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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

Alex Král: "Moyes is so detached, there was no communication. It's the way he is with everybody"

Exclusive by Alessandro Schiavone from Gelsenkirchen

Alex Král has stirred the pot against West Ham manager David Moyes, branding him “aloof” and adding that he offered him little explanation as to why he was irrevocably frozen out from the off.

The Czech international, who is now at Schalke 04, spent one season on loan at London Stadium last term but found it hard to get a look-in, clocking up a deflating six appearances across all competitions.

Král now opened up on his strained relationship with the Hammers boss, shockingly revealing that he only spoke to him on one occasion last term.

“I am a young player who always wants to play and for that reason at West Ham was a hard time for me”, he told Capital Football in the wake of Schalke 04's 1-0 win over fellow Bundesliga strugglers 1.FSV Mainz 05.

“Really fast I recognised I won’t play in too many games, so I worked on my weaknesses in each training.

“Moyes didn’t speak much with me, he was detached.

“I only spoke to him one time when I went to him, asking him what I needed to improve to play, at a time when Rice and Tomas were out of the game.

“But something was off because if I had been doing everything right I’d be playing, no? So, I tried to speak like this with him, I didn’t go and ask: ‘Why am I not playing?’.

“But he kept saying that I needed to wait for my chance, the rest was between him and me.

“I kept training hard, apart from one week when I had Coronavirus, I was never injured, I was ready.

“Sadly, there wasn’t much communication, but he wasn’t like that just to me. It’s just the way Moyes is and I don’t take it personally.

“I respect David and it was a good lesson, using it to my advantage to work on my weaknesses.”

The Hammers misfit still feels aggrieved by that ruthless decision-making, not least as the team were in dire need of fresh legs during the season run-in, when they challenged for a European finish domestically while attempting to win the Europa League.

While fellow central midfielder Declan Rice and Tomáš Souček were involved in 36 and 35 Premier League games respectively and played through tiredness, Kral was ridiculed with a mere one-minute cameo at Watford in over nine months.

He said: “They are really good players who played well and were healthy so there wasn’t something that someone was injured and you’d go in.

“I don’t know how many games Declan played last season, over 60? And the same Tomáš.

“From my opinion I want to play but even if I was a coach, I want to rotate the team.

“I feel there was a space to use me more in the Europa League, for example in Frankfurt the team was really tired but Moyes had his own players.

“Sometimes I’d feel it, the players would feel it, that we should change a little bit to refresh the team, but Moyes saw it differently and I respect it.

“In the end the results spoke for him, if he hadn’t had them it would have been different.”

The timing of the midfielder’s outburst comes at the worst possible for Moyes’ side, with the club hovering one point above the relegation zone going into the World Cup break on the back of four defeats in the last five outings.

And the new Schalke favourite has pinpointed a lack of goals from dead balls as one of the major reasons for their regression.

He said: “The Premier League is so, so hard. Last season we scored many goals from set-pieces and these goals helped us. But West Ham really have quality players after changing so much and there are still so many games, the season's long.”

Having secured a 100 per cent winning record in the Europa Conference League, which includes back-to-back wins over Belgian side Anderlecht, Král is confident the Hammers have what it takes to go the distance in Europe’s third-tier competition.

He said: “Last year we had a big chance of winning the Europa League and this year it can be the same, winning the Conference League is possible even if English teams prefer to focus on the Premier League.

“I have many friends there and wish them all the best.”


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