David Moyes failed as Real Sociedad manager

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Football News

David Moyes' sacking as Real Sociedad manager marks another failure by British managers who have tried their luck on foreign soil. Chris Coleman failed at the same club just seven years ago - you would have thought the Basque club would have learnt their lesson.

When Moyes left for Spain, many thought that he would enjoy success with the La Liga side. His infamous reign as Manchester United boss certainly tainted his reputation as a manager, but the golden years he experienced at Everton overrode any negativity. Sociedad are around the same size of club as Everton - on paper it was a perfect fit - so where did it all go wrong for Moyes?

Failure to learn the language

Remember when Fabio Capello was so roundly mocked for his tenuous grasp of the English language? Well, the Sociedad fans were equally unimpressed by Moyes' inability to master any form of fluent Spanish. If the fans were left feeling disconsolate by the language barrier, imagine how the players felt.


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Respected Spanish journalist, Guillem Balague, believes that British managers' refusal to learn the native language and adapt to their new surroundings is the beginning of their downfall.

He told Sky Sports: "It was partly players not responding to a style of management, players not fitting a style of management and a coach that needs to work harder at adapting to a culture.

"Moyes never really threw himself into the Spanish and Basque lifestyle, as a result, the players never really threw themselves into believing his tactics."

Unclear style of play

One of the criticisms leveled at Moyes after his horrible few months at Old Trafford was that he never seemed sure of how he wanted the team to play. Rio Ferdinand famously chastised Moyes in his 2014 autobiography, '2sides', claiming his tactics were negative and confusing.

The Guardian revealed a particular extract from his book: "Sometimes our main tactic was the long, high, diagonal cross. It was embarrassing. In one home game against Fulham we had 81 crosses! I was thinking, why are we doing this? Andy Carroll doesn’t play for us!

“The whole approach was alien. Other times Moyes wanted lots of passing. He’d say: 'Today I want us to have 600 passes in the game. Last week it was only 400’. Who cares? I’d rather score five goals from 10 passes."

It would appear that Moyes had a similar problem at Real Sociedad. When he arrived he had two options: to impose his British playing style onto his mostly Spanish squad, or to adapt to the existing style of play and add a few minor tweaks here and there. He did neither and the outcome was inevitable.

What now for Moyes?

A couple of tough managerial spells shouldn't belie the fact that Moyes is still a good coach and a very good manager. He left the comfort of Everton for two highly risky and challenging roles; he should be commended for being braver than many others who would have declined the opportunities.

Such is the managerial merry-go-round, a manager's position at a Premier League club is bound to come along sooner rather than later. Should Moyes be ready to go straight back into management is yet to be seen, but if he is, he'll surely be the top of many chairmans' lists.

Which Premier League club would David Moyes be a good fit at? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!

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Real Sociedad
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