David Moyes must be wondering where it all went wrong. Since leaving Everton for Manchester United the Scot has endured a torrid time, which has seen him sacked from Manchester United and Real Sociedad and he now finds himself heading for the Championship with Sunderland.
In a hugely publicised incident involving BBC Radio Five Live reporter Vicki Sparks this past week the Sunderland boss reacted to a question he did not like following the Black Cats’ draw with Burnley, saying:
“You were just getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself. You still might get a slap even though you’re a woman.
“Careful the next time you come in.”
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) April 4, 2017
Those comments have caused outrage among some in the football world, who are amazed the former Everton boss is still in a job.
Speaking on RTÉ 2FM’s Game On on Monday night, pundit Eamon Dunphy passed off the incident as a ‘bit of banter’ and called for the character of the man to be taken into account.
“I think you have to take into account David Moyes’ character and I think he is a real decent guy.
“Always has been. Even in adversity such as his seven-month spell at Manchester United when he was thrown out.
“I think that was a bit of banter. I think there was humour, not anger in his voice.
“That thing about giving a woman a slap is kind of Glasgow street slang really. If it was said in a formal setting in a press conference or in any formal way, I think it would be far more serious.”
Using American president Donald Trump for context, Dunphy added:
“I don’t think we can be sanguine about anything that hints at domestic violence, or any kind of violence against women.
“It’s very, very serious, but I would factor in David Moyes’ character. There was a little chuckle at the end of it and the lady accepted his apology.
“All things considered, I would say, ‘okay, it’s noted and it’s over’.
“It may have been a joke and I think it was.
“He’s not Donald Trump. He’s been around a long time in football and he’s a man that everyone respects.
“Outrage is easy to fake. To voice outrage is to be on the safe side. I think you should always take all the circumstances into account and say what you believe.
“I don’t think he deserves any sanction, other than the one he is probably giving himself.”
Meanwhile the Football Association are seeking observations from both Sunderland and Moyes to get their version of events.
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena
Hat tip: Irish Independent