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Moyes has much at stake at his 500-game milestone

‘I’m definitely a better manager because of my recent experiences’

Gulf News

London: Perception can be half the battle in football. David Moyes and Marco Silva, whose current sides meet on Sunday, both suffered relegation from the Premier League last season, and yet it is the man who will manage his 500th game in the top flight who goes into the game with everything to prove.
 Such was the backlash against Moyes’ appointment at West Ham United that the club almost had second thoughts, and yet nobody connected to Everton is questioning the fact they have offered pounds 10 million in compensation to try to take Silva from Watford, just 12 games into his Vicarage Road career.
 The last three of those have been defeats for Watford, while Moyes’ last victory as a manager was with Sunderland against Silva’s Hull City in May that just about ended Hull’s hopes of avoiding the drop and keeping the Portuguese coach.
 In fact, the omens are good for Moyes this weekend, as he has never lost any of his landmark games on his way to 500; winning the first, 200th, 300th and 400th, and marking his century with a draw. All of those were as Everton manager and it is what has happened since, at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and, in particular, at Sunderland last season, that sent his stock plummeting.
 “I’m definitely a better manager because of my recent experiences,” said Moyes, 54. “If you go back to United, six-year contract, only 10 months, but probably my record would have stood with most in one year. But we all understand the reasons, at United you have to win all the games and I totally accept that — I didn’t win enough games.
 “I went to Spain and joined a club who were avoiding relegation and we keep them up, and we get to the following year and they think they are just below where they should be. Simple. But there are very few people who get the jobs in those countries, so I think both of those choices were the right choices. Did they work out as well as I wanted? Not quite, but they weren’t disastrous by a long way. The Sunderland job was. Bad decision by me.”
 Moyes is understandably sore that his achievements at Everton are often discarded, but is focused on the here and now with West Ham, and is clearly in no mood for wasting time — as he has made abundantly clear to his players.
 “I could go back again and talk about the old days,” said Moyes. “Winning manager of the year three times in a row, I could talk about getting the biggest job in the world, I could talk about going and being one of the only British managers who have ever had a job in Spain. I could do all that, but now it’s time to stop talking about that and start talking about what is coming next. And what’s coming next? Watford.
 “I have just not got any time for any nonsense. I’m not going to be pampering to any needs. I can’t be bothered. If anybody says they can’t get back from international duty, well don’t think you will be coming in and playing Saturday. It’s that sort of thing. It can’t happen any longer. You do the work, you do the training, you do the running back, you do the running forward, you do that then you have got a chance of getting selected.”
 Moyes has got until the end of the season to prove himself at West Ham, but added: “Is this my last chance? No. Most managers in the Premier League have managed 10-12 clubs. It’s possible to manage lots of clubs.”

- The Telegraph Group Limited, London 2017

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