• Moyes fears British managers will not have chance at top jobs
• Now looking abroad to experience other footballing cultures
David Moyes fears it will become “harder and harder” for British managers to gain chances to coach in the Champions League in the wake of his toils at Manchester United, though he is hopeful the experience he gained during his brief tenure will benefit him in future.
Time was called early on his stewardship of United on 22 April, 10 months after he succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson and Moyes , who is taking a break at his holiday home in Florida, is currently considering his options. There has been tentative interest from two Premier League clubs to offer him an immediate route back into the game, and from three teams in Europe, with the 51-year-old hoping to coach a side who are competing in the Champions League or an English team with the potential to reach it.
In the meantime he intends to visit clubs around the world to further his education, but expressed concern that his compatriots may not be offered opportunities at the highest level in future. “To do a top job, I believe you have to earn your stripes,” he said. “The route through to the top for a British manager is a long process and maybe having a job abroad at some of the clubs, and getting recognized for your work there, might be the way in the future. But I hope I won’t be the last one to be given a chance to manage one of the top ones.
“Brendan [Rodgers] has come in and, with the time he’s been given, has been able to turn round Liverpool and it’s really important for British managers that he’s done that. I’ve spent most of my career in rivalry with Liverpool but part of me was glad, because Brendan was given the opportunity to go in there and change things around and, because of that, Liverpool have got their strategy in place and a good future. Tony Pulis [at Crystal Palace] also showed what our managers can do. I hope I’m not the end of British managers getting opportunities at the top.
“We [British managers] compete against each other but we’re also supportive. We all have an understanding of how difficult the job is. The time in the job is getting shorter. Maybe it’s because owners are changing and maybe it comes back to the fact you have to be working with good people to have any chance of succeeding. But the experience I got will stand me even more in good stead in the future. We got into the Champions League quarter-finals and went close to the semi-finals. It would have been a great thrill to have got [into the last four] as somebody people considered to be inexperienced at that level.
“I’d always watched the Champions League and when I was involved in it I was excited by the games. I was enthralled by the teams we were playing and the styles. But it’s going to be harder and harder for British managers to get the opportunities at that level and I might now look at taking up one of the opportunities to manage in Europe. The Premier League is such a great league that you can feel there’s no need to move, but, in the future, maybe we’ll need to export, go to other leagues, and it would give our managers knowledge of other countries. I’m hoping to gain that myself.”
His sabbatical will take him from South America to Japan in the near future unless an appealing job comes his way. “I’d like to go and watch what they do,” said Moyes. “So many players come out of South America. I’d also like to go and look at the J-League. Places like Japan and Korea have emerging leagues and are producing more players and I’d like to see what they’re doing in that part of the world. They’re beginning to show signs of improving in talent development in a big way, as are the United States. I’d just like to have a look around.
“There’s more players from Brazil playing overseas than any other country and more in the Champions League than any nationality. So, the continual conveyer belt of them … is it their development? Is the raw talent just better? And because at the top level, any team you work for is going to have plenty South Americans, it would be good to understand the culture they’re from. There’s got to be something to learn from youth development in South America, because it all comes from youth development. If you get good young players you can build a club. You want to see where the good young players come from, their coaching and meet people involved in it – and that might help you sign them in the future.
“I’m getting ready to work again. I don’t know how I’ll be in a few weeks time when pre-season starts, it’ll be the first time since I was 16 that I’m not starting a pre-season. But if a job doesn’t crop up that suits me, I’ll travel.”