West Ham have a big game ahead of them. The Conference Final. It’s the third time in the club’s history that a London side has made it to the last stage of a European cup. Coach David Moyes dreams of making club history.
It was 1965 when West Ham played in the final of a European club competition for the first time. This time it was the Cup Winners’ Cup, the equivalent of today’s Europa League, and the Hammers won. They had reached the final of the same competition in 1976, but fell then.
Since then, they have been waiting in vain for a similar opportunity. It was only this year. But instead of the Europa League, it’s the Conference League, the third most prestigious competition. Their opponent will be the unpleasant Fiorentina.
Hammers coach David Moyes already has experience of the Florentine side. He lost to Viola when he was at Everton, but managed to win at Goodison Park. Now, however, he will face his Italian opponent on neutral ground – in Eden, Prague.
It was the stadium of Prague Slavia that he complained slightly. Mainly because of the capacity. “I am sorry that we cannot have more fans in the stadium. I also watched Fiorentina’s match against Inter last week and Fiorentina also had incredible fan support,” he told the club’s website.
“I hope in future years to play in bigger stadiums to be able to get more fans into the stands. I understand we are in a smaller stadium for various reasons, but at least it shows how seriously the competition is taken by all involved,” Moyes added.
The Scottish coach has an opportunity ahead of him to win the second trophy of his career. So far, his only success was celebrated in 2014 with Manchester United when he won the FA Community Shield, which kicks off the English football season.
Moyes would love to write his name into Scottish football history and emulate the likes of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, the last Scottish and indeed British coach to win any of Europe’s prestigious competitions.
“In the past Scotland has had a number of top managers who have coached in the top leagues for European cups. It would be exciting for me to add my name to that list,” admits the Hammers coach.
The match between West Ham and Fiorentina is scheduled for Wednesday 7 June.
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