Five things... David Moyes doesn't want to talk about right now


1 Mini bars
David Moyes checked out of the Maria Cristina hotel in Saint Sebastian this week, almost a year to the day since he checked in. The 52-year-old Scotsman never settled into a permanent residence during his time living in the northern Spanish city, and now he no longer needs to. Sacked by Real Sociedad, his Alan Partridge-like existence at the Maria Cristina has also come to an abrupt end. With its Gourmet Shop and swanky Fitness Centre, the hotel was a step up from the Linton Travel Tavern where Partridge spent his TV hiatus. Yet it’s still slightly sad to imagine Moyes waving goodbye to the array of characters he would have undoubtedly befriended during a year of free breakfasts and unfettered access to the mini bar.

2 Loyalty
The 11 years Moyes gave his former club Everton, despite persistent financial restrictions and several opportunities to leave, were to his credit. And the manager displayed similar commitment at Sociedad, turning down offers from West Ham and Newcastle in the summer to see out the 18-month contract he had promised to finish. And where has Moyes’ loyalty got him? Manchester United dispensed with him 10 months into the job, despite it being widely acknowledged that replacing Sir Alex Ferguson would have been an impossible task for anyone. Now Sociedad have consigned him to unemployment, six months after he rejected lucrative opportunities from the Premier League. Even at Everton, the club to whom he gave so much, Moyes’ reputation is tarnished by his clumsy attempts to sign Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini for United. Loyalty has got Moyes nowhere.

3 Ser and estar
Moyes’ decision to try his hand in La Liga was a courageous one, not least because he couldn’t speak the language. But while Pep Guardiola took a luxurious sabbatical to learn German before moving to Bayern Munich, Moyes has been battling through weekly Spanish lessons on the job. He seemed to have nailed counting early doors, memorably giving a bilingual press conference a month after arriving where he declared, “The players have been training with me, err… dos, tres, cuatro times.” Progress appeared to slow down after that, and he hadn’t yet reached the stage of liaising with the media, or even his own players, in Spanish. A year into the language course, Moyes had probably just got the hang of his conjugations before the sack rendered all that studying useless.

4 His successors
Disliked at Everton, disdained at Man Utd, Moyes’ legacy is made even more unfortunate by the reverence afforded to the managers who replaced him. Louis van Gaal’s record at United has been only marginally superior to his predecessor’s, despite the Dutchman spending about £200m more than Moyes did on new players, yet his backing from United’s board has not wavered. Meanwhile, Martinez has been lauded for bringing a new attacking verve to Everton, despite a fluctuating league position. Not only has the Spaniard been aided by several key players he inherited from Moyes, he was also handed £28m to spend on one player - Romelu Lukaku - a luxury Moyes never enjoyed at Goodison Park.

5 Crisps
In truth, Moyes oversaw a fairly dour 12 months at Sociedad, but if pushed to pick out a most entertaining moment, it would have to be the time he ate crisps with the fans during a Copa del Rey match against Villarreal. After being sent to the stands for protesting against an offside decision, Moyes took his seat among the Sociedad supporters, one of whom offered him a savoury snack, which he accepted. The jovial incident reflected the feelgood factor Moyes had restored to a club that - at that point - had lost just twice in his 11 games as manager, including a famous 1-0 win against Barcelona. But if Moyes had been sent to sit with the fans this season, as the team’s form nosedived, it’s unlikely he would have been offered crisps. Now they are just a painful reminder of what might have been.

Follow @darlingkevin on Twitter


Five things… Cristiano Ronaldo is better at than Lionel Messi

Five things… Tim Sherwood gave the Premier League

Five things… Carlton Cole still needs to do to emulate Pele

Five things… Sam Allardyce asked in his Sunderland interview

Five things… That will drive you mad in the transfer window

Five things… Ed Woodward must do to restore his credibility at Man Utd

Five things… Emmanuel Adebayor will do this month