Moyes still in demand at smaller EPL sides

David Moyes looks on before the Spanish first division football match between Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid.
David Moyes looks on before the Spanish first division football match between Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • David Moyes did not even reach his first anniversary as Real Sociedad manager, let alone reinvent himself after his torrid spell at Manchester United.

On Monday, less than a year after joining the Basque football club and speaking about playing with a "faster, more intense, British style", the Scot was sacked and will set about restoring his reputation in the more familiar surroundings of English football.

Moyes will find himself in demand in the English Premier League and below, because, although his past two jobs have brought disappointment, he is still associated with his transformation of Everton on a meagre budget.

Newcastle, Sunderland and Aston Villa are among the clubs to have sounded him out recently.

If he had hoped that moving to Spain and experiencing a different culture and style would re-establish him as the forward-thinking coach Alex Ferguson identified as a preferred candidate to succeed him at Old Trafford, the reality has been different.

While the 52-year-old lifted Sociedad from the threat of relegation to 12th in the table last season, the team have not progressed.

They are 16th in La Liga and have won only two of their 11 league matches this season.

Although Moyes, whose contract extended until the end of this season and will receive a payoff of about £1 million (S$2.15 million), was a popular appointment, supporters had recently called for his dismissal and Friday night's defeat by Las Palmas, who are in the bottom three, proved his final match.

It is unlikely Manchester City will be interested in Moyes succeeding Manuel Pellegrini - should they fail to entice Pep Guardiola, their first choice, from Bayern Munich. But the club's hierarchy considers Patrick Vieira, the former Arsenal captain, a potential candidate.

So, they have sent the former French international to take over as head coach of New York City, the EPL leaders' franchise in the United States' Major League Soccer, so that he can gain experience as a first-team coach.

Since retiring as a player in 2011, Vieira has worked in various roles at City, spending the past 21/2 years as coach of their Under-21 team.

After being considered by Newcastle and Sunderland for their managerial vacancies in recent months, the 39-year-old has signed a three-year contract with New York. He will take up his role on Jan 1 in advance of the next MLS campaign that begins in March.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2015, with the headline 'Moyes still in demand at smaller EPL sides'. Print Edition | Subscribe