An incredible journey

  • by Staff Writer
  • Thursday, 8th June 2023

A jubilant David Moyes believes West Ham's European Conference League win was the culmination of two years of hard work, rather than one night of magic.

The 60-year-old skipped across the Eden Arena pitch in jubilation at the final whistle as Hammers fans greeted him with a chorus of 'We've Got Super David Moyes', following the 2-1 win against Fiorentina.

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And having had time to collect his thoughts, Moyes - who was also recorded dad-dancing to fellow Scots' The Proclaimers' '500 Miles' in the dressing room post-match - was proud to hail West Ham's first European title since 1965 as "an incredible achievement".

"I actually think the last two years of European football for West Ham has been an incredible journey," he said. "Last year we won the group, got to a semi-final. This year we’ve won group, gone unbeaten and now, won a final.

"It’s been an incredible achievement really to do so well in Europe. Teams get there and it’s very difficult. Some very good teams find it a struggle to play the Premier League and do the games in Europe.

"So great credit [to our players]. We’ve turned what we felt was a disappointing season into a super season - and I have to say that the players have done remarkably well throughout.

"To play in the Premier League and contest European football, especially the Europa League or the Conference League, has always been a difficult season but we managed to get through both this year. Maybe not as well as we liked, but this competition has been particularly good.

"The progress West Ham have made in the last two or three years? If you'd suggested West Ham will win a European trophy, finish sixth one year, seventh the next and get to a semi-final. I would’ve thought most people would have said 'he's lost his marbles.

"But I've been really fortunate that I’ve got a great group of players and a club who have supported me incredibly when, at times, it could have been different."

And Moyes revealed how he felt as Jarrod Bowen struck the winning goal in the final minute of normal time. "The minute Jarrod went through I was edging down the touchline," he said.

"If there was anybody I thought was going to score, it would be Jarrod. The minute he got through, I thought 'this is the moment, this is the one, Jarrod will do it'. I was probably halfway down the line but I couldn’t do a full Mourinho, because I can’t slide on my knees and the grass was a bit dry. I was worried that I was going to go on my belly - so I just ran down [the line]!

"When he got through, the first thing I was thinking was 'he’s not going to give offside, is he? Is there any chance of offside?' But then the next bit was the ball, Jarrod said it seemed to take an age to go into the net.

"The goalie got a little bit on it and it took time to go in, but to score for us in the last minute gave us a real chance to hang on to it in the last bit of the game."

After the game Moyes was seen embracing his 87-year-old father, who regularly travels to watch his son's teams in action, before handing over his winner's medal. It was an incredibly moving moment that Moyes reflected upon.

"I thought he was the first one who should get it around his neck," smiled the boss. "He’s watched a lot of things over the years and not had that moment, so I hope he’s enjoying it and I hope he can enjoy it with me later on tonight as well."

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