David Moyes interview: ‘I want to win things and take on challenges, but longevity in football is not easy’


he Premier League celebrates its 30th anniversary this season and no one can yet call on more experience at this elite level than West Ham’s David Moyes.

The 59-year-old, whose first Premier League game as manager dates back two decades at Everton, is set this season to overtake Harry Redknapp, who sits third with 641 top-level appearances, with only Arsene then Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson in front of him.

So how has Moyes changed in those 20 years and does he still have the hunger, the ambition, the pure energy to keep getting closer to these two great managers?

“In my first season at Everton I was probably the youngest manager in the Premier League. Now I’m the oldest,” he says standard sports with nostalgia.

“I guess we all change as we go through life, but the constant for me is that I start another season in the Premier League with the ambition to show what I can do and how I can challenge. the elite managers of this country.

“For me, I leave with a lot of energy, I can’t wait to be there and I want my team to succeed. I want people to talk about us in football circles because we have good players and brilliant young talents.

“I’m enjoying my time at West Ham because I see so much more room to develop this club. At the moment, yes, it’s a challenge to stay in and around the top teams when you see how much they spend and their capacity. to attract the highest level of players.

“We’re not there yet, but we’re doing our best to keep these teams. I feel that I still have a lot to do and as a manager every season I think I have something to prove because it can turn very quickly.

“I want to win things and take on challenges, but longevity in football is not easy. Being a club manager is not something that many people have the opportunity to do, for me it remains special , a privilege and an honor that people have chosen me to do so.

“That’s why I have to try to prove every year that I’m worthy of this job – and that’s the same for every manager.”

West Ham’s transfer business has been hit by delays and injuries

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Moyes remains determined to prioritize the quality of players over quantity, although he admits his side badly need a boost.

Among his two major signings this season, Moroccan defender Nayef Aguerd is out for three months after an ankle injury suffered against Rangers, while Italian striker Gianluca Scamacca will take time to recover after leaving Sassuolo .

Arthur Masuaku joined Besiktas on loan on Tuesday, further exhausting a side already bereft of talismanic former captain Mark Noble.

How will Moyes fill the void caused by Noble’s retirement? “It’s only since he’s been gone that I can really see him – and feel him,” he says. “The players really respected Mark, the way he controlled things for a lot of reasons. He took good care of his business, he was early for training, he was very professional – and he was really part of that. locker room spirit.

“I think we miss him, but I asked Declan Rice to be captain and we could do with a few other big names who show up this year and take responsibility, like Mark did.

I’m sure we will work hard in the transfer window until the last day.

“As for Gianluca, we’ve been watching him for some time and even considered joining him last January. He has a presence as a player with his size (6ft 5in) and his ability to take the ball, keep ownership.

“We see him helping maybe in a different way to what we’ve had and his youth means we know there’s more room for improvement. It’s very rare you can have a better striker at 23, but he is.

“We also received a lot of encouragement about him from our former player Pedro Obiang, who played with him at Sassuolo. He told us about his character and from what we saw we were very satisfied although, like all foreign players, they need time to settle in.

“I am sure that we will work hard in the transfer window until the last day. However, I always want quality rather than numbers. It is not difficult to sign players but more difficult to attract real quality.

West Ham’s involvement in the Europa Conference League will add more pressure on Moyes’ side, but he has no intention of treating this competition as an unwanted irritant.

David Moyes admits West Ham miss Mark Noble

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“There will be clubs in Europe who maybe think this is not the competition they want to be in,” he said. “I can understand that, but not as far as we are concerned. Being in Europe last season and finishing sixth and seventh in the Premier League for the past two seasons has been an exceptional achievement.

A word of warning from no less a West Ham luminary than Sir Trevor Brooking, who believes the task ahead of Moyes and his team will be more difficult than their past two successful seasons. Sir Trevor said: “I’m probably more worried about the start of this season than the last two, but these players have shown great character in the past and I’m sure they will again.

“The first six games are really tough and the structure of the season – where it suddenly comes to an end in November for the World Cup – means you can’t drop too many points at the start because then you catch up.

“I’m sure David knows that. He is a realist and I am only saying the obvious. They have been fantastic. Once you set that bar so high, it’s really hard to sustain things.

The first of these “tough” fixtures is the visit to Manchester City on Sunday.

“It couldn’t be more difficult,” adds Moyes. “But I don’t think they’ll see it as an easy game either.”

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