As David Moyes was the eventual executioner of Lucas Alcaraz’s ill-fated tenure at Levante, one would be right in finding the whole state ironic. It could have easily been the other way round, had Levante not looked like a sorry bunch when Agirretxe scored in 35th minute, we could be talking about a totally altered story. The 0-4 scoreline flattered Real Sociedad, and they have a multitude of problems to address, both internally and externally. It all starts at the managerial position, where fans are confused as to whether the Scotsman will extend his contract beyond June. So far, he has showed no inclination of doing so.
Said Moyes, “I speak every day [with President Jokin Aperribay]. I have a contract until June 30 and no decisions will be taken until then.”
These quotes are from a man who has no conviction in his profession, a belief lost in a puzzling time in Manchester, from which he has seemingly never recovered from. Spain was supposed to be some holistic retreat which would rejuvenate him mentally and managerially, but it seems to be the same old problems.
A squad with gaping holes in some areas and an abundance in others as well as questionable transfer policy, they are similar to the problems Moyes endured at Old Trafford. Woefully under-manned in defence, players such as Yuri Berchiche, who was released by Tottenham as a young player, give no indication to the La Real faithful that they will be repeating the famous season of 2012-13, and that there is no imminent return to the Champions League. The real battle will be trying to keep hold of talents such as David Concha, the diminutive wide play-maker on loan at Numancia who is widely courted by European clubs; Elustondo, who at full back has shown what potential the youth system at San Sebastian is capable of; and of course the likes of Inigo Martinez, Canales, Chory Castro and Jonathas. It is questionable how long these players will stay with the lure of European football under their noses in the form of moves away.
It’s clear that these players alone won’t recapture the heights that captivated the Basque region and the rest of Europe a few years ago. Moyes needs to add to this squad, address lingering issues that are draining points from their roller-coaster campaign, and also confront his inner demons that taunt him at every match and press conference. Can he do that all while guiding Sociedad to a respectable league position?
It’s hard to say, but don’t doubt David Moyes, the escapist.