David Moyes true to himself if uninspiring in West Ham unveiling
David Moyes was unveiled on Wednesday afternoon in the Great Briton suite of the London Stadium after taking over as West Ham United manager, having signed a contract until the end of the season. He has replaced Slaven Bilic, sacked on Monday with the Hammers 18th in the table, and is far from a universally popular appointment among fans.
Last season, Moyes' Sunderland team were relegated, finishing bottom of the Premier League and he resigned in May, having been sacked by both Real Sociedad and Manchester United before that.
Hammers co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold are banking on Moyes being able to repeat his feats at Everton, where in 11 years on Merseyside from 2002 to 2013 he turned a struggling club into the best of the rest below the top four.
Moyes, mindful of the Sunderland experience, where he was criticised for being too downbeat and accepting of the club's fate, gave something of a charm offensive. "It's good for West Ham, I think I am a good manager," he said in answer to the opening question. He had been ushered into the room while wearing a beaming smile not often seen by those who have followed him through two decades in management.
He was also quick to express excitement about taking over a club he said he has admired from afar. "This was a really easy decision to make," he said. "West Ham is a top club with a great stadium and we will grow into it.
Now 54, Moyes is not one for casual, high fashion hoodies and sneakers like Pep Guardiola, and wore a sombre, yet nonetheless probably very expensive blue suit, with a spotted claret and blue tie. Having been out of football since June, he looked lean and good for the break, which has included TV work in the Middle East and attending the Under-17 World Cup in India.
What he said
On Sunderland: "For me I didn't do enough due diligence when I look back...I came back and made a poor choice in club I chose."
On West Ham: "I am taking over a great football club, it used to be one of the most fearsome places to play football. Coming to Upton Park was tough, it should not be any different now and for me, that's what we need to get back to doing."
On Bilic and West Ham's players: "I'd never criticise another manager, it is not my style. I can only tell you I am here and I am on a mission. If you don't run, you don't play. If you're not fit enough, you won't play. I can only tell eight of them just now but I'll tell the other eight when they get back [from international duty]."
How he handled the media
Moyes gave a fairly polished performance, while also doggedly defending his reputation. There was one wobble, when asked about the incident last season at Sunderland where he made an ill-advised joke that BBC reporter Vicki Sparks "might get a slap".
Vice-chairman Baroness Karren Brady wrote a highly critical newspaper column about that incident, and Moyes was asked about his relationship with someone who runs the club for Sullivan and Gold.
"She didn't discuss it at all with me," he said. "It was written six months ago so I don't think there is any need to do it now. I had two or three good conversations with Karren."
"I do have a point to prove, yes. I think maybe I have to do that and sometimes you have to repair things."
Differences with Bilic
Bilic, the trained lawyer, often gave long-winded answers in which he would tease a conclusion from himself after several minutes of considering the issue, often with great humour and self-awareness.
Moyes, who at one point described himself as a "football man", prefers to keep his replies shorter and more clipped in the style common among British managers. Moyes is far more wary than Bilic of the press, who was never afraid to answer just about any question and ended up being far more quotable as a result.
It has long been apparent, going back to his Everton days, that Moyes see press duties as a chore, but preached a credible enough message of positivity.
Room for improvement?
At this point in his career, Moyes is unlikely to alter his act, but tried his best to be more open, even cracking a few jokes, though he will never be an all-singing, wisecracking king of banter. In that, he is the opposite of the highly personable Bilic and perhaps what West Ham need, having gone so stale.
Verdict out of 10
6.5/10 -- Moyes escaped largely unscathed, but fans will not have been overly inspired.
John Brewin is a staff writer for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JohnBrewinESPN.