Monday 23 October 2017

Moyes quits Sunderland amid bitter recriminations

Moyes was hired just last summer. Photo: PA Wire.
Moyes was hired just last summer. Photo: PA Wire.

Luke Edwards

David Moyes' final weeks as Sunderland manager were scarred by a series of furious clashes with both players and staff as he struggled to control his emotions during a disastrous 10 months on Wearside.

Moyes' relationship with his players had almost completely disintegrated by the time the Scot resigned yesterday following a meeting with club owner Ellis Short and accusations surfaced afterwards on social media that centre-back Lamine Koné and another player had refused to play against Chelsea on the final day of the season, although this has been strenuously denied by the defender's representatives.

The former Everton and Manchester United manager would have stayed on after relegation only if he had been allowed to completely overhaul the squad.

Moyes had demanded the funds necessary to sign an entirely new team as he was disgusted with the attitude of most of the players already at the club.

In turn, several players were disillusioned with him.

Sources have indicated the disgruntlement began when Moyes cancelled the players' Christmas party after a poor start to the season and escalated during the January transfer window when he made it clear he wanted to replace many of them.

MISGIVINGS

The Scot had misgivings about the quality of the players he inherited from Sam Allardyce in July, but had initially been willing to make the best out of a bad situation.

However, as the season unfolded, he privately accused several of failing to try hard enough, either in matches or in training and frequently lost his temper.

In turn, his relationship with staff was also damaged, with resentment towards him festering behind the scenes. Most recently, there is believed to have been tension between himself and medical staff over the availability of players.

He also had to apologise to a female TV reporter after threatening to give her "a slap" during a post-match interview.

It is thought Moyes had suggested Sunderland would need to spend around £40m in order to construct a team good enough to secure promotion and headed into his meeting with Short in London yesterday still hoping to be given the green light to carry on. He was instead told there would be little money to spend, even if he managed to sell goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for £30m.

Former Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka, who is keen to remain in English football, ex-Leicester boss Nigel Pearson and Ryan Giggs were last night all being linked with the job.

© Daily Telegraph, London.

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