EPL

'He's made a big difference': Moyes hails Lingard impact

By Sports Desk April 05, 2021

West Ham United coach David Moyes has heaped praise on Jesse Lingard who has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other player since his Hammers debut.

Lingard scored West Ham's opening goal in Monday's 3-2 win away to Wolverhampton which sees Moyes' side move above Chelsea in fourth spot.

The on-loan Manchester United winger has scored six goals and provided three assists since debuting for the Hammers on February 3.

"We were worried about their speed, when you think about the speed Adama Traore’s got and Pedro Neto’s got, so we had a real concern about them, but I’ve got to say Jesse’s speed was there too," Moyes said.

"He showed a bit of old-fashioned dribbling and used his speed to get away from people.

"I said to him at the end that he’s made a big difference and I don’t give praise too easily, but I certainly gave it to Jesse tonight."

The 28-year-old winger is enjoying near career-best form having fallen out of favour at Old Trafford in recent seasons.

"It’s just consistency behind my form I think," Lingard said.

"Obviously I hadn’t played much for the past two years, so to be playing week-in, week-out and keeping up this form is great, but the team have helped me tremendously."

Related items

  • Van Dijk 'will never forget' Liverpool return as attention turns to title tilt Van Dijk 'will never forget' Liverpool return as attention turns to title tilt

    Virgil van Dijk will never forget the "special" feeling of returning from injury alongside Liverpool centre-back partner Joe Gomez.

    Both Van Dijk and Gomez watched much of last season from the sidelines as the Reds were hit by injury woes in their Premier League title defence.

    Van Dijk had started every league game in the prior two campaigns but sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage in a challenge with Everton's Jordan Pickford in October 2020.

    Gomez started alongside the Netherlands international on 22 occasions in 2019-20, with Liverpool winning 19 of those games and conceding just 17 goals, but he also suffered a knee injury while away with England last November.

    However, from the date of Gomez's injury to the end of the 2020-21 season, only Manchester City (23) conceded fewer league goals than Liverpool (26), who kept 11 clean sheets in this period – behind City (17) and Chelsea (15) – as they qualified for the Champions League.

    Returns for the defensive pair represent a boost all the same, though, and Van Dijk particularly enjoyed stepping back onto the pitch alongside Gomez in a friendly against Hertha Berlin.

    "[It was] special," he told Liverpool's official website. "We said it to each other: we have to soak it all up, we have to take it in, enjoy it, let it make you stronger, let it make you even hungrier to stay fit.

    "To be standing there at that moment, at that time, was special. I will never forget that."

    Van Dijk added: "I think positivity is a very important thing, we have the quality – that is obvious. We were just very, very unlucky with injuries last year, especially in the centre-back position.

    "In the end, Rhys [Williams], Nat [Phillips] and Ozan [Kabak] did a fantastic job to make sure we have at least Champions League and we [came] third.

    "But we have been unlucky in some positions that made it very difficult for us as a team to play the same way and have the same intensity we normally have, so we've worked a lot on this.

    "We hope – and we try – to stay fit, all of us. That's something we shouldn't take for granted, if that happens."

    With their key men fit again, Liverpool are looking to get back involved in the title race, with their 69 points last term the fifth-lowest total from a defending Premier League champion.

    "The standard is very high [in pre-season], we train hard, we try to get the right tactics in again and hopefully get ready for a very, very good season altogether," he said.

    "It is going to be a tough one with teams that are improving all around us, trying to compete to become champions of the Premier League. So are we – we want to be up there again, go for it all and we set the base at the moment."

  • Van Gaal named Netherlands head coach as he returns for a third spell Van Gaal named Netherlands head coach as he returns for a third spell

    Louis van Gaal has returned to football management after being named as the new head coach of the Netherlands.

    The 69-year-old, who announced his retirement in 2019, is back for a third spell in charge of the national team as their World Cup qualifying campaign prepares to resume next month.

    His first appointment since leaving Manchester United back in 2016, he takes over following the departure of Frank de Boer, who stepped down after the Netherlands' last-16 exit from Euro 2020.

    Van Gaal, who will be assisted by Danny Blind and Henk Fraser with Frans Hoek serving as goalkeeping coach, was first in charge between 2000 and 2002 but stepped down after failing to secure qualification for the World Cup.

    He returned for a second stint in 2012, guiding his nation to third place at the World Cup in Brazil two years later before departing for Old Trafford.

    Van Gaal's first match back in charge sees the Dutch travel to Norway on September 1 in a World Cup qualifier.

    Currently second in Group G with six points from three matches, the Netherlands then play back-to-back home games against Montenegro and table-topping Turkey.

    Van Gaal said: "Dutch football has always been close to my heart and the national coach is, in my opinion, a key position for moving our football forward. 

    "Moreover, I consider it an honour to coach the Dutch national team. There is little time until the next qualifiers, which are immediately crucial for participation in the World Cup. 

    "The focus is, therefore, 100 per cent on the players and the approach. After all, that's what I'm assigned to do. It's good to be back. 

    "I have already spoken to a number of players and together with the KNVB (the Dutch Football Association), the technical staff has been assembled. I'm really looking forward to getting the job done together."

    Nico-Jan Hoogma, KNVB director, added: "In the coming months, we will be tasked with qualifying for the World Cup. For this, we have a minimum preparation period. 

    "In view of this job, we were looking for a coach with exceptional qualities, who can also anticipate quickly. 

    "With his experience and track record at the highest level, we have that coach in our eyes with Louis van Gaal. The contact was made quickly and we have spoken many times since then. 

    "In the last few days, we have been able to carefully put the finishing touches together. We are happy that Louis is taking on this job."

    A league winner in three different countries, having secured domestic titles while at Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Van Gaal has enjoyed a hugely successful managerial career.

    He also won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, then guided Bayern to the final 15 years later.

    Van Gaal won 27 of the 44 games he oversaw during his first two spells with the Netherlands, drawing 13 and losing just four.

  • Real Madrid midfielder Kroos set for spell on the sidelines Real Madrid midfielder Kroos set for spell on the sidelines

    Real Madrid look set to be without Toni Kroos for the start of the new season, with the midfielder confirming he has been suffering with a pubic bone issue.

    Madrid confirmed on Tuesday that Kroos, who retired from international football following Germany's disappointing showing at Euro 2020, had been diagnosed with a pubalgia – a strain or tear of the soft tissue in the groin.

    Kroos subsequently revealed on Twitter that he had been suffering with the problem for some time.

    "After several month (sic.) of problems on my pubic bone I think it's time to give it a rest and work on it to be well prepared for a long season. Back asap as always," the 31-year-old tweeted.

    On Wednesday, reports in Spanish publication AS suggested Kroos could be out for around a month.

    Even if the estimation proves incorrect, Kroos seems highly unlikely to be able to play in Carlo Ancelotti's opening LaLiga match of his second stint in charge of Madrid.

    Los Blancos, who face Milan on Sunday in their final pre-season friendly, take on Deportivo Alaves on August 14. They then travel to Levante and Real Betis before the first international break of 2021-22.

    Kroos made 28 league appearances last term, scoring three goals. 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.