West Ham assistant boss Alan Irvine has confirmed David Moyes will still manage the team for Sunday’s game against Wolves even though he is self-isolating at home after testing positive for coronavirus.
The Hammers boss, and players Issa Diop and Josh Cullen, had to leave the London Stadium on Tuesday after they received positive tests for Covid-19.
Irvine took charge of the League Cup tie against Hull and secured a 5-1 win but Moyes will be the man making the decisions this weekend.
“David will be the manager,” Irvine said on Friday. “Everything we do will be run through him first of all and he will make the decisions on everything.
“He would make the decisions anyway but, like for this press conference, I am the messenger.”
Irvine confirmed Moyes, Diop and Cullen remained asymptomatic and were all coping well.
“He is fine. I have spoken to him several times this morning and he is not feeling any symptoms,” he said of the West Ham manager. “Obviously a bit frustrating for him but he is getting on with other things.”
“They (Diop and Cullen) are both fine. Frustrated because they can’t come in, but that is the situation and they understand that.
“None of them are feeling anything, which maybe makes it more frustrating.”
It is the latest setback in a difficult start to the season for West Ham, who have lost their first two Premier League games against Newcastle and Arsenal.
Fans have protested against the club’s co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan, while West Ham captain Mark Noble criticised the board’s decision to sell promising youngster Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion.
The three positive tests came just hours after Tottenham’s League Cup tie at Leyton Orient was postponed after several members of the fourth tier side testing positive for the virus.
Earlier on Tuesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said fans would not be allowed back into stadiums in October as originally planned due to a spike in Covid-19 cases.
In a major blow to the financial future of English football, Johnson suggested the measures introduced on Tuesday would remain in place for “perhaps six months”, leaving teams facing the prospect of playing most of the season behind closed doors.
David Moyes has left West Ham following the end of his short-term contract, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.
The 55-year-old former Everton and Manchester United boss arrived at the London Stadium in November, with the sole objective of ensuring the Hammers’ top-flight status, which he achieved.
“I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to David Moyes and his staff for achieving the target of keeping West Ham United in the Premier League,” said joint-chairman David Sullivan.
“When David and his team arrived, it was the wish of both parties that the focus be only on the six months until the end of the season, at which point a decision would be made with regards to the future,” he added.
“Having taken stock of the situation and reflected now the campaign is complete, we feel that it is right to move in a different direction.”
Sullivan said the club, who finished 13th in the Premier League, aim to appoint a “high-calibre” successor within the next 10 days.
The announcement on Moyes came barely 12 hours after David Gold, West Ham’s co-owner, said he hoped Moyes would remain in charge for next season.
Reports this week said West Ham had held “productive” talks with Paulo Fonseca, the manager of Shakhtar Donetsk, while Sullivan remains a long-term admirer of Newcastle’s Rafael Benitez.
Former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, currently with Hebei China Fortune, and outgoing Paris St-Germain coach Unai Emery have also been linked with the role.
Moyes succeeded Slaven Bilic in November when West Ham were in the relegation zone and guided the team to safety.
Speaking after West Ham’s recent draw against Manchester United, he said staying in the Premier League was a “big achievement”.
“We had to get the players in order a little bit after we came in, and we have done that,” he said. “This is a big club and there are big expectations from the supporters so they will need to improve.”
Moyes managed Everton for 11 years from 2002 before leaving the club to replace Alex Ferguson at United but was dismissed after just 10 months in charge. He also had a disappointing stint in Spain with Real Sociedad.
West Ham’s statement came just hours after Everton announced the sacking of Sam Allardyce.
David Moyes was appointed manager of Premier League strugglers West Ham on Tuesday following the sacking of Slaven Bilic.
AFP highlights five things about the former Everton and Manchester United boss.
Moyes is third on the list of the longest Premier League managerial reigns behind only Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson. Moyes joined the Merseyside club from Preston in 2002 and his 11 years at the club made him the longest-serving manager there since Harry Catterick in the 1960s and 70s. He failed to win any silverware but the club consistently punched above its weight despite financial limitations.
The ‘Chosen One’
Moyes was handed the daunting task of replacing Ferguson at Old Trafford in 2013 after two decades of trophy-laden success but his reign quickly soured. Moyes took charge of a group of players who had won the 2012-13 Premier League title by 11 points but he was sacked just 10 months into a six-year contract and the club limped to a seventh-place finish in the league.
The Rooney factor
Moyes launched Wayne Rooney on his path to becoming England’s all-time record goalscorer, giving him his debut at Everton in 2002 at the age of just 16. Moyes sold the teenager to Manchester United two years later and they later fell out when the striker was sued by Moyes for allegations in an autobiography. They settled out of court and Rooney subsequently apologised.
Moyes built up a formidable reputation during his long spell in charge of Everton but he looked a haunted man towards the end of his short tenure at Old Trafford. Since then his reputation has taken further hits with a short and unsuccessful spell in Spain with Real Sociedad and then and an ill-starred stint with Sunderland, who were relegated last season on his watch.
Keeping the faith
Moyes is a committed Christian but his beliefs once caused friction back in his playing days, at Cambridge United. “The three of them (Moyes and two team-mates) sat in the changing room with a little black book, discussing their faith, when they should have been getting psyched up for a relegation scrap,” recalled a far from impressed former team-mate, Roy McDonough.
Sullivan believes Moyes, 54, is the perfect choice to steer the club to safety.
“We need somebody with experience, knowledge of the Premier League and the players in it, and we believe David is the right man to turn things around and get the best out of the players at the club.
“He is highly regarded and respected within the game, and will bring fresh ideas, organisation and enthusiasm.”
Moyes has been out of management since he resigned from Sunderland at the end of last season, having failed to save them from relegation.
Despite that, and an underwhelming stint in Spain with Real Sociedad, Sullivan and his co-chairman David Gold are backing him to help shore up a leaky defence as well as getting the best out of big-money summer signings Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez.
Bilic was let go following a chastening 4-1 loss to Liverpool at the London Stadium on Saturday that leaves them 18th in the table and facing a fight for Premier League survival.
Bilic, who also played for West Ham, is the fourth Premier League managerial casualty of the season following the departures of Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer, Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare and Everton’s Ronald Koeman.