Can David Moyes reign in Spain?

Very few British managers have managed abroad. The great Sir Bobby Robson, Terry Venables, John Toshack, Steve McClaren and Chris Coleman have all experienced successes and failures across the continent. Now, it’s David Moyes turn to prove Manchester United wrong and salvage his stuttering managerial career.

British managers and players are known to stick to their roots and prolong their careers in the United Kingdom. On the odd occasion that a manager or player from the British Isles has a crack in another country, failing to settle in new surroundings or failing to impress in the foreign leagues are the main reasons why they want a return to England. Moyes has previously expressed his desire to manage abroad, even when was in the hot seat at Everton. With his preferred choice being to manage in the German Bundesliga, Moyes opted to take up the managerial vacancy at Spanish La Liga outfit Real Sociedad.

So can Moyes be a success in Spain? Xabi Prieto, captain of the Scotsman’s new side has openly said that Moyes ‘can turn Sociedad into the Everton of Spain’, while in his unveiling as the gaffer of the San Sebastien club, Moyes made a bold statement, saying that ‘La Liga is the best league in the world’. Is Moyes right, and can he turn the one-time Champions League competitors into a force to be reckoned with?

After a remarkable 11-years at the Toffees, the Scottish boss will unfortunately be most remembered for his unsuccessful stint at Old Trafford. However, his predecessor Louis Van Gaal has endured a similar start, with the Red Devils currently seventh place in the table, 13 points behind leaders Chelsea. Many have felt Van Gaal has been better than Moyes so far, however, United under Moyes had more points on the board compared to Van Gaal over 10 games, while also having more wins, scoring more goals, having more shots on target, winning more tackles, conceding less goals and no red cards. On this basis, Ed Woodward & co. were a bit trigger happy in giving Moyes a hefty pay-off package to leave Manchester United.

Nevertheless, Manchester United’s loss is Real Sociedad’s gain, and Moyes looks like he has inherited into a decent squad, despite the Spanish side sitting in a disappointing 15th place. Captain Xabi Prieto has the experience to push his beloved club up the table, whilst former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela is now settled in Spain after a spell from hell at the Emirates stadium, and is now a potent striker.

Moyes’ desire to have a crack at managing a club abroad is a commendable act. He will look to overcome is unfortunate spell in Manchester by guiding Real Sociedad up the table, and hopefully another crack in a European competition. The way Moyes organises his team’s is right up Sociedad’s street, so watch this space, Moyes could become a cult hero on the Spanish island.