After initially hinting that he would stay on the job, Scottish tactician David Moyes has stepped down as manager of Sunderland Association Football Club after just one season following the Black Cats’ relegation from the Premier League.
The 54-year-old Moyes ended his one-year stint with the club after it was agreed in a meeting with club chairman Ellis Short in London on Monday that he would resign.
“I would like to thank Ellis Short and the Board for giving me the opportunity to manage Sunderland and the fans for always being so passionately supportive of their club,” the Scotsman said in a statement released in the club’s official website.
“I wish the players and my successor well in their efforts towards promotion back to the Premier League,” the Scotsman added.
Moyes’ resignation is the latest in the 54-year-old’s string of failures in his recent managerial career. Indeed, his appointment as Manchester United manager back in 2013 has proven to be his poisoned apple and has struggled to find success since. After a disappointing run in his first season as Red Devils boss, he was given the role of manager of La Liga side Real Sociedad a year later. While he managed to help Sociedad avoid relegation, he was eventually sacked in 2015 after a poor start to the season.
Before the season began in 2016, Moyes was appointed manager of Sunderland – but found himself struggling to sign players, a fact he was very vocal about in his dealings with the press as the 2016-17 campaign started. He was forced to bring in former players Darron Gibson, Bryan Oviedo, Joleon Lescott, Steven Pienaar, and Paddy McNair even if they did not come with a low price.
The former Manchester United manager’s season grew grimmer after they were unable to win any of their first ten league matches. The Scotsman already had an inkling his side would struggle after admitting just two games into the campaign that they would be in for a relegation battle.
True enough, Sunderland would find themselves kicked out of the Premier League and sent back to the Championship after a decade-long stay in the top flight, when they failed to beat Bournemouth back in 29th April – which condemned them to relegation having gone 13 points adrift of safety with just four games left to play.
Many factors can be blamed, to be sure, but the struggling coach cannot maintain that he had no choice. After all, bringing in all his former players for a combined value of £13million, together with the failed signings of Papy Djilobodji from Chelsea and Didier N’Dong from Lorient, both of whom came for a whopping £22million, were a huge amount of money wasted – cash the chairman have made available that Moyes could’ve spent more smartly elsewhere.
His negative view of Sunderland’s chances so early in the season also painted a dim picture of the club’s future, which emanated to the players and the fans. Sure enough, many of his players tried to seek success and follow their manager’s instructions – Jermain Defoe’s brilliant goal-scoring run this season and the magnificent performances of young keeper Jonathan Pickford a testament to that – all in vain.
Now the former Everton favourite can add a relegation and a resignation to his list of accomplishments at the expense of Sunderland who, in all fairness, did not deserve such a failure. However, their trust in their manager was their own downfall.