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David Moyes Faces Pressures of Management

It can’t be easy being in a high-profile job, like managing a club in the English Premier League, and knowing people are after your post. It must be even harder when your employers are actively interviewing replacements while you’re still in the job. That is exactly what Scot David Moyes, who has been linked with the job at his boyhood club, Celtic, for years, has been experiencing in recent weeks.

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The Full Scottish

Moyes, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has had to sit quietly by as Sporting Lisbon manager Ruben Amorim recently admitted publicly that he travelled to London to speak with West Ham about being the club’s next manager. Amorim has since removed himself from consideration and acknowledged that “it was a mistake, the timing was completely wrong, [and] it didn’t seem right at the time” to make the trip.

Now, reports suggest West Ham’s technical director Tim Steidten has been told to stay out of the first-team dressing room at the London Stadium and the club’s training facility for the remainder of the season, as he has been leading the not-so-tactful recruitment.

With the handwriting on the wall, what Moyes’ plans are for the summer and beyond remains a mystery.  The Hammers sit a respectable 9th in the EPL. However, at 61, the Glaswegian is no spring chicken (for the record, your humble columnist isn’t either). Sadly (for him, anyway), his chances of taking the reins at Celtic Park seem to have slipped away. Current Hoops gaffer Brendan Rodgers seems to be making long-term plans, even with the league still up for grabs. That the Irishman is also a full decade younger than Moyes is also significant.

Still, it will be interesting to see how Moyes, and by extension his team, respond over the next few weeks. In the past, certainly at Manchester United, the Scot seemed to wilt a bit under the pressure, a notable chink in the armor, given the microscope that is Glasgow. Should he guide West Ham to, say, a 6th-place finish (a stretch perhaps, but still mathematically possible) while his employers actively interview candidates to replace him, it would certainly say a lot about his mettle, and his relationships with his players.

Rodgers spoke this week about the effect the uncertainty around his position when he returned last summer may have affected his side’s performance throughout the season. “I think there was a lot of settling in, a lot of adjustment in me coming back, talk about ‘how long is he going to be here?’ There was Ange leaving after two successful seasons. You lose one manager and another comes in that some people don’t want in,” he said. “There is all that settling going on, then, obviously the principal difference in the performance levels has been the unavailability of players. But as time has gone on and everything has settled, the team has picked up important results and performances.”

A tale of two managers, with the ending still to be written.

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