The career of David Moyes has took a number of twists and turns after he won the LMA manager of the year for the second time in three years back in 2005. Ever since he left Everton for the impossible job of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson his reputation has taken multiple hits. The latest? Resigning from Sunderland after a year in charge. A year that saw serial relegation candidates Sunderland drop into the second tier of English football. Will this be the final nail in the coffin for the once promising Scottish manager? Or can he come back and redefine his career?
Moyes was a long term target for Sunderland. A manager that apparently was the favoured candidate for multiple previous appointments at the Stadium of Light. It is fair to say that Sunderland had finally got their man. Nothing could ruin this moment. Surely. What about the new gaffer informing the world’s media that he had not taken the job on previous occasions because he lacked the belief that Sunderland could stay up. He went on to compliment the job previous manager Sam Allardyce had done, who went on to briefly manage the England national team. Perhaps Moyes just wanted to pay tribute to big Sam who was loved by the Sunderland fans. That is not how the media saw it.
As if this was not enough for an incoming manager Moyes consistently portrayed a negative outlook in the media. In January he admitted they would struggle to get the players in that they need. A few injuries and some players going to the African Cup of Nations meant that his options were limited. What is the sense in saying this? Does Moyes think some top quality players will see this and take pity on him? It sends out a message to the players at the club that he does not believe they are are good enough. It also signals that players who are available should not take an interest in joining the club as the manager does not think the club is a good destination for the,. It is hard to believe such an experienced and reputable manager would make a comment of this sort. While it may have related to funds available it is still not something worth saying publicly.
When the chips are down nothing seems to go your way. Moyes got himself into another scandal after joking with a female reporter. Through mutual laughter he informed her she still may get a slap regardless of her gender. It is evident to see that Moyes and the reporter had some sort of rapport. However, the media blew it up. There were debates and reports on the radio, television and in newspapers. At this point Sunderland already looked doomed. They played and looked like the personification of their managers negativity.
It must be difficult to understand the mindset of Moyes. Such a fantastic reputation before taking the United job. Not even one season into his time in Manchester he was sacked. A seven year deal gone. The dream to replace fellow Scot Ferguson at the summit of the English game over. A lack of belief took over Old Trafford for that campaign. The former champions lost their star factor and ultimately Moyes had to take the blame. You could almost see the lack of motivation on the players faces. A shell of their former selves under Moyes. His next venture was to Spain, taking control of Real Sociedad. The highlight of which? Probably his press conferences with the Spanish media. After a twelfth place finish in his first season was adequate. The start to his second was not and he was sacked one day short of a year in the job.
It is hard to see where Moyes can go from here. Difficult to see him at a Premier League club again anytime soon. His lack of hunger for the project at Sunderland will perhaps be the most damming factor when hunting for his next job in football management. Moyes as previously stated was in demand at Sunderland and chairman, Ellis Short, wanted him to stay. Moyes was willing to stay if he could get the funds. Could Moyes not see it out? Give back the faith the club were willing to put him in and return Sunderland to the top flight? Obviously not. He wanted to go.
Sunderland as a club must take the brunt of the blame for not investing when over time it was clear they needed to. They have had more than enough warnings in previous years. But you have to question Moyes attitude and character. Perhaps his passion for the game has gone and he has no fight left to give. It is difficult to picture what is next for the man who was once selected by the greatest Premier League manager to replace him.