Masterclass Focus: David Moyes

In the second instalment of this Masterclass Focus we look into the fantastic Pressing session provided by the current West Ham manager David Moyes.

Feb 8th 2021

Written by The Coaching Manual

In the second instalment of this Masterclass Focus, we look into the fantastic Pressing session provided by the current West Ham manager David Moyes.

The Coach...

David Moyes made over 500 league appearances as a centre back, starting at Celtic and ending his playing career at Preston North End. Moyes had an early interest in coaching as he became fully qualified at the age of 22 whilst he was still playing. The reasoning behind this was to help him better understand the game, and in turn make him a better player. He developed a love for coaching during this time which meant he had to carry it on after he retired as a player.

His first coaching role came at Preston North End where he worked his way up to assistant manager before taking over as first-team manager in 1998. When he became manager, the club was in danger of being relegated from Division Two but by the end of the season Moyes had steered them to safety and in his third season, Preston won the title and gained promotion to Division One. The following season the team impressively made it to the play off final and unfortunately missed out on promotion to the Premier League getting beat by Bolton Wanderers.

In 2002 Moyes took over at Everton where he spent just over 11 years as manager. Highlights of his tenure at the Merseyside club include guiding them to European football in 2005 after finishing 4th in the league, their highest finish since 1988, and an FA cup final in 2009.

After his time at Everton, he spent short periods at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland.

However, during his first spell at West Ham United in 2017, he successfully led the club to safety after taking charge when they sat precariously in the relegation zone. As this was a ‘short-term appointment’ for the London club Moyes left at the end of the season but returned in 2019 where he again kept West Ham in the Premier League after a difficult season.

In the current Premier League season West Ham have been in impressive form under Moyes' management as they sit comfortably in the top half of the table and could even make a surprise push for European football.

Learn more about David Moyes and his love for coaching in his full-length interview here.


The Session

Pressing is one of the fundamentals in football. Even if a team doesn’t press from the front as their main style of play, much like Liverpool have in recent years with great success, the basis of it is applicable in almost all areas of the pitch. Therefore, this Pressing masterclass is so useful and transferable for coaches of all levels.

The Masterclass starts by really pinning down the basics of how to close a player down with a very simple but effective 1v1 Warm Up drill. There is an emphasis on a quick but controlled approach to the press encouraging players not to dive in.

Next up in the session is a practice solely focused on Pressing from the Front which includes an 8v8 situation with Goalkeepers. The aim is for the team in possession is to work their way up the area and chip the ball into the hands of the goalkeeper at the other end in order to score a point. However, as soon as the ball is played out this triggers the out-of-possession team to start pressing.

The masterclass ends with a Small Sided Game where Moyes brings all of the key points from the previous practices together for the players to put into practice in game-like situations.

View the full Pressing Masterclass here.


The Feedback...

"David Moyes’s pressing session is excellent. I think the way he breaks it down to make it very simple for players is fantastic. One thing I loved about this session the most is that he is setting the scene for attitude first rather than the tactics behind it, which for me is the most important - you can’t coach the tactics without the attitude." 

Lee Fletcher - Head of Content Development at The Coaching Manual.

“This session provides coaches of all levels with an insight to coaching of the highest standard. David Moyes uses all his knowledge and experience to simplify his coaching points and language when interacting with players. His passion and high standards shine through which meant the players developed their knowledge and ability during this session. Top class coaching”

Steven Crane - Head of Player Development and Education


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