• Premier League

Moyes: I took on a near impossible job

ESPN staff
August 17, 2014
Van Gaal: It is only one game

David Moyes believes he took on "a near impossible job" as he tried and failed to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, the former United manager Moyes speaks at length for the first time about his troubled 10-month spell as United manager, which came to an end in less than glorious fashion last April.

"It was a step into the unknown and, looking back now, it was near enough the impossible job," Moyes said.

"It was the right job for me. I'd been at Everton for more than 11 years. We'd qualified for the Champions League, got to an FA Cup final, I'd been voted manager of the season three times. I was among the most experienced managers in the Premier League. United had always had British managers.

"I was devastated to lose the [United] job because it was something I felt I could make a real success of. We knew it was going to take time to make the necessary changes. It was going to take time to evolve, but we were in the process of making other important changes. In the end, I don't feel I was given time to succeed or fail.

Moyes admitted the manner of his sacking was difficult for his family, with news of his imminent departure being reported a full day before he was given the news by United's vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

"In the end it was difficult for my family, the way we discovered - via the media - that I'd lost my job," he continued. "We have always tried to do things the correct way. I know it comes with the territory, and I know if you lose matches you risk being sacked, but how it affected my family made it hard.

"My dad is a great football man [he was an amateur coach same club where both Moyes and Ferguson started out]. He lives near us and he has always followed my career. I always take him to the games and I hope when I'm his age - he's 79 now - my son takes me to the football, too.

"He wasn't well for a while after. We don't think what happened to me was the cause, but that made it tough. He's fine now, I'm pleased to say. In my mind I have moved on, but the way I lost my job is something I won't forget."

Moyes revealed he is eager to get back into the game as soon as possible, as the pain of his exit from the United job begins to subside.

"This is the first time I've missed a preseason since I was 16," he added. "I'm 51 now so that's a long time. I've missed it because pre-season is quite an enjoyable time. As a manager it's a bit more relaxed. I've also enjoyed having a bit more spare time than normal.

"It's going to hurt this weekend that I'm not managing Manchester United, because that's obviously what I'd have liked to have been doing. But I'll watch the games. I won't be running away from it. Football is something I've been involved in since I was a boy.

"I still love the game. At times I found it difficult, but I love being around football people and I also accept that you are going to have bad times as well as good times. And I've still had an awful lot of good times."

"I just want to keep working. I worked long and hard to get to that level. I put in an awful lot of effort for it to be taken away from me. I feel that whoever gets me now will probably get, not a more determined David Moyes because I've always given everything, but I will definitely have a focus on what I'll be aiming to do."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close