After protracted negotiations, Real Sociedad have confirmed David Moyes as their new manager on an 18-month contract.
His deal runs until the end of the 2015/16 campaign, but the odds gurus at bwin.com don’t expect to see him back in the Premier League any time soon, going 12/1 that he returns to the English top flight before the dawn of 2017.
It’s as short as 3/10 that he’s still in the San Sebastian hotseat at the start of next season, while he’s 2/5 to land a top-ten finish in La Liga this term.
With Erreala on just nine points and lodged in 19th-place, this price seems a little short, but Moyes’ track record of motivating players to perform beyond their means suggests their fortunes are subject to change.
The gap to the top half is more than bridgeable, with just four points separating Real Sociedad from Basque foes Eibar who occupy the bottom spot in the upper echelons.
Assuming they do sky-rocket up the division and Moyes reupholsters a carefully-garnered reputation that was doused in filth during a tumultuous time at Manchester United, there’s sure to be interest from outfits back in Britain.
The Scot is the fourth Blighty-born manager to take the Sociedad reigns, with the average time at the helm lasting 2.73 years, or approximately 33 months.
Should Moyes match the average tenure, it will take him well into 2017, thus scuppering the hopes of those who back him to make a Premier League return by that date.
But this lengthy average reign is the size it is largely thanks to little-known Englishman Horace ‘Harry’ Lowe, who manned the rudder for five years from 1930.
The two Brit bosses to precede Moyes didn’t savour the same longevity.
John Toshack, in his third spell in charge of the club, lasted just a season, while Chris Coleman was bounced from the dug out after eight months.
Considering he’s managing the team that finished 11 points off fourth-place last term (minus star forward Antoine Griezmann and keeper Claudio Bravo) masterminding Sociedad’s escape from the lower reaches of the top-tier should be simple enough for Moyes based on his Everton exploits.
A short, successful spurt at the Anoeta will prove the ideal stepping-stone back to the Premier League for the 51-year-old, where there are plenty of scores to settle.