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Interviews

"We go there with knowledge and confidence that we can perform"

Thomas Frank's West Ham United thoughts

2 October 2021

Ahead of tomorrow's London derby in E20, Thomas Frank has been giving his thoughts on the latest Premier League challenge that lies in front of us. The Bees boss was asked about the confidence we can take from last weekend's Liverpool draw, what sort of threat David Moyes' in-form Hammers pose, and who in the The Bees squad might be in with a chance of being the next James Bond! Have a watch below.

Thomas on Liverpool draw …

That was a confidence boost, but the most promising thing is that we’ve been consistent with our performances. It was the sixth performance in a row where we’ve competed well on and off the ball, with a good work ethic, and pressing high. We did all that and we did it against the top of the league. It puts our performance in perspective with what they did to Porto in the Champions League. That gives us something, but it is always the next game. We need to perform again on Sunday and hopefully get something out of the game.

Thomas on season so far …

All people like to be acknowledged and like a bit of praise. It is nice to hear the praise but we’ve played six games and it is a long season. We need to continue working hard and performing. So far we have done well but we need to continue.  

For me the indicator is the next training. It is not if they are coming in smiling and joking because we need that little bit more energy. It is what we do out there; if they train with 100 per cent commitment and work hard, if the numbers are good, if they have a top attitude, and if it’s been a good week of training. That’s the indicators I am after.

I always believe in my team and my players. I was confident that we could compete at this level but competing is one thing, you need to do it over 38 games. The big thing is keeping the energy and the performances up every single game. That is the biggest challenge.  

A good performance and points on Sunday will be fantastic; that is what we are going for.

Thomas on David Moyes …

David Moyes, with his staff around him, has shown what a great coach he is. I am really pleased for him. He is soon to pass the milestone of 1000 games. He did a fantastic job at Everton, an unbelievable job at Preston but then suddenly, because it didn’t work out at Manchester United, it seems like he wasn’t recognised as a proper coach. What he has done at West Ham United is fantastic; he’s taken them to their second-best position in the Premier League, they have solid players in every position, and he’s continued this season with six points in the Europa League. What he’s done is remarkable and he deserves a lot of praise.

Thomas on West Ham United …

We faced them in a friendly. I said to Michail Antonio after the game that he’s a handful and he will score 20 this season if he stays healthy. He is a little bit like Lukaku in terms of the power and speed but he is a very good finisher as well.  They balance their team so well with Rice and Souček in the middle and then the front four of Fornals, Benrahma, Antonio, and Bowen, all have individual qualities. They are such a threat when they go forward.

Looking at West Ham they’ve done a very good job. There are three key things if you want to have a well-run club. You need to have a fantastic culture with the right players and staff around it. You need to have a defined style of play and from that you need the culture and recruitment, so you know who you want in certain positions. That is where the Head Coach or manager needs to be very involved as he needs to feel the type of players he wants to put on the pitch. He also needs to have a fantastic group of people aligned behind him.  

Thomas on Saïd Benrahma …

I am so pleased that he is doing well. It wasn’t a bad first season but it wasn’t a through the roof season. It is natural when you come into a new club and need to find your feet. I am so pleased that he seems to be a regular starter in his second season. I always thought his abilities on the ball were Premier League class and he’s showed that; his one v ones, his assists, and his goalscoring is at a very high level. I hope he does very well, except on Sunday.

Thomas on our attacking threat …

The trickiest thing in the Premier League is to score goals. It is easier to set a side up to be very defensive but where do the goals come from if you play so well but have nobody to put the ball over the line. We know Ivan Toney is the go-to guy but Bryan Mbeumo can also score goals. We know goals need to come from different positions so I am pleased with that.

Thomas on our away form …

No matter what league you want to compete in, including the Premier League, you need to get points away from home. I am pleased that we have looked very solid and I am convinced that we will look solid again on Sunday. We know it will be tricky with their front four but we go there with knowledge and confidence that we can perform.

Thomas on Ivan Toney’s England future …

I think Gareth Southgate is already looking at him; I would expect that he is. Gareth is doing a fantastic job as the England manager with the results he’s achieved. He is a very detailed man so I’m convinced he’s looking at him. If Ivan continues performing like this, he will be in the running for a position in the squad.  

Thomas on the next James Bond …

If you want one with a little big of swagger and confidence it needs to be Ivan Toney. The villain needs to be Pontus Jansson with that Ragnar Lodbrok look from Vikings.


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