West Ham job will make or break David Moyes' managerial career
There was once a time when David Moyes' stock was at an all-time high. Having built his reputation at Everton over an 11-year span, he took them from a side battling relegation to one that had their sights firmly set on breaking the top-four mould.
Sir Alex Ferguson picked him to be his successor as Manchester United's new manager following his compatriot's retirement in 2013. This came as a surprise to many, who suggested Moyes had peaked too early and was given a massive task with high expectations from the offset.
Awarded a six-year deal by England's biggest club, he had reached the pinnacle of his career. This though, is where everything started to go wrong for Moyes.
Having dismissed United's entire backroom staff to employ his own, this was perhaps his biggest mistake. After all, he was letting go people who were familiar with the club's basic DNA and would've had no qualms helping him ease steadily into new surroundings.
In his defence, he claimed that he was promised high-profile acquisitions and no other manager would've done a better job. This is where Moyes appears naive, at least in my opinion.
Though there was some deadwood to offload, he inherited a squad capable of achieving great things together - after all, they had just won the Premier League once more.
Even if they hadn't retained the title itself, a top-four spot should've been easily earned by Moyes' men in his first campaign at the helm. His tactics appeared wayward at times and many of the club's supporters still remember with frustration his infamous crossing tactics when the team were struggling and in search of an all-important goal against tough opposition.
After being sacked, he made the brave decision to accept Real Sociedad as his next venture, this one abroad. Despite speaking limited Spanish, the choice here seemed a poor one from his perspective but you could allow him some slack and put this down to an important learning experience.
The same couldn't be said at Sunderland, though. The main issues revolved around his tactics and overall demeanour when in charge of the Black Cats. To many, they seemed a lost cause before the season had already started - though Moyes was no help to their predicament either.
Instead, he played a pivotal role in sending them down to the Championship starting with poor choices in terms of transfers. Sam Allardyce successfully managed to keep that squad of players up, despite all the odds, and it took Moyes a matter of months to gradually destroy their credibility.
Of his 13 summer acquisitions, eight were players that he previously had worked with. Say what you will about this statistic, but it's particularly telling - players such as Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson were given another opportunity to prove their Premier League quality.
Neither was good enough, which is the case for a large portion of their squad in truth. Now, he's back in management and again has another tough task on his hands with the Hammers - who could potentially be facing a relegation battle if they don't establish consistency, and quickly too.
You can only hope that Moyes manages to repair his reputation in east London, but after such a poor managerial display overall at Sunderland, you'd be right to feel worried like me.
He seems overly pessimistic and tactically unsure of himself at times, which can be taken advantage of to devastating effect against opponents who sense weakness. He failed to effectively motivate the Sunderland players well enough last time out and he'll have to work twice as hard to turn this season around.