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'I've always loved him': Alan Pardew says he's a big fan of 31-year-old West Ham player
Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

'I've always loved him': Alan Pardew says he's a big fan of 31-year-old West Ham player

Alan Pardew is pleased to see Michail Antonio doing well under David Moyes at West Ham.

The former Hammers boss sat down with West Ham United’s official website to share his thoughts on this weekend’s fixture against Newcastle – another of his former clubs.

One of the topics of conversation was West Ham’s current squad under Moyes. Pardew said he is a big fan of Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek, as well as Declan Rice and the in-form Jarrod Bowen.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

The 60-year-old also spoke highly of Antonio, saying: “He [Moyes] has built a really good side and with some of the teams around them perhaps not as strong as they should be – Manchester United and Spurs in particular – it gives West Ham a real fighting chance of what David did at Everton – get them into that Champions League spot.’

‘At the top of the pitch, the team looks quite stable, with Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen.’

‘I was his [Antonio’s] manager at Southampton. I’ve always loved him and I’m very pleased he is doing well.”

Antonio was 19-years-old when he joined Pardew on the South Coast on loan from Reading. The Saints were in League One when the two linked up with the simple task of bouncing back to the Championship at the first time of asking.

Sadly, they fell short of the play-off’s, finishing seventh. However, their season did end in silverware as they ran out 4-1 winners against Carlisle in the Football League Trophy Final, with Antonio scoring the fourth goal.

The Jamaican later joined Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest on permanent deals before signing for West Ham in 2015. Six years later he became the Hammers all-time top goal scorer in the Premier League.

Pardew thinks West Ham can go far in Europe

Pardew has managed a number of English clubs since his three-year tenure in East London, including Crystal Palace and West Brom.

He was in charge of West Ham during their memorable FA Cup campaign in the 2005/06 season, where they lost the final to Liverpool on penalties. As a result of Rafael Benitez’s side already qualifying for the Champions League, Pardew’s Hammers side found themselves playing in Europe at the start of the 2007/08 campaign.

Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images

Pardew said: “It’s always very hard to get past some of these teams over two legs but it could be one of those special seasons for West Ham and I hope it will be.’

‘I still remember clearly when we competed in Europe with West Ham and drew Palermo who were unfortunately probably the strongest team in Italy at that time.’

‘We certainly didn’t have a big enough squad at Newcastle. We reached the quarter-finals but really paid for it in the league. I think David’s squad is a little stronger in terms of depth and he has a great opportunity.’

‘To win the Europa League would be a real feather in West Ham and David’s cap – and they have a chance.”

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