“Trevor (Brooking) and ‘Bondso’ (Billy Bonds) were two of the best players I played with at West Ham” stated Alan ‘Dev’ Devonshire with a smile, “There were definitely a few legends and icons during the time I was at the club.”
Alan Devonshire is a club legend at West Ham and has had an inspirational career which had West Ham at the heart of it. The man who rarely speaks to the media gave some of his thoughts on West Ham past and present, which is interesting due to his experience as a player and manager.
Alan Devonshire walked out with a West Ham United shirt on over 400 times for the club and played a huge part in the famous 1980 FA Cup final win over Arsenal, crossing the ball in from wide midfield for the goal. He represented his country 8 times and was much-loved by West Ham fans.
His workman-like attitude was very relatable with West Ham fans, whose love only grew stronger for him when he got the London Underground to the stadium with fans on matchdays.
He formed a great partnership with Trevor Brooking, who he openly said he loved to play with. His achievements at West Ham include assisting in the FA Cup final of which West Ham won, scoring in the FA Cup semi-final replay at Elland Road, representing the Hammers in Europe, and reaching the League Cup final.
His relationship with Tony Cottee and Frank McAvennie flourished in 1985/86 as he assisted many of their goals when West Ham finished 3rd in the First Division.
His favourite players to work with were Trevor Brooking and Billy Bonds though: “The way they (Trevor Brooking and Billy Bonds) were as people was terrific. Football wise, they really looked after themselves.”
Asking ‘Dev’ about the future of West Ham, Alan explained, “Nowadays the game has changed”
“Declan Rice is certainly the best player at the club at the moment.
“It’s crucial that we keep hold of him and build the whole team around him, he’s that good.
"I feel we have started to do that."
He’s optimistic and hopeful of West Ham’s current situation, despite the poor current run of form, voicing that he, “Wants the boys to push on and finish in the top 6 in the coming years.”
When asked about David Moyes and his future at the club, Alan Devonshire (as a former Hammer and current manager) was quick to defend the Scotsman.
“It’s so easy to criticise managers when teams are struggling.
“West Ham fans need to look at the full picture and support them team and coach again.
“We need to see how Moyes recovers and hopefully he can turn it around before the end of the season.”
Alan Devonshire is looking forward to how West Ham perform after the World Cup but insists that Moyes has earned himself time to turn the clubs form around.
It’ll be interesting to see if Moyes can make a similar turnaround to the last major break there was in a Premier League season (Covid-19) where the club signed Jesse Lingard on loan and secured Europa League football.