While West Ham coach Moyes wants to make history, his father watches in the pub
David Moyes, the coach of West Ham United, hopes to give his father a nice present Wednesday night in Prague. That will be possible when his club beats Italy’s Fiorentina in the Conference League final.
“I think he’s watching in the pub …,” Moyes jokes when asked if his father will be there at the Eden Arena. “It’s a special match not only for me, but for my whole family. I hope we can celebrate something beautiful. It’s always special when you achieve something you can be proud of as a son, that’s true for every father. I hope I can give mine something special.”
Performance lags behind sales
For top English clubs, only participation in the Champions League may count, but for West Ham United it is a tad different. The Londoners eliminated AZ in the semifinals of the Conference League last month and are now all too eager to win the third European club tournament.
It has been a long time since West Ham was successful in Europe. West Ham captured the European Cup 2 in 1961 by winning 2-0 over 1860 Munich at Wembley. The English club invested heavily in its selection last summer and is now the seventh largest club in England in terms of turnover.
Performance only lags behind. ‘The Hammers’ finished disappointingly 14th in the Premier League this season.
David Moyes at the press conference
“We play in England in perhaps the strongest league in the world. It is not a given to qualify for European soccer. That’s why we have to take this opportunity,” said coach Moyes.
West Ham United stranded in the Europa League semifinals last season against Eintracht Frankfurt, the eventual winner. “We can use that as motivation now,” he said.
New generation of young supporters
Familiar players from West Ham’s successful 1965 selection are Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. Moyes: “Those are three English legends, three West Ham legends. But in Prague, the players of today have a great opportunity to be remembered later by everyone at this club. There is a new generation of young supporters developing in east London. If we can give them something to believe in now, that they can reach a final and even win a final, that would only be positive.”
For the West Ham United coach, this final game is the most important match of his career. “I’ve coached over a thousand games, over six hundred in the Premier League and I’ve had the opportunity to see a number of promotions and finals, but these are the games that matter. Whether you’re a novice coach or an experienced coach like me. Sometimes it takes you 20 years to get to coach a final like this one.”