David Moyes: We're trying to challenge the Jones's at the top

David Moyes believes West Ham United will be judged on how they build on last season’s record-breaking Premier League campaign.

The Hammers amassed a record number of points (65), victories (19) and away wins (nine) on their way to a sixth-place finish and qualification for the UEFA Europa League, missing out on a place in the top four and the UEFA Champions League by just three points.

While 2020/21 was impressive, without doubt, the manager says the Hammers will not rid themselves of an historic reputation for being one-hit wonders unless they can back it up with another strong showing in 2021/22.

So far, Moyes and his players have done just that, sitting fourth in the table after 15 Premier League matches, scoring wins over Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City, among others, qualifying for the UEFA Europa League round of 16 with a group-stage game to spare and reaching the EFL Cup quarter-finals courtesy of wins over the two Manchester clubs.

The pressure will be off, relatively, when GNK Dinamo Zagreb visit on Thursday evening for the Irons’ final Europa League Group H tie, and the manager will take the opportunity to rest some of his first-team regulars.

Regardless, he is demanding those who do play maintain the standards set over the previous 18 months, end the group-stage unbeaten in front of another huge London Stadium crowd, and continue to stake the Club’s claim for a place among the game’s elite.

Speaking during his press conference ahead of Thursday's tie, the manager also gave his view on the possibility of so-called 'COVID passports' being introduced by the Government and Premier League amid the ongoing outbreak of the Omicron variant...


The atmosphere is getting better and better at London Stadium and so is the team, so I hope we can keep it going and continue to improve.

It is the start of a long journey to try and challenge the top teams and we are just beginning to make a little bit of an impact on that, but obviously we’ve got a long way to go.

I think we’re talking about ‘home’ more now when we play there and I think we’re more used to it. Maybe it’s taken a few years to settle in, as much as anything. Most people would say results are what matter and results have been much better at home and the stadium has been great.

My understanding is we’ll probably have very close to 50,000 at the game on Thursday night, which is great. The supporters are turning up in their numbers and hopefully are enjoying the way the team has been playing.

David Moyes with Craig Dawson

I think we’re on the way [to earning respect for our growth over the past couple of years].

I don’t think we’re fully there yet and people are probably looking at how we do this season and seeing if we can back up what we did last year.  People will be seeing if we can keep it going, but I think we have started this season better than we finished last year. 

We’re trying to challenge the ‘Joneses’ at the top of the league and at the moment I think we’re doing okay but we’re mindful of stepping above our station too soon. I think we have a bit to do to before we prove to the people out there that we can be up there all the time.. We’re certainly competitive at the moment and if we can keep that going all season that ‘inconsistent’ title might go away a little bit. 


What I will say is that I’ve had plenty of top agents putting their players to me and that tends to be a sign that people are beginning to think you’re attractive.

I think West Ham is a huge club in London and I think if we can keep up this level we’ve got a great England international in our team, we’ve got really good Czech Republic players in the team and we’ve got more international players than we had before so I hope that we’re growing and improving.

Not quite two years ago when I came in the job was to get a team going in the right direction and see if we could start to build and grow. I think there are signs of those shoots going up and we need to keep it going.


I do feel that I think we’re getting to the stage now where we don’t want any more COVID.

There have been too many deaths throughout the world. I think we need to try and make sure we try and eliminate is as best we can. If I was a football supporter I’d want to know the person sitting next to me is vaccinated and give me the best chance of not contracting the virus.

I’m a football supporter and I go to games and I want to keep going to games and I think the crowds are so important to football. I know people have a right to make their own choices and I respect that, but I actually think it’s something now we seriously have to consider because if I was a supporter, I’d really would want to go to a game and sit next to someone I know had been vaccinated.

All we do is attempt as best we possibly can. When we have the players in we can wear masks, wash our hands, keep distances between the group and we’re trying to do things correctly. Unfortunately it’s not just the football clubs where there’s COVID, there’s COVID worldwide wherever we go, but football clubs will always be looked at because everybody is so keep for us to keep football going and keep everybody entertained with football, so it’s really important we do as many of the right things that we can.