The reputation reconstruction continues for Moyes at the Basque club where, at the end of a turbulent season and a brave move to a struggling side, he claims that he ‘achieved his objective’ – saving the club from relegation. Languishing in 19th place when he took over, La Liga’s other Real have finished a respectable 12th and despite rumours of interest from Newcastle and West Ham, Moyes appears fully focused on strengthening the Spanish side for the new season.
The Scot has gone about his job discreetly far from the glaring lights of expectation at Manchester United and now appears to be a man on a mission. A man who knows his real test is yet to come. Having steadied the ship at a club in freefall after losing its three best players: Illaramendi to Real Madrid, Griezman to Atletico Madrid and Cluadio Bravo to Barcelona, Moyes knows expectations will be much higher for the next campaign.
Astonishingly, the team managed to beat Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona with a different man in charge for each victory, but also flirted with disaster along the way. The current manager has brought a certain stability with the side shipping fewer goals, a trademark Moyesian meanness, and is now looking to the Premier League to bolster chances for the coming season:
“I’m looking at the English market, players out of contract, boys under 23, people I can get for little money. I’m a bit of a threat [to other teams] now because I can go there and bring players to Spain. I’m looking at loans too. I’d like to keep my [limited] money for one player, maybe two, but maybe bulk up [the squad] with one or two [loans or free transfers]. And because la Real has a British tradition I hope it won’t be outrageous if two or three British players end up here,” he explained.
That ‘British tradition’ he mentions includes John Aldridge, Dalian Atkinson and Kevin Richardson who all played for the blue-and-white stripes in the past. Moyes is on holiday at the moment, but you can imagine him with a phone to each ear on Concha Beach in the Basque country waiting for the sun to rise again over the Igeldo hill.