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Former West Ham boss: Moyes won’t need a ‘Great Escape’

PUBLISHED: 09:35 02 December 2017

Everton manager David Moyes (r) and West Ham United manager Alan Curbishley (l) shake hands prior to kick off

Everton manager David Moyes (r) and West Ham United manager Alan Curbishley (l) shake hands prior to kick off

PA Archive/PA Images

Ex-Hammers manager Alan Curbishley thinks the new manager is a good fit for West Ham

Alan Curbishley and Chris Powell are supporting the Prostate UK campaign Alan Curbishley and Chris Powell are supporting the Prostate UK campaign

Former West Ham boss Alan Curbishley believes David Moyes will pull the club out of the relegation zone this season.

He should know. The 60-year-old was the brains behind West Ham’s ‘Great Escape’ in 2007 when victory over champions Manchester United saw them survive the dreaded drop on the final day.

“I think the problem that West Ham had was that it was difficult to work out what their best XI was, it was a very difficult team to pick,” he said.

“They made the change and brought in David Moyes quickly and that has to be to their advantage. I think he is a good fit. He will be desperate to do well after the Sunderland job and now West Ham have a manager with over 500 games of experience and something to prove.”

Alan Curbishley looks on from the touchline during his time in charge of West Ham Alan Curbishley looks on from the touchline during his time in charge of West Ham

The former Charlton boss arrived at Upton Park in a similar position to Moyes, after Alan Pardew was sacked.

He was available, came in straight away and began with a 1-0 victory over Manchester United with a Nigel Reo-Coker goal. But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Curbishley as he remembers well.

“We had some bad defeats and we were struggling for most of the time,” he said.

“We lost 6-0 at Reading and we didn’t pick up the points we needed for a long time.”

West Ham manager David Moyes during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool. West Ham manager David Moyes during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool.

In the end, Carlos Tevez inspired the Hammers to win their final four games and stay up, but Curbishley does not believe Moyes’ team will struggle in the same way.

“I think this team is capable of getting more points than I did in my first season,” he said. “There are more than three teams worse that West Ham and I think they will be all right.

“I’m not sure about Sunday against Manchester City though. I saw the way Huddersfield played against them last week and they gave it a really good go, but I don’t think West Ham are capable of playing the same way.”

Curbishley had a successful spell at Upton Park but it ended abruptly with him walking out on deadline day in 2008.

Alan Curbishley and Chris Powell are supporting the Prostate UK campaign Alan Curbishley and Chris Powell are supporting the Prostate UK campaign

“We finished 10th in my first full season and had players like Dean Ashton, Craig Bellamy and Scottie Parker and we were doing pretty well at the start of the next season,” he said.

“But I felt things were being taken out of my hands and I wasn’t in control anymore and I had to leave.

“If there was anything I could do differently, maybe I would have stuck things out as we had a good team. Gianfranco Zola took over from me and got the team to ninth place.”

Curbishley was talking at an event in London supporting Prostate Cancer UK’s Football to Amsterdam bike ride next June.

It is something close to his heart and he added: “I always remember I was at a do full of men and Roberta Moore, Bobby’s widow, was there and made a speech and said the best advice she could give us all, was go and see your doctor.

“There is still a stigma for men going to see their doctor, but it is so important and something I do regularly.”

Another ex-Hammer in Chris Powell will be taking part in the London Marathon next year to raise money for Prostate UK.

For information about the biggest ride in football see prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam or emailcycling@prostatecanceruk.org. Riders can currently get a £25 discount off registration by entering the code AMSTERDAM25.

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