Having not been given the chance to take West Ham on after his first successful spell at the club, saving them from relegation in 2018, the Scot has been given a proper go this time around and could take the Hammers into third with a win against his former club Manchester United on Saturday.
After keeping the club up again last season – having been brought in to pick up the pieces left by Manuel Pellegrini, the manager he was dumped for two years ago – Moyes has a side playing in his image and having won three on the bounce with the owners keen to hand him a new deal as a reward for his efforts.
Asked if he felt vindicated by his work at West Ham after being branded a dinosaur by some, Moyes said: “I shouldn’t even have to defend myself. I would think that as someone who’s been a coach, qualified as a coach very young, if someone who follows football, learns and listens, [and then] thinks that we’ve not evolved and aren’t looking at what’s new, I feel more sad for the people who say that because it shows their lack of intellect, I think.
“Maybe on the field it’s not been as noticeable as it should be, but maybe there’s other circumstances for that. But ultimately as a football manager you have to prove yourself and you have to show that you can do it. Some of the occasions, it’s not been as good as I’d like but I took on some difficult jobs, I went to Real Sociedad, I don’t know there’s many other British managers been offered a job in one of the major leagues in one of the main countries.
“I came back and took the Sunderland job which, if you look at it, it’s been incredibly difficult so you know just like anything else, sometimes you can try and do something but it doesn’t work so overall. I’m in a really good place because I’ve got a brilliant bunch of lads. Even at the moment they were disappointed that we didn’t play well enough in midweek and I can tell them that and let them know that I’m not accepting the standards, and they’ll go away, and they understand it. So I’m really pleased with the group of players I’ve got who have helped me greatly.”
Moyes has been on a reputation rebuilding job across his spells at West Ham. After leaving Manchester United after less than a season at the helm, he went on to Real Sociedad before getting relegated with Sunderland.
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Having restored that reputation, Moyes has also had the seal of approval of his work at West Ham from the man who picked him for the Manchester United job in the first place, his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson.
“He texted me two weeks ago after a game we had to say how well he thought the team was doing,” Moyes said. “He thought we had played well in one of the games.
“Sir Alex was always very good to me. He was very good to me at Manchester United. He is thought of so highly and at that time to replace him was a great honour for me. I look back at it with a lot of good memories but Sir Alex has always been supportive – and he is to football managers throughout the country. If any manager wanted advice from Sir Alex, he was always there.”
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