David Moyes was unlucky at Manchester United but also a little naive. He's grown up since then and he's got West Ham playing good football and winning stuff. If we could achieve this season what West Ham did last time out, we'd all be very happy.
And I'm not trying to wind anyone up here, so let me explain the comment about his naivety and it's not complicated. Whoever took over directly after Sir Alex Ferguson was going to fail. Nobody was going to be able to replicate what he did and because Manchester United fans are deluded, they would always turn on the next manager.
But that was then and tomorrow is now. West Ham are two points behind us and in eight matches have conceded the same amount of goals as us. Tomorrow is as close to a 50/50 match as we're going to get this season.
But we have reason to be optimistic and if those reasons come together tomorrow, we can win. But it will be tough and West Ham fans will be thinking the same. Maybe the draw shouldn't be a surprise.
But nobody ever predicts a draw and I'm hoping we see something a little more expressive and I think we will. For now, there is a lot happening today and it's going to be fun. I'm so happy that the international break is over.
Match facts from the BBC
- West Ham are unbeaten in 10 Premier League meetings since a 1-0 away defeat in May 2015 (W6, D4).
- Aston Villa have lost their past three home league games against the Hammers, who last had a longer top-flight away winning streak versus the same opponent when registering four straight victories at Fulham from 1967 to 2005.
- Villa have earned 10 successive Premier League home wins for the first time since a run of 13 from February to October 1983.
- They can score at least three goals in each of their opening four league matches of a season at Villa Park for the first time since 1920-21.
- Victory on Sunday would put Aston Villa on 19 points, their highest tally after nine games of a Premier League season for 25 years.
- Their total of 59 points in 2023 is the third best in the division, behind Manchester City and Arsenal. Villa have registered 18 Premier League wins this calendar year, their most since 1998.
- Douglas Luiz has scored in five consecutive top-flight home fixtures. No Villa player has had a longer scoring sequence since Dwight Yorke's run of eight in 1991.
West Ham United
- A West Ham win would ensure they equal their highest tally of 17 points after nine Premier League matches. They previously reached the mark in 2015-16 and 2021-22.
- The Hammers have earned two away league victories this season, just one shy of their total for 2022-23.
- They have scored in each of their opening eight league fixtures, including the first goal in an unrivalled seven of them.
- David Moyes is unbeaten in 14 Premier League games as a manager against Aston Villa since a 1-0 defeat with Everton in August 2010 (W8, D6).
- Jarrod Bowen can become only the third player to score in each of his club's opening five away matches of a Premier League season, emulating Thierry Henry in 2001-02 for Arsenal and Mohamed Salah in 2021-22 for Liverpool.
- Vladimir Coufal has provided an assist in four straight Premier League appearances, the longest run ever by a West Ham player.