Best Sports is bringing this news in big chunks: David Moyes is ready for his career’s most significant moment.
Moyes admitted it was “surreal” to walk out at the Eden Arena in Prague preparing for his first European final, the “biggest moment” of his career. Moyes’ West Ham face Italian side Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final in the Czech capital on Wednesday night. The 60-year-old, who began his managerial career with Preston in 1998, is yet to lift a major piece of silverware, the Community Shield with Manchester United in 2013 notwithstanding.
Moyes is looking to become the first British manager since Ferguson, the man he replaced at the then-champions, to lift a trophy, and join the former United boss in the pantheon of great Scottish managers in the English game. David, who has attended plenty of European finals in his role on UEFA’s technical committee, and his players got a first look at the final venue on Tuesday evening.
Czeching out tomorrow's venue 🏟 pic.twitter.com/EBailrHYF2— West Ham United (@WestHam) June 6, 2023
“It is slightly surreal,” he said. “Today, to turn up and have your dressing room is a big thrill for me. I hope I can take it to the next level and win the game. I’ve had a really good career since I started coaching at 35. Over a thousand matches, have been in some finals, had some promotions. But this is the biggest moment. To be a coach for as long as I’ve been, you’re doing something right.”
Moyes also categorically denied suggestions that he could step down after the final, regardless of the result. It’s great to be sitting here in a European final, for any manager it’s a thrill, one of the pinnacles you can get in football as a coach,” he added. Hopefully, it’s the start. I’ve always said the best years are still to come and I’m certainly enjoying the moment and being here.”
His father, David says: He has attended all their European away matches and will once again be in the crowd at the 20,000-capacity stadium – hopefully. I think he’ll be in the pub,” smiled Moyes. “But to be in this position is very good and good for my family, and I hope they can enjoy it. Hopefully, I can give him something he can remember.”
Captaining the Hammers for the final game
Declan Rice will captain the Hammers in what will almost certainly be his final game for the club with Arsenal and Manchester United among those vying for his signature. Rice, predictably, was not put up in front of the media, high in the home of Slavia Prague, after the on-pitch walkabout.
Instead, it was left to winger Bowen to swat aside questions over the England midfielder’s future.
“As his teammates, we are excited to go out for a final tomorrow with him as our captain,” said Bowen. When I joined three years ago, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we would be in the final.
Moyes has a fully fit squad, bar injured striker Scamacca, as West Ham bid to end a trophy drought stretching back to 1980’s FA Cup win over Arsenal.
Cup goalkeeper Areola will start but regular number one Fabianski, something of a penalty-saving expert over the years, could still have a major role to play if the final goes to a shoot-out.
Moyes said: “It’s about planning, I’ve got my thoughts – but I won’t reveal them if you don’t mind. West Ham enjoyed a very agreeable draw on their journey to Prague, but Fiorentina is a different proposition to the likes of Larnaca and Alkmaar.
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