Ruben Amorim apologises to Sporting Lisbon following West Ham talks: ‘It was a mistake’

Ruben Amorim has admitted it was a “mistake” to meet with West Ham United over becoming their new manager in the summer.

The Athletic reported this week that Amorim travelled to London on Monday for conversations with West Ham’s representatives with a view to replacing David Moyes, should he leave the club.

Moyes’ contract with West Ham expires this summer. Although he mentioned in February that he received a new offer, no decision will be made on his future until the season finishes.

Discussions between Amorim and West Ham took place, with the Premier League club drawing up potential contingency plans. However, the 39-year-old apologised to Sporting Lisbon and their supporters, insisting the timing of his trip was inappropriate.

Speaking at a pre-match press conference before Sporting’s clash against Porto on Sunday, he said: “The first thing to say is that the club knew about my trip, that’s the first thing, because it’s important and changes the context.

“The second thing to talk about is this ‘veil of secrecy’ around the trip. I ‘secretly’ parked my car outside, ‘secretly’ walked past 15 people, spoke with the people, took photos with people and got on a plane. It’s important to take away this idea that it was all done behind the club’s back, that didn’t happen.

“And now the most important point, that obviously it was a mistake. The trip, the timing was completely wrong. I didn’t think so at the time but it was wrong, especially when I’m so demanding of my players, and I’m always the first to say that the problems of individuals can’t take over the team, and I’ve taken players out of the team for much less.

“It was my fault, I have to accept that and live with it. I didn’t think it was so bad at the time but thinking back on it it’s very clear. I’ve explained this with the players, the staff, but most important now is to carry on. I’m using the conference here to say sorry to the Sporting fans, the staff and above all to say sorry publicly to the players for the mistake that I made.”

Amorim was also under consideration at Liverpool, but they look set to appoint Arne Slot after they agreed a compensation package with Feyenoord that will allow him to become Jurgen Klopp’s successor at Anfield.

Who is Ruben Amorim?

Analysis by The Athletic’s data analyst Mark Carey

Amorim was targeted by Sporting after a hugely successful — albeit brief — stint with fellow Portuguese side Braga that saw him win 10 of his 13 games in charge.

In his first full season, 2021-22, he guided them to a first league title for 19 years with his controlled, possession-dominant style of play, and Sporting look set to add another title to their name this season as they sit seven points clear at the top of the Primeira Liga.

The 39-year-old’s CV is particularly impressive in improving the quality of the team with the resources he has had at his disposal. With many talented players leaving Sporting while he has been in the dugout — including Nuno Mendes, Pedro Porro, Joao Palhinha, and Matheus Nunes — Amorim’s stylistic approach has remained unchanged, and that consistency has been key to their title credentials this season.

Even accounting for the imbalance of the Primeira Liga, a side who boast, statistically, one of the best attacks and the best defence across Europe’s top seven league shows that their manager must be having a positive effect.

As a coach known for fielding young players and improving individual player performance, you can understand why he is highly sought-after.



This felt like the end of an era for West Ham and David Moyes – clarity is needed soon

 (Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

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