By Iain Rogers
David Moyes’ bid to resurrect his career in La Liga ended in failure when Real Sociedad sacked him on Monday following a defeat at Las Palmas which left them hovering just above the relegation places.
Moyes, who took over at Sociedad almost exactly a year ago after a disappointing spell in charge of English Premier League club Manchester United, was unable to turn the Basque side’s fortunes around.
San Sebastian-based Sociedad are mired in 16th place in the table on nine points having won only two of their 11 games this season and are in similar dire straits as they were when Moyes took over.
The team’s woeful performance in Friday’s 2-0 reverse at promoted Las Palmas was the final straw for president Jokin Aperribay and the board.
“Real Sociedad has decided to rescind the contract of first-team coach David Moyes,” the club said on their website on Monday, adding that assistant Billy McKinlay had also been released.
They did not immediately name a replacement but local media reported that former Celta Vigo and Barcelona B coach Eusebio Sacristan was set to take over.
If Eusebio’s appointment is confirmed during the international break, his first match in charge will be a La Liga game at home to Sevilla on Nov. 21 followed by a trip to champions Barcelona.
Scotsman Moyes, 52, faced a tough task when he replaced Jagoba Arrasate, with the club suffering from the sale of key players like France forward Antoine Griezmann and Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and minimal investment.
The former Everton manager, whose contract ran until the end of this season, was considered a risky appointment by some critics in Spain due to his limited knowledge of La Liga and inability to speak the language.
Tasked with returning Sociedad to European competition, Moyes led them to a disappointing 12th-placed finish last season, although they did beat Barca 1-0 in January.
The return of midfielder Asier Illarramendi from Real Madrid lifted fans’ spirits but the Sociedad academy graduate has so far been unable to lift the team.