It’s funny how things go in circles. 9 years ago, Slaven Bilic ruined Steve McClaren’s reputation as England failed to qualify for Euro 2008 at the hands of Croatia. McClaren’s subsequent sacking lead to the former Middlesbrough manager’s emigration to Holland to take charge of FC Twente, and resulted in that horrific interview in which the Yorkshireman put on an atrocious Dutch accent. Skip forward to 2017 and Bilic has been replaced by a man who made a similar mistake, albeit not quite as famously.
If you haven’t seen it, look up “David Moyes says Illarramendi”. You won’t be disappointed. It’s the football equivalent of going to Pizza Express and confidently asking for the ‘Romana Giardiniera’ in an atrocious Italian accent. Just point at the menu, David. Point until the waiter says the food you’re pointing at, and then just nod and say “yes thanks that’s the one”. Oh well, at least Moyes can stick to words like “relegation”, “under-achieving” and “Andy, go and get warmed up”.
I feel sorry for Moyes, who just like McClaren was a victim of taking on a cursed job. Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford a sinking ship, and only copious amounts of money have steadied what looked at one point to be the Titanic 2.0. When I started getting involved in the world of football – as a 6-year-old watching videotapes of ‘The Premiership’ that my Nan would send me – David Moyes was a respected figure, consistently guiding small-spending Everton to top-half finishes.
Nowadays David Moyes is a reminder to everyone that sometimes leaving your comfort zone can be a bad idea. When I’m choosing my meal deal and feel tempted by the exotic pasta pot, I’m fairly certain a voice in my head goes “remember Moyes…” and I retreat back to my cheese ploughmans. It’s not like he’s given an inspiring opening speech either, having declared he’s ‘not afraid to make his players cry’. Could this be a new hard-line Moyes that we’re seeing? A man who’s fed up with people ridiculing him for the over-pronunciation of Spanish players? Who knows which way it’s going to go, I just hope he doesn’t try to sign Januzaj again.
If you’re reading this David, promise me one thing. Stay away from the umbrella. No matter how much rain falls on the Olympic Stadium over this winter period, just avoid the brolly. Invest in a hood, even just soak up the rain, but the minute you whip out an umbrella is the minute you go full McClaren. Never go full McClaren.