David Moyes says West Ham United are on the ‘fast train to the top’ and have no plans to jump as they reach 1,000 games as manager.
Moyes’ historic fixture comes in a relatively low-key Europa League group game against Genk.
This suits the 58-year-old very well as he really doesn’t want to make a fuss. Not with West Ham set to clinch a place in the round of 16 of a European competition for the first time since 1980.
Moreover, they beat both Manchester clubs on their way to the EFL Cup quarter-finals, while victory over Liverpool on Sunday could take them to second place in the Premier League.
“If it had taken West Ham six years to come to this [instead of two], West Ham supporters would probably have accepted it, ”Moyes said.
“Now we have to continue. Keep taking the challenge, keep reducing it. We’re on the fast train to the top and I don’t want to get off. ”
The changing world
Moyes will become the 35th member of the League Directors Association Club 1000, having taken the helm for the first time in a victory for Preston over Macclesfield in January 1998.
“When you’re younger you get by with less baggage, you almost don’t care. You go out there and get the job done, ”he said.
“There has been a big change in the clubs. Dealing with agents and players has become more difficult. Before, players would hardly have shown up at the manager’s door, but now they go straight to the owner’s door. I don’t think this is a good thing.
“In terms of actual play, he’s in a really good location. There are a lot of exciting young footballers coming in and there are styles of football that we all enjoy.
“There are a ton of games and there’s an argument about that, but that’s because the demand is so great, with so many teams and players making people want to watch football even more. “
Man Utd disappointment
No conversation about Moyes’ overall career can take place without the specter of Manchester United in the background, after he was sacked 10 months after a six-year contract in 2014.
Looking back, his departure from Old Trafford was a triggering reaction to a growing number of structural issues United have yet to resolve.
“I was certainly disappointed after Manchester United because I was not proposed by the Glazers, or by [executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward, ”Moyes said. “The job was offered to me by Sir Alex Ferguson. Sir Alex is in many ways the pinnacle of what people see in football in this country. To have this opportunity, it was something I felt I had to grab. “
Still, looking back, Moyes believes he might still have things to do with Everton.
“Leaving Everton was probably the strongest I’ve felt because I had done so well,” he said.
“We had continuously had season after season at a constant level. But when I look back now I say no, maybe I still had a few steps to take, things to learn. We all get a little wiser with age, look at it a little differently, and maybe, make a little better decisions. “
West Ham finally the perfect place
After leaving United, Moyes had brief stints with Real Sociedad and Sunderland before receiving his first call from West Ham in November 2017 following Slaven Bilic’s sacking with the club in the relegation zone.
Guiding the Hammers to safety with a game to lose, Moyes felt he had done enough to secure a longer contract at London Stadium. He had even spoken to a few potential signings as he began planning for the new campaign.
Still, a day after the season ended, he was told there would be no new deal and he was leaving, quickly replaced by Manuel Pellegrini.
“It has been a really tough time,” Moyes said. “We thought we had done a really good job, finished strong and were making plans. Then, out of the blue, it wasn’t there. “
To the credit of Co-Chairs David Sullivan and David Gold, they were ready to swallow a humble pie and ask Moyes to come back 20 months later when Pellegrini’s reign turned sour.
Again, the task was to get the club out of relegation problems. This time, Moyes was given assurances about what would happen if he was successful.
However, even Moyes didn’t expect the improvement to be so sudden or take them so far.
Not that he takes anything for granted.
“Even with 1,000 games you can’t – just once – say ‘this is it, I have the job now, it’s me’ because the game will come back and have you if you don’t keep trying. improve yourself and challenge yourself.
“You also need the people around you to do that and we are really lucky to have Declan Rice, as a player leading the team and making West Ham visible again.
“West Ham is a good club for me and I’m really grateful to the owners for bringing me back.
“Sometimes it’s really hard to fight back, but the owners gave me a chance and I’m going to keep punching. “