Being a huge admirer of David Moyes, his (mis)adventures in San Sebastian proved disappointing to say the least. It says something when the episode most fondly recalled from his not-quite-a-year’s stint in the Basque country is the time he munched happily on a fan’s crisps after he was sent-off in a game against Villarreal.
There was a win over Barcelona last season but there was precious little else to help restore a reputation dented by a bruising spell at Old Trafford.
Worryingly for Moyes, while it was very easy to list the mitigating factors for why he failed at Manchester United, there is less sympathy forthcoming from his apparent approach to things in Spain.
To still be living in the city’s most expensive hotel 363 days after arriving does not give out the right vibes. Failing to make great strides to learn the language is likely also to put people off, hard as it is to combine such studies with trying to re-ignite a failing La Liga team.
There was too much to suggest he was in cruise control, which is the criticism levelled at his under-performing team. But Moyes will now have be very careful when selecting his next port of call, assuming there are still a number of attractive options.
One failure, particularly when it came while trying to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, is completely understandable. A second in Spain, while again excusable given the circumstances, is far from ruinous.
But a third setback could knock someone who was always reckoned to be the likeliest candidate to follow in the footsteps of Scottish managerial legends going back to Shankly and Stein off course completely.
Not so long ago it seemed ludicrous to imagine he might yet pitch up at Celtic, where he started his career. It doesn’t seem quite so far-fetched now.