Yesterday, the hierarchy at Real Sociedad relieved David Moyes of his position as manager of the club, bringing to an end just under a year in the role. With the team struggling near the foot of the table – despite the fact that they spent heavily over the summer – it was clearly decided that Moyes wasn’t cut out for management in the Basque region.
After being sacked by Manchester United, David Moyes would have seen the Sociedad job as a way to restore his reputation in the game. Quite clearly, this has not happened. So, what went wrong for David Moyes while in charge of La Real?
Perhaps one of the main reasons for Moyes’ departure was the fact that too much was expected of him. Upon his hiring, fans were excited to see him arrive in the city, and believed he could bring success to the club. This expectation was only enhanced by Sociedad’s home victory against Barcelona shortly after his appointment. So, when things started to get tough, fans had to reduce their expectations – something that no fan likes to do.
Huge spending also contributed to Moyes’ downfall, after Sociedad had a record breaking summer in the transfer market. They broke their transfer record to sign Asier Illarramendi for £12 million from Real Madrid, while Jonathas and Rulli also commanded large fees. Moyes was unable to gel the squad though and make them play in a cohesive manner – something that will sound familiar to Manchester United fans.
As is often the way, the media also played a huge role in the sacking of Moyes, as they attacked him mercilessly after his side’s 2-0 loss to Las Palmas. One stated that Moyes “doesn’t understand the club, the players, the league, the city, the opponents, the referees, the languages, the stadia, the timetables…” – harsh words indeed. And when the media start to attack a manager, it can’t be too long before the hierarchy begin to listen…
Finally, the way in which the team played during Moyes’ tenure came in for some criticism, although many did acknowledge that they deserved more from some of their performances. Moyes seemed to create a side devoid of any attacking verve, and not scoring for 270 minutes at the start of the season set the tone. There were a few high points – a comprehensive 4-0 win over Levante being one of them – but generally Sociedad were, well, boring. Fans don’t want their team to play that way – and if the fans aren’t happy, the board won’t be.
So, what will Moyes’ next move be? After failing at both Manchester United and Real Sociedad, he’s got a task on his hands to restore his reputation. Will we see him back in the Premier League soon, or will he head elsewhere for his next managerial appointment?