web analytics

Video: What the Gaffer had to say

West Ham gaffer David Moyes spoke to the media in his virtual pre-match presser ahead of the Hammers trip to Sheffield United.

Injury news? Antonio to be involved or is it too early for him?

He’s back doing a little bit of training, we have got a couple of days yet to see how he is. The truth is I can’t give you a complete answer but he is getting much closer, that’s for sure.

Anyone else?

We think Angelo [Ogbonna] is fine and I think that is probably the main ones..

The big problem is that we are waiting – we are training this afternoon – for the testing to get confirmed from the international players, we have not had all the test results back yet which is a bit disappointing.

We have to wait until they come back to see if the players can train.

Are you frustrated that there is so much travel resulting in more cases like Andriy Yarmolenko?

The answer would be yes but I have to say that with the fixture list, we knew it was there with the international break. It has been very difficult with the testing situation, I don’t think there is an easy solution.

I think it’s something that sounds like we are going in the right direction. I think that the best Christmas present that we could get as a team would be getting West Ham supporters back into the ground, either before or after Christmas. I think that would be the best news we could get.

That’s what I am hoping for and I think all football supporters will be thinking the same, it will give them the chance to resume some sense of normality.

Heading the ball and dementia links, is a ban on heading in training feasible? Do you believe there is a link?

Well I hope not because I was a centre half and headed a lot of balls when I was younger so I could come into a category.

What I would say is, and I have done a couple of times, I am amazed that the likes of Adidas or Nike haven’t come up with a training ball, a heading training ball or something, we don’t want a balloon, something that is the same sort of weight that we can use for heading practice.

I would hope that one of the companies could come up with a ball that we can use. I haven’t seen the average amount of times a player heads a ball in a game but I can imagine some don’t at all but others might do two or three times, maybe a centre forward or a defender could seven or eight times.

So I am not too sure it;s the game type heading the ball, it is more to do with training so that is why I am advocating getting a training ball which could be used for heading practice.

I don’t think we want to take heading out of the game if we can help it.

How important is it to keep up your good form?

Really important, we want to keep moving forward, keep positive and try to add to the points we have already got so we want to keep playing the way we have been, picking up results and creating chances.

Surprised by Sheffield United this season and their struggles?

Well they have had a very similar run of games to what we have had to start the season, they have also had injuries to key players too so I am guessing all of that has been a factor. But they have very good managers, a good group of players that have been together for a long time and that will make them stronger as they can use that when the season goes on.

All-consuming management, is that how you see it and your advice to young coaches?

What I would say is because Frank [Lampard] is saying that now, you’re all listening but probably people like myself have felt that for a long time, the strains and pressures of the job are really high and young managers coming in have to realise that is part of the game.

You learn a lot as a player but it is a lot different than being a player, you have to look after so many different things but Frank is doing a really good job but the pressure comes with it.
How concerned are you given nobody would have mentioned dementia when you were a player?

I think obviously we are in a generation that could be affected, we are not sure exactly. We have to remember my generation came through with a lot of heading of the ball, head knocks over the years, I don’t think football is quite that way now.

Going forward we need to make sure things are ok, maybe with regular testing or something like that for people of our generation so that we can make sure we do catch it early, I don’t know if that will make it any better or not.

But for the next generations, I don’t think we want to take heading out of it but I think we could do with coming up with some innovations to keep us doing the practices and for players to be heading the ball but with no damage to the head or the brain.

People need to know about it though, don’t they?

Of course and that’s what I am saying, if it was for us to be monitored or screened it would be important and something everyone would see of being a good way to move forward.

How far can Declan Rice go?

The big thing is that he is improving. He is learning a lot from the people he has been playing around, I thought his performance for England the other night was exceptional, there was a lot of talk about the other young English talent but I thought, on the night, Declan was as good as anyone.

His performance was so good. He is maturing, he is picking up from a lot of good people like Mark Noble, Harry Kane, the leadership that is required so I think dor Declan and his point of view it is continuing to learn, seeing

What good practice looks like, seeing what good leaders look like and I think that being captain of West Ham at such a young age helps. We are trying to get him to take more responsibility, more leadership.

Is Declan Rice under-appreciated by non-West Ham fans?

Declan Rice during England’s game against Denmark last month. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

I couldn’t tell you the answer to that but what I can tell you is that the manager of West Ham thinks he is terrific and so does the manager of England. I hope that the people who have seen him up close and judge him regularly.

I am just repeating myself, I thought his performance for England the other day was as good as anyone else on the pitch and there was a lot of young talented on the pitch. You have to remember that Declan is a young player as well and he now has what, 12 or 13 caps for England and he is doing very well. Long may that continue.

Five substitutions, time for the Premier League to adopt it?

It was our opinion, and originally my opinion, that we should just have three because I felt that it would help the bigger sides with bigger squads because of the quality of players they have on their bench.

What I didn’t foresee was the amount of injuries we have had. The truth is we have not had a great deal of injuries many clubs like us haven’t either. I think the clubs that have been suffering have had Europa and Champions League football, a lot of those clubs have had lots of international players away for three games, international breaks too.

So I think for fairness, for this season especially, I wouldn’t be against going with five substitutes but I have to say that at the start it wasn’t my first thought. A lot of injuries have cropped up, probably because of a lack of close season or for players to get a rest.

Any advice for Wayne Rooney?

He’s been a proper football man, he’s loved the game, he’s done nothing but football so I think he will be well equipped. There is lots he needs to learn, we already mentioned Frank Lampard and the stress and strains of becoming a manager but I think Wayne has the capabilities to go on and be a manager.

First of all you have to make sure you qualify, get all your badges, your pro licence, all those things that give your best chance to get the job.

Testing, is that for the international players or general players?

The testing is done by the Premier League on all international players, we have been guaranteed they would get their results back in time and we put training back today just to give us some extra time.

From that point of view, hopefully everybody will be fine but we don’t have all the results back.

Michail Antonio’s return, how important?

What he has done for us the last few months, after lockdown, his form has been so good. He gives us a different outlet, running in behind, holding the ball up, he is a physical presence,he is really important with his all round play.

When we get him back, it’ll be great but I don’t want to say that we can because at the moment, we don’t think he is quite ready yet.

Transscript credit: Sam Inkensole/Football.London

Click Here for Comments >
 

About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter