David Moyes targets Champions League return following Manchester United dismissal
Moyes was relieved of his duties at Old Trafford in April
David Moyes is taking a break at his holiday home in Florida this week, and it just so happens that the English football caravan has followed him out there - although he is in no rush to return following his sacking from Manchester United in April.
Speaking this week in Miami, Moyes said that he believes his destiny lies in managing a Champions League team and that he has turned down offers to return to the game at a lower level. He watched England play Ecuador in the 2-2 draw at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami on Wednesday night although otherwise is keeping the relatively low profile he has maintained since leaving United on 22 April.
He said: “I have had a couple of opportunities to go back in and chosen not to do anything just now. I am going to try and look for what I feel is the right opportunity. I would like to think I proved over the 11-year period at Everton what I am capable of, and the level I want to manage at.
“I got my real first taste of the Champions League this year and I thought I showed I can manage at that level as well. I would like to look towards getting somewhere that would give me a chance of being in the Champions League or a club that has ambitions of being in the Champions League.
“It could be at home or abroad, I have always liked the thought of broadening my horizons and learning a bit more and at the moment I would say I am quite comfortable watching and learning. I will go away and learn and look again to see what is happening. I will use United as an important experience in my managerial career. I feel I needed more time, but I will use it and use it to benefit me and help me in the coming jobs.”
Moyes did not leave United having enjoyed the backing of many of his players, but his relationship with Wayne Rooney has improved immeasurably since the latter’s rancorous departure from Everton in 2004 and the subsequent libel action Moyes launched against his the player.
It was Rooney whom Moyes spoke about most fondly, warning that England need to be careful of not loading too much pressure on the player at this World Cup finals. Rooney scored 16 goals for his manager this season, and Moyes said that he had come to rely on the player a great deal.
Moyes said: “When I look at England I think he [Rooney] has to play for England. I think he has the ability to score. He has the mental strength to handle the games. In those games you look to your big players and Wayne will be a big player for England. I have no doubts about that. But I do agree I think there is an awful lot of pressure being lumped on him which isn’t right.
“England haven’t done particularly well in a lot of competitions, so no one should be expecting great things from them. To be a stand-out and make a difference in World Cup games is very, very hard. For me, Wayne would definitely start. He has the experience of past tournaments as well.
“I have spoken to Wayne a few times since I left Manchester United and he has been very supportive. Wayne was terrific for me. He played really well and in the opening months carried us in a lot of ways with his sort of swashbuckling style. At his best that is what Wayne is. By the end of the season, he had scored his goals. I think Wayne’s best contributions will be centrally. In time he can drop back and be a central midfield player as well because of his ability to pass the ball is very good.
Rooney pictured celebrating his goal against Ecuador in the latest England warm-up
He continued: “He is in a better place than he was at this time last year. He is playing well and his form has been good. I do think he has already come out and said he wants to have a good World Cup and you have to trust him and go with that. He will be determined to do well. He knows how important this is for him. Wayne will be desperate to everyone what he can do.
“In his mind, he is strong and he will be determined to go out and show how good he is and with a determination to do the job, but you have to remember that the opposition can make it difficult for players. He will also need good service and good players around him. Wayne cannot make it happen all on his own. Portugal have [Cristiano] Ronaldo, but Ronaldo still needs a team around him to help him perform. I think Wayne will need players around him to help him as well.”
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