Winning the UEFA Conference League with West Ham has breathed life into David Moyes’ stuttering managerial career. The reality is that the 60-year-old’s reputation had grown stale after years of indifferent results and subsequent sackings. Once hailed as the ‘chosen one’ by an expectant Old Trafford crowd, Moyes had been in a freefall ever since.
Moyes takes the Hammers into the Europa League
However, that has all changed now after the Scot guided the Hammers to Conference League glory. It certainly does feel as if a corner has been turned in Moyes’ career when you consider that the latest outright sportsbook betting odds for the 2023/2024 Premier League season now price the Hammers at +22500 to win.
In addition to this, West Ham will also be regarded as legitimate potential winners of the Europa League next season having qualified for the event by virtue of winning the Conference League. This is a rare accomplishment that has undoubtedly ensured Moyes will be written into West Ham folklore and revered as one of the club’s most successful managers.
UNBELIEVABLE SCENES!! 💥
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 7, 2023
As briefly touched on, though, it wasn’t always like this and for years, Moyes has been seen as a man whose ideas were no longer effective. This reputation was compounded after back-to-back sackings at Manchester United and then Real Sociedad within the space of 18 months before being in charge of Sunderland when the club was relegated in 2017.
At the time of the Black Cats’ relegation, it appeared to be another episode of Moyes failing at something which naturally caused more widespread ridicule. Essentially, no one could have predicted how quickly the narrative around Moyes would change as he went from overachieving Everton manager to a supposed ‘seasoned failure.’
The Old Trafford Poison Chalice
Unfortunately, Moyes’ reputation was further hampered by a move that would once have been considered the opportunity of a lifetime.
Rival fans took great pleasure in Manchester United’s demise after unprecedented success with Sir Alex Ferguson in charge. You could say Moyes was a victim of the Red Devils’ domination of English football, which caused bitter resentment among opposition supporters. In many respects, Moyes’ Old Trafford turmoil was the stick that rival fanbases happily used to beat United with.
This ultimately meant that for close to ten years thereafter, Moyes had to withstand constant questions over his tactical ability as more and more people labeled him an imposter. It’s hard to think of another manager in recent times who has had to stand up to the level of unforgiving scrutiny that Moyes has faced. The truth, however cliche, is that good managers don’t become bad ones overnight.
Unsurprisingly, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, even competent managers like Moyes must have questioned if football had left him behind.
Salvation in Prague
That question was answered emphatically when the full-time whistle went in Prague and Moyes’ West Ham side had won the club’s first major trophy in 58 years after beating Fiorentina.
1 – With tonight’s victory for West Ham, the Europa Conference League is the first major trophy David Moyes has won in his managerial career, with tonight his 1,097th match in management. Legend. pic.twitter.com/lKTbjcfTGM
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 7, 2023
Yes, there are still chapters to be written in Moyes’ story; salvation has come and it means something to a man who had everything to prove.