West Ham boss David Moyes has revealed Marcelo Bielsa once indirectly played a part in helping to prevent Man Utd from being crowed champions.
Speaking ahead of the Hammers’ clash with Leeds on Saturday, Moyes spoke of his ‘admiration’ for his upcoming counterpart. While still manager of Everton in 2012, Moyes recollected how he watched on in awe of Bielsa’s Athletic Bilbao side at the time.
Bilbao defeated Man Utd 2-1 and 3-2 in the home and away legs of their Europa League Last 16 ties in 2012.
A month later, Everton held Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to a 4-4 draw at Old Trafford to swing the title race in favour of eventual champions Man City.
Moyes recalled (via the PA): “I’ve always admired Bielsa, wherever he’s been. I remember I went to watch his Athletic Bilbao team against Manchester United.
“The day we drew 4-4 – it just about stopped Manchester United winning the league the season before Sir Alex left.
“I’d seen how Athletic Bilbao played and thought I’m going to have to play like that with Everton, and we got a draw.
“His teams always have incredible energy. Everybody’s man-to-man marking in many areas of the pitch.
“But they are more than that, they are also a very good passing team. And for that the manager deserves great credit.”
Moyes reveals West Ham gameplan v Leeds
West Ham beat Leeds home and away in the league last season and have made another encouraging start this season.
Ahead of the 3pm clash at Elland Road tomorrow, Moyes admitted his side will have to “think like” Leeds in order to get a positive result.
“If you watch their games they have had a difficult start to the season, but everyone enjoys watching Leeds United.
“It is a really tough game, with the energy they put into their game it is going to be a test for anyone who plays them.
“I think we’re just going to try and do what West Ham have been doing recently. To be positive in our play and score goals, but also to be strong defensively.
“I think if you look at Leeds’ play, you’d consider them a really positive team. So we have to think like that as well. We’ll try and attack them and score when we can, but we’ll have another tough job trying to defend against them.”
Fearsome forward Michail Antonio will return to spearhead West Ham’s attack. With Pascal Struijk suspended and Diego Llorente and Robin Koch ruled out through injury, Antonio will be confident of filling his boots.