La Liga Talking Points: Moyes Set for Chop While Rafa Falters


Welcome to La Liga Talking Points, a weekly column running throughout the season in which we take a look at the key stories and talking points from Spanish football’s top flight. With an inevitable focus on the biggest teams, such as Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona, there will also be a worthwhile nod toward the rest, we take a look at how the league is shaping up each week and what to look out for going forward.

Moyes Journey to End

David Moyes was appointed manager of Real Sociedad on November 10, 2014, and 363 days later – last night in fact, news broke that the Scot is set to be sacked by La Real, following the Basque club’s sixth league defeat this season, which leaves them floundering in 18th place in the table.

Moyes’ move to Spain was touted as brave, following his torrid time at Manchester United. Well others may see it differently, for hi reputation from the British press would take less of a dent if he failed in Spain, as opposed to another botched job in the Premier League.

It is neither here not there though, because now it is two sackings in under two years, and the high reputation he built as Everton manager may not be in tatters, but surely isn’t far off. Where does Moyes go from here? He will surely pick up another job in England easily, but should still see himself as an elite manager, there is a lot of work to be done in the coming months.

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  • Rafa Suffers First Defeat

    Since taking over as Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez has been taking daily shots from both the Madrid press, and the fan base. Whether it is warranted is up for debate, but it does seem some of it was a matter of confirmation bias rather than anything else. Don’t forget, until yesterday, Madrid had conceded four goals in 10 games.

    However, having suffered their first defeat of the season Madrid have now fallen three points behind in the title race, and personally for Benitez has opened himself up to a world of abuse. The 3-1 loss to Sevilla did come as a surprise, but perhaps not for their manager Unai Emery.

    Indeed, Emery’s men have endured a poor season; a massive comedown from winning their second consecutive Europa League in May. However, don’t forget they beat Barcelona in October following a ‘crisis’ loss to Juventus. Last week they suffered a similar ‘crisis ridden’ loss to Manchester City, but bounced back to beat Los Blancos. They’re a peculiar team this season Sevilla, and will prefer points over the odd big win. For now though, I reckon they’ll take what they can get and move on.

    Neymar Soars in Absence of Messi Again

    While on this very site recently there were ludicrous assertions made about the place of Lionel Messi at Barcelona, you can’t deny Luis Suarez – and especially Neymar – have soared in the absence of the diminutive Argentinean. Neymar scored a stupendous goal on Sunday as La Blaugrana hit Villareal for three in the Camp Nou.

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    Between the pair they have scored the last 19 goals Barcelona has scored, and the 20 of last 23.

    Messi is set to be miss the Clasico in two weeks two, so it is imperative for Luis Enrique that the superlative duo keep up their form as they head toward their biggest match of the season yet. While the ridiculous will argue Barcelona could now sell Messi in light of Neymar and Suarez’s form, the more level-headed will think of how well they may perform when he returns in the coming weeks.