbelievably good British managers in the Premier League and in the lower leagues as well.
Bowen is due to start in place of the injured Michail Antonio on Sunday against Leicester
‘I hope they get the chances to take the jobs. Brendan left and went to Celtic, where he did an incredible job. Having the right pathway for yourself, finding the way as young managers or coaches, is important.
‘I think we have [flown the flag]. I also think we don’t export enough British managers to the big European leagues, because the knowledge you can bring back and pass on to future coaches is really important.
‘We are quite happy to bring in managers from Germany, Italy, Spain. It is a big thing coming into our league, and yet we can’t seem to get too many of our British managers out there.
‘I hope that Brendan and myself to a lesser extent would be able to give people the thoughts that we have to try and do that and maybe some of the overseas clubs will start coming for the British coaches.’
Moyes also praised fellow British manager Brendan Rodgers ahead of Sunday’s encounter