These days there is only one United for David Moyes. Of course, that’s West Ham United, not Manchester United rendering all current talk regarding who will be the next Old Trafford manager utterly irrelevant to the Scot.
There is no longer any envy, anger or bitterness at the way his own spell in charge of the Premier League giants – as Sir Alex Ferguson’s immediate hand-picked successor in July 2013 – ended in the sack barely ten months later.
For, though, it may have taken Moyes several years to recover from that torrid time – and the inevitable deep damage it did to his elite-coach reputation – he is now more than content to be supremo at high-flying West Ham.
Asked if he feels any personal pang of jealousy and sadness whenever the Man United managerial post is making headlines, Moyes, 58, said: “No, I had my chance. I didn’t quite reach where I’d like to – or get the results I’d like to have done – but that’s been the same with a lot of managers there. Some really top, top managers. It was an honour to be offered the job. But I see this one – here at West Ham – as something I’m good at. I can build clubs, I can take them in the right direction. I can get them playing at a level .
“At Everton, over ten or 11 years, most of my teams were challenging in the top six, seven or eight every year. West Ham would like to be a club doing that every year, trying to break into the top four or top six and to be in Europe. We’ve moved quickly to being close to that club. If we can make it into Europe two years in a row, it would be incredible.”
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However, Moyes, whose side are level at 1-1 with Lyon going into next week’s away leg of their Europa League quarter-final, is urging caution over the Irons’ both remarkable and rapid rise back up the ladder. And the ex-Everton and Sunderland manager reckons the first-leg stalemate against the French outfit at the London Stadium illustrated why. “We built a team to avoid relegation, to get out of the bottom three. With a near-enough similar group, we’re now in the Europa League and competing in the top six,” he added before the league trip to Brentford.
“The distance and journey we’ve come and the difference in the style needed to avoid relegation to the style needed to get to a semi-final of a European competition, was noticeable on Thursday. We need to play much, much better. Technically, we need to be much, much better. It gave me a chance to see that we’re on a good road, making good progress but, genuinely, we’ve got a distance to go to be consistently there.”