• Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

David Moyes went from Fergie’s chosen one to eating cheese puffs in Spain and could now win first major trophy

Bynewsmagzines

Jun 6, 2023
David Moyes went from Fergie's chosen one to eating cheese puffs in Spain and could now win first major trophy

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David Moyes jumping for joy on the turf of AZ Alkmaar’s AFAS stadium was a sight to behold for any football fan.

The 60-year-old has maybe never had such a moment of happiness, taking West Ham to the Europa Conference League final, live on talkSPORT, where they will compete for a first major trophy since winning the FA Cup in 1980.

Moyes is hoping to guide his side to European glory on Wednesday night

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Moyes is hoping to guide his side to European glory on Wednesday nightCredit: Getty
But it hasn't always been a smooth road

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But it hasn’t always been a smooth roadCredit: AFP
Moyes built his reputation at Everton

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Moyes built his reputation at EvertonCredit: AFP
He later had the highest of billings at Manchester United

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He later had the highest of billings at Manchester UnitedCredit: getty

Not only would it be a momentous prize for the Hammers, but Moyes too, who similarly hasn’t won a major trophy in his managerial career.

There was a Third Division title with Preston North End in 2000, but since then it’s been one of the most storied management careers in English football, which could finally reach its crescendo in Prague.

Only Arsene Wenger, Sir Alex Ferguson and Harry Redknapp have coached more Premier League games than Moyes, who has been a constant fixture in the top flight since joining Everton two decades ago.

Since then there have been numerous near-misses and moments of heartbreak for Moyes, making success on Wednesday night as sweet as it could possibly be.

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Taking over Everton in 2002, the turnaround was almost instant from Moyes as he secured a seventh-place finish in his first full season, the Toffees’ first in the top half since 1996.

Building upon that, he took the club to new heights in 2005 by finishing in the league’s top four, although disaster was just around the corner.

The Blue half of Merseyside thought they had the bragging rights for the season by pipping Liverpool to fourth, and were laughing all the way up to the Reds’ second-half comeback win against AC Milan in the Champions League final.

That meant England had five entrants into Europe’s top tier for the following season, with Liverpool facing three qualifying ties and Everton one.

However, Liverpool’s three, against The New Saints of Oswestry, FBK Kaunas and CSKA Sofia were far easier than Everton’s against Villarreal, with the Spanish side knocking them out before the group stages even started, and later making the semi-finals of the competition.

Moyes had still done enough to impress, though, and followed up with three top six finishes, the last of which also saw an FA Cup final in 2009.

Moyes Everton never made it to the Champions League proper, and neither did his continental chinos

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Moyes Everton never made it to the Champions League proper, and neither did his continental chinosCredit: Getty
Then there was heartbreak at Wembley

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Then there was heartbreak at WembleyCredit: Getty

Sadly for the Scot, it also wasn’t his day at Wembley. Louis Saha opened the scoring for Everton against Everton inside the first minute, but Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard fought back for a 2-1 win.

Consistency followed in the proceeding years, but in 2013 it was time for the biggest step up with Ferguson reportedly choosing his countryman as his replacement upon his Manchester United retirement.

Banners of ‘The Chosen One’ hung across Old Trafford, but replacing their legendary manager proved far too much for Moyes, and everyone ever since.

Moyes was only given eight months at the Theatre of Dreams before his nightmares came true, leaving with just a Community Shield and Champions League quarter-final appearance.

His United tenure started with a trophy, but still, not a major one

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His United tenure started with a trophy, but still, not a major oneCredit: Getty

Understandably, Moyes thought it was time to get away, and had the pleasure of arriving in Europe’s food capital in the Basque region of Spain with Real Sociedad.

For the Glasgow-born former defender, there was no fine cuisine, instead a packet of crisps that defined his stint in Spain, famously being handed a cheese puff after being sent to the stands during a draw against Villarreal.

There were also some viral press conferences in which Moyes gave his best to pronounce the name of Asier Illarramendi, and even threw in a few random Spanish numbers.

His stint did see a 1-0 win over Luis Enrique’s treble winning Barcelona side, but ultimately he left with 28.57 per cent win rate and his head hanging.

Moyes asked the referee where his glasses were

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Moyes asked the referee where his glasses wereCredit: sky sports
And ended up eating crisps in the stands

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And ended up eating crisps in the standsCredit: sky sports

Somehow, things were even worse on his return to the UK, notching a 18.6 per cent win rate at Sunderland, and again only lasting a year for the third job running.

Moyes began his second-ever post match press conference at the Stadium of Light with the most dour of messages, leading many to think retirement might be on its way.

When asked about the possibility of relegation, fans might have been hoping for a pep talk, and were instead told: “That’s where they’ve been every other year for the last four years, so why would it suddenly change?

“I think it will be [a relegation battle], I don’t think you can hide the facts, that will be the case, yes.

“People will be flat because they are hoping that something is going to dramatically change – it can’t dramatically change, it can’t.”

Moyes seemed to have lost all of his spirit at Sunderland

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Moyes seemed to have lost all of his spirit at Sunderland
Thanks to West Ham, he's now the happiest he's ever been

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Thanks to West Ham, he’s now the happiest he’s ever beenCredit: Getty

Sunderland were relegated, finishing rock bottom of the league with Moyes sacked in May, which made his November hiring by West Ham all the more strange.

Again only lasting a year with the Hammers, it was even more baffling when he was invited back a season later, but since then things have only gone uphill.

A mightily impressive sixth and seventh in the Premier League followed, along with a run to the Europa League semi-finals, ending in heartbreak against eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt.

Missing out on that potential euphoria might have been enough for many, but not Moyes, who fought back against poor league form to reach another final this term.

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Fiorentina await in Prague, and last year Roma’s Jose Mourinho was left in tears by becoming the competition’s inaugural champion.

Should Moyes follow him, there’s little doubt at all we’ll see just as much emotion from the man jumping for joy just weeks earlier.

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