David Moyes revealed he shunned overs to stay in the Premier League so he could test himself in “the best league in the world” as he was officially unveiled as the new manager of Primera Division outfit Real Sociedad today.
Moyes also described his move to La Liga as the biggest challenge of his career as he returns to management seven months after being dismissed by Manchester United.
United parted company with Moyes just 10 months into a six-year contract – the third shortest-serving manager in the club’s history – after a dismal start to his reign as Alex Ferguson’s successor, with the defending champions languishing in seventh place when the axe fell.
However, Moyes says he has put all that behind him and is now looking forward to his new start in Spain – at a club that had “tugged at his heartstrings”.
He said at his official presentation: “I feel it’s the right time. I’m well rested and I’m raring to go.
“I never had any doubt. I’d had several offers to manage back in the Premier League, I’ve spoken to several clubs in different countries but the only place that has really tugged at the heartstrings and made me think this is the right club has been Sociedad.
“I think at the present time you could say it (Primera Division) is the best league in the world, I think at the moment it’s overtaken the Premiership because of the quality of the players and the teams who at this present time are regularly getting to the finals of the Champions League or the Europa League.”
Moyes, who has signed a one-and-a-half-year deal with Sociedad, also agreed the challenge was the biggest he has faced in football so far, but hopes to prove he has what it takes to succeed abroad.
He added: “Every one you do is a big challenge but I believe this is (the biggest).
“Not just because of the club, because I’ve come here to learn new language, new culture and I’ve got to quickly integrate myself quickly in that. After my last job I want to show what David Moyes can do, and hopefully Sociedad will get the benefit of that.
“I believe this gives me a great opportunity, it’s an opportunity to show British managers can go and work abroad.”
When asked why he thought there were not more coaches leaving Britain to try their hands in foreign leagues, Moyes put it down to a lack of opportunities rather than a lack of desire.
He said: “I’m not sure many British managers have been offered the big jobs in the biggest leagues. There’s great coaches in Spain, Germany, Italy, wherever you go...It was the right thing for me.
“Some of the greatest managers Britain have ever produced, Sir Bobby Robson, Terry Venables, saw fit to come and manage in La Liga. Not for a minute would I be putting myself at their level, but I hope to. I hope at the end of my time here I can try and prove something and show I can come here and work in Spain.”
To help him get up to speed as quickly as possible, Moyes has decided against bringing any backroom staff with him from the UK for the time being, and instead he will be supported by a team of aides who are already at Sociedad.
The Scot said his reason for that was because he wanted and needed the help of people with local knowledge, although he confirmed he will eventually bring in his own staff and also revealed that there was no shortage of people interested in following him to Spain – including players.
Moyes, who says his Spanish lessons start next week and that he hopes to pick the brain of his predecessor Jagoba Arrasate, takes over a Sociedad side who moved out of the relegation zone with Sunday’s 2-1 home win over defending champions Atletico Madrid.
The Basque outfit – who finished fourth in 2013 and seventh last term – are still in trouble near the foot of the table but Moyes is confident of better times to come as he prepares for his opening match against Deportivo La Coruna after the international break.