Ahead of our huge clash with Manchester City this Sunday at London Stadium, David Moyes has spoken to the press to discuss the current state of the team and the emotional final home match for Mark Noble.
The visit of title chasing Manchester City will provide a stiff task for our Hammers, and Moyes knows the task in hand this Sunday is a huge one.
“I’m looking forward to playing against the best,” said Moyes. “At the start of the year we said ‘could we challenge the best teams in the league?’ and we’ve done okay.
“Man City are really, really tough and it’s going to be difficult, but I’m looking forward to it because it’s a challenge for us. We want to see how we can do.
“I hope they’ve used up all their goals, and they’re due to concede a few – that’s how I’ll look at it! We’ll try and hurt them. They’ve got one or two injuries so we have to see if we can do something to maximise that.”
The match will be special one too with it being Nobles final outing at home in front of the fans as a West Ham player, which everyone is expecting to be highly emotional.
“I’m sure it’ll be hugely emotional for Mark and his family. Your career’s never that long as a footballer but to do it at one Club is a huge achievement, not done by many people, so great credit to Mark and the way he’s conducted himself throughout his career.
“Overall, I’m sure it will be emotional, but in the end he’ll think he’s had a really good career when he looks back on it. He’s been huge, and played a big part in all the things going on during the pandemic. Mark’s played a huge part and helped me an awful lot when I came in. He gave me an idea of what was required and he’s a really good sounding board. You need people behind you now you can speak with. He’ll be certainly missed in the dressing room next year.”
“He’s played continuously, at the highest level, wherever West Ham have been. He’ll be renowned. He’s really good around the young players here and he sets great examples for how they should behave and go about their business as young professionals.
“He’s also helping train up some of our players to become good leaders and good players around the Club.”
Moyes also provided an update on the fitness of the side going into what is likely to be one of the toughest matches we’ll face this season.
We’ve probably for the first time had a full week to prepare and we’re looking forward to it. A tough game against a good team, but hopefully we’ll be ready to go come Sunday.
“Saïd Benrahma is a bit of a question mark – he’s out doing some light jogging so maybe not as bad as we thought – but I’m not quite sure if he’s fit. We’ll see tomorrow. It’s an ankle injury.
“[Michail] Antonio and [Craig] Dawson have trained today. I think they’ll be okay.”
Finally Moyes also discussed Declan Rice ahead of the match and the impact he’s had.
“With the exception of maybe Harry Kane in the second half of the season, I think Declan Rice has probably been the pick of the England players who played in the Euros last year.
“I hope he continues to get better. He’s got lots of improvement in him. He’ll have learned a lot from Mark in leadership. He’s a young man and he’ll get better with experience.
“He captains West Ham at the moment so he’s certainly going down that line [becoming England captain].”