Dithering start reminiscent of Man Utd reign
13 November ~ David Moyes taking time to decide about returning to football this week as Real Sociedad’s coach does not bode too well for his chances of success. Moyes’ name was mentioned widely in local media reports even before predecessor Jagoba Arrasate was sacked, and club president Jokin Aperribay spoke with potential replacements before Arrasate was finally let go on November 5. Once the vacancy was official, Aperribay flew to London to meet with Moyes but returned without a deal being agreed. So the club went into Saturday’s game against Atlético Madrid still awaiting a decision.
Seven months after his sacking at Manchester United, Moyes reportedly canvassed a number of opinions from contacts who knew the club and La Liga. It was late Monday evening before confirmation arrived that he had accepted the job offer. Even then things continued to drag out. Initial reports suggested Moyes would meet his new players on Tuesday, but an apparent issue with flights meant he did not arrive in the city for another 24 hours. The media presentation was then put back until Thursday afternoon. Important details, including the identity of his new assistants and staff, were still not made public.
All the waiting around suggests Moyes may find it difficult to hit the ground running in a new league, at a club whose fortunes have been heading in the wrong direction over the last few years. Real Sociedad’s season began with an embarrassing Europa League exit to FC Krasnodar, and they now have just two wins in their first 11 domestic games.
That those victories have come against reigning champions Atlético and current La Liga leaders Real Madrid shows the txuri-urdin (blue and white) can perform on the big occasion, but home defeats to Getafe and Almería suggest a dressing room which needs sorting out. Carlos Vela, Iñigo Martínez, Sergio Canales and Rubén Pardo are all potential stars, but for different reasons each of their careers has stalled.
The job looks ideal for the younger, more straight to the point manager who took charge at Goodison Park in 2002. Everton were 1-0 ahead inside the opening minute of his first match, and a new-look team had finished fourth in the Premier League within two and a half years. But the last few weeks have been more reminiscent of “Dithering Davie”, who grew increasingly unable to make a decision in his later years at Goodison Park, and appeared to continuously doubt himself during his embarrassingly short stint at Manchester United. More of that early fire and decisiveness is required if Moyes is to be a success in San Sebastián. Dermot Corrigan