David Moyes has been given the opportunity to lead West Ham out of its rut and relegation scrap, but what has he truly done to earn the chance?

By 90Min
November 07, 2017

"I'm retiring next week, you're the next Manchester United manager."

These were the words that fell upon David Moyes' disbelieving ears when Sir Alex Ferguson invited him round to his house one summer afternoon back in 2013. Moyes had expected the iconic Scot to discuss the potentiality of poaching one of his Everton stars from him, least of all expecting to be offered a chance in a hot seat that hadn't been vacated for 27 years. 

'Offered' is perhaps the wrong choice of word. When Sir Alex Ferguson personally chooses you as his successor, denying it is not an option. 11 years of graft at Everton built the Moyes brand; a strategic manager, a shrewd operator who can organize a club from top to bottom whilst earning the respect of many. 

He seemed an apt choice for the Old Trafford top job, so apt that the hierarchy entrusted him with a six-year contract whilst the fans adorned the terraces with banners in his name. "The Chosen One" it read, and so he was. 

Ten months on from Moyes' crowning moment in his career, the bubble had burst. The walls that acted as the foundation for the Scot's managerial credentials had come crashing down as he departed Old Trafford with the champions in 7th place, his management style tarnished by strong rumors of dissatisfaction amongst his adopted squad. 

However, a dismissal just ten months into a six-year contract perhaps portrayed United officials' in a worse light than Moyes himself, the decision reeking of impatience and restlessness; even Ferguson had a terrible first few years at the helm. Moyes' reputation remained intact, just. 

Not just anybody gets the chance to manage Manchester United, something which Spanish side Real Sociedad were aware of when they decided to hire the Scot to replace Jagoba Arrasate, offering him an 18-month contract on 10th November 2014 to rejuvenate an underperforming side languishing in 15th place in La Liga. 

Moyes' first season at the Anoeta Stadium was unspectacular, guiding the Erreala to 12th place and recording a historic 1-0 win over Barcelona in doing so. 

However, the former Preston North End boss lasted just under a year in Spain before Sociedad gave him his P45 on the 9th of November the following year, with his time abroad doing more damage to a declining reputation than it should've done. 

His time in Spain saw Moyes become a laughing stock for football fans all over the world. The comical attempt at speaking Spanish in a press conference - where he refrained from conversing in English momentarily just to utter the words 'dos, tres, cuatro' before realizing his knowledge of the language stretched no further - his strange pronunciation of Asier Illarramendi's name, whatever it was, he was mocked for it. 

With his hard earned reputation now in tatters, Moyes took some time out of the game before Sunderland came calling, fresh from losing Sam Allardyce to England. It was at the Stadium of Light where the Scot's managerial career really hit new lows. 

Sunderland won just six Premier League games and finished rock bottom of the table with 24 points in Moyes' first and only season on Wearside, suffering relegation to end their decade stay in the top flight. 

'The Chosen One' experienced his first relegation with the Black Cats, but didn't help himself by declaring his side were 'in a relegation battle' just two games into the campaign. Moyes also didn't help himself personally when he retaliated with sexist remarks to a reporter who pushed the Scot's buttons with one particular question. 

Following a query asking if he was feeling the pressure, Moyes responded to the reporter in question - Vicki Sparks -  with, “You were just getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself. You still might get a slap even though you’re a woman. Careful the next time you come in.” 

It was this retaliation that epitomized and encapsulated the downfall of the once highly sought after boss. A man so impressive in his field that perhaps the greatest manager of all time personally called for him to succeed him. Moyes' journey over the last four years has been a pitiful fall from grace, made all the more derisory by the fact that his latest job at West Ham comes at a time when there still remains one year on the original six-year Man United contract. 

How David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady came to see the Scot as an able replacement for Slaven Bilic in east London remains a mystery, but one thing is for certain, this will surely be Moyes' last chance to salvage any slither of respect from the footballing world in a managerial perspective. If failure awaits him at the London Stadium, Moyesey may as well call it a day. 

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