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Sacked West Ham coaches ‘didn’t have a clue’ about ‘shocking’ exit – Nolan

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David Moyes’ coaching staff discovered “out of the blue” about their West Ham departures a day after the season ended, Kevin Nolan has said.

Former Hammers midfielder Nolan was one of eight coaches from Moyes’ backroom staff to be dismissed, with new manager Julen Lopetegui opting to bring his own team in when his appointment was confirmed on Thursday.

“Receiving the news on Monday was a bitter blow and disappointing because I wanted to stay,” Nolan told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“As we all know, it’s football. That’s it, it’s done – we look forward and start thinking about the future.

“It was unfortunate, the way it all unfolded. As much as I would like to say that, being in it, I knew what was going on, I didn’t have a clue.

“I genuinely believed he’d be offered a deal or speak about another deal. For it to come out of the blue in the way it did was shocking for us.

“My contract would have just rolled on with the new manager if he would have wanted me, but he wanted his new team, which you get.”

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Moyes, who announced he was leaving on May 10, began his four-and-a-half year reign by keeping West Ham in the Premier League in 2019/20 with Nolan’s help.

The Scot went on to lead them to the Uefa Europa League semi-finals two years ago, Europa Conference league glory last season – their first European trophy since 1965 – and the Europa League quarter-finals this time around.

They were beaten in the last eight by German champions Bayer Leverkusen, whose only defeat in all competitions throughout the season came to Atalanta in the final.

West Ham had ‘cloud of uncertainty’

“It was a great experience for me, to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League and go to the final of the Conference League and win,” said Nolan, adding that he hopes to return to management.

“To be back at West Ham meant a lot to me. What had been passed back down from David Moyes was that he’d be talking to them in the summer again.

“Then you heard the rumours. It was sort of clouded from January, when the boss came out and said ‘we’re going to talk about it at the end of the season.’

“You always see a change in players’ attitudes and minds – that always adds up, no matter what happens or what’s said.

“When there’s a cloud of uncertainty around the club and you don’t know what’s going to happen at the end of the season, players always asking us what’s going on. We hadn’t heard anything until David released a statement saying he’d be leaving.”

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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