David Moyes will be reunited with Carlo Ancelotti on Saturday, with the Italian hoping it’s not just like old times. In the 2009-10 season, when Chelsea won the title, they drew 3-3 with Everton at Stamford Bridge and lost 2-1 at Goodison Park. The following season Moyes’ Everton knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup, took a point off them at the Bridge, and beat them on Merseyside. Ancelotti was sacked in a corridor at Goodison after the last of those games.
Ancelotti has bounced back spectacularly, winning Ligue 1 in France with PSG and the European Cup with Real Madrid. Moyes would love the same glorious vindication, but for now he will be happy with already having beaten Barcelona. And if he can continue his fine record against Ancelotti it would complete an impressive double less than a year after leaving Old Trafford.
Back in November when he was contemplating taking the Real Sociedad manager’s job, he called the Real Madrid assistant manager, Paul Clement, for advice and was told not to believe the hype about a two-team league where the rest made up the numbers.
Moyes took the advice and believes he can compete with Real Sociedad. The early signs are positive, having promoted 22-year-old goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli and right-back Aritz Elustondo, 20, to the first team. Both are thriving.
“This club reminds me of Everton when I first went there,” he says. What he needs now is the same autonomy in the transfer market. Real Sociedad sporting director Loren must allow Moyes to make the kind of calls he made in 2002 when he brought in 21-year-old defender Joseph Yobo, first on loan from Marseille, then on a four-year deal for £4.5m. He played more than 200 games for the club, helping them reach the Champions League. Tim Cahill for £2m from Millwall in 2004 and Steven Pienaar from Dortmund for £2.5m in 2008 were other big decisions he got right.
Either Etienne Capoue or Asier Illarramendi could still arrive on loan this month to toughen up the midfield. The latter is now further away than ever from the Real Madrid first team and would welcome a return home, although talented defender Inigo Martinez might have to move the other way to make the deal happen permanently.
The summer could be the time when Moyes can really move in the market. It might also be the time when he does as Ancelotti did before he arrived in London and learn the language.
Ancelotti was fluent before a ball was kicked, although, of course, it never helped him work out Moyes’ teams on the pitch. There was a congratulatory phone call for him when he got the job last year. Ancelotti will hope the congratulations are going in the other direction at 5.45pm on Saturday, but, with Real missing Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric, a shock can’t be ruled out.
Premier League a step closer for Pep?
The Bundesliga returns on Friday with Bayern Munich away to Wolfsburg. Now 18 months into the job not everything is as Pep Guardiola had imagined. There is no duel with Jürgen Klopp, whose Dortmund side are 30 points off the pace.
In fact there is no duel with anyone – Bayern will be 14 points clear of the field if they win. Guardiola is also beginning to see why Jürgen Klinsmann didn’t always see eye to eye with Bayern Sporting Director Matthias Sammer when the pair worked together with the national team.
There is no imminent parting of the ways, just as there is no imminent signing of any extension to his current contract. It runs out in 2016… when at least three of England’s big clubs will have a manager another year into his sixties.
Pep to the Premier League? Tick-tock.Reuse content