Goodison Park, 20 April 2014. The day David Moyes took charge of Manchester United, the reigning Champions of England, for the last time. In the crowd, a man dressed as 'The Grim Reaper' waved his scythe behind old Moyesie. After eight short months, the news was leaked of his sacking. A poor way to treat any manager.
Another barren management spell was cut short in Spain with Real Sociedad, winning just 11 out of 38 games and lasting just 12 months. It was a massive fall from grace for a man who had nothing but praise heaped upon him whilst he was with Everton. He certainly believed in his own press, despite the empty trophy cabinet.
Next weekend, Mr Moyes, who was credited with saving Everton from relegation, returns to Goodison Park once more, with his Sunderland team rock bottom of the Premier League, on the back of a 0-4 home defeat. Moyes made it clear to the Sunderland faithful they would be in a relegation battle from Day One of the current Premier League season.
A lot of Sunderland fans, and the mainstream media, point to their absent owner for lack of leadership and financial backing of the manager. Another place Moyes does seem to be quite immune from criticism is in the press. Whilst every other manager in the bottom 6 seem to be pilloried, Moyes doesn't really come in for much criticism at all.
He has been praised for his candour in some quarters, but some view his 'honesty' as ready-made excuses coupled with crushing negativity (which we are all familiar with).
If he does suffer a heavy loss at Goodison this time around, Ellis Short may well opt for a 'new manager' bounce to try and keep Sunderland in the Premier League. I was surprised to learn that this is their 10th straight season in the top flight...
It would be totally humiliating for the man if the same scenario were to play out again, and he was sacked after another Goodison defeat. After all, he did say he was "Going on to bigger and better things." A poor choice of words, Davey, very poor.
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