West Ham United manager David Moyes has urged his team to embrace another possible European run next season, after the Hammers missed out on securing a Europa League spot in the recently concluded Premier League campaign. Despite finishing the season in sixth place, the London club was pipped to the final European spot on the final day of the season by Tottenham Hotspur.
Moyes, who had previously guided Everton to the Champions League during his time at Goodison Park, has expressed his desire to lead West Ham to European success as well. Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “I would love to go back to Europe. I want West Ham to embrace it if we can.”
The Scottish manager also highlighted the importance of the Europa League for developing the squad and attracting new players to the club, stating: “It’s a really big thing to be in Europe and it helps us attract better players. We want to try and keep our best players and bring in more quality.”
West Ham’s last European adventure was in the 2016-17 season when they reached the qualification rounds for the Europa League but were eliminated by Romanian side Astra Giurgiu. Since then, the Hammers have struggled to consistently challenge for European football, but Moyes’ arrival in December 2019 has revitalised the club.
Under Moyes’ leadership, West Ham have become a formidable side, with a well-organised defence, a potent attack and an impressive midfield unit. The likes of Michail Antonio, Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice have emerged as some of the best players in their respective positions in the Premier League, while Jesse Lingard, who joined on loan from Manchester United in January, has been exceptional, scoring nine goals in just 16 appearances.
The Hammers’ impressive performances under Moyes saw them challenge for a top-four finish for much of the season, with their free-flowing, attack-minded football earning them plenty of plaudits. Despite eventually finishing in sixth place, the club’s highest Premier League finish in five years, Moyes has been quick to stress that there is still room for improvement.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Moyes said: “We’ve got to keep progressing, keep improving. We want to keep the club in a good place.”
With the summer transfer window around the corner, Moyes will undoubtedly be looking to strengthen his squad ahead of the new season, particularly in defence and attack, where the Hammers struggled at times during the recently concluded campaign.
West Ham’s strong financial position, coupled with their exciting brand of football, is likely to make them an attractive option for potential signings, and Moyes will be looking to build on the success of the previous season by adding quality reinforcements to his already talented squad.
The Hammers will also have to balance the demands of European football with their domestic commitments, with Moyes acknowledging that the added fixtures will present a challenge. However, he remains confident that the club can cope with the increased workload, stating: “We did it once before, we know it’s tough, but we want to be in that position again.”
West Ham’s return to European football, if achieved, will undoubtedly be a cause for celebration for the club’s long-suffering fans, who have endured years of underachievement and frustration. The Hammers will hope to make an impact in the competition, with Moyes keen to use it as a springboard to future success.
As the club looks to build on the success of the previous season and challenge for top honours, Moyes’ vision of a West Ham side that embraces the challenge of European football could be the catalyst for further success in the years to come. With the talented squad at his disposal, the Scottish manager will undoubtedly relish the prospect of leading West Ham on another European adventure in the 2021-22 campaign.