Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has saluted old foe David Moyes for the way he has bounced back from his Manchester United misery.
The now 57-year-old Scot landed his dream job in May 2013 when he was appointed as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor at Old Trafford, but lasted less than a year in the post as reigning champions United finished outside the top six for the only time to date in the Premier League era.
Testing spells at Real Sociedad, Sunderland and West Ham further tarnished the reputation he had built up during an 11-year stint at Everton, but his trajectory since returning to the Hammers in December 2019 has been very much upwards and he heads for St James’ Park on Sunday within touching distance of Champions League qualification.
Magpies head coach Bruce said: “For his achievements at Everton, what he’d done, he got the top job and for me, he didn’t get long enough at it. But that’s for other people to judge.
“He’s shown his resilience, what he is as a man and as a person, and that’s why he’s been successful and managed in the Premier League (for so long).
“For the last 20 years, it seems I’ve always been against Moyesy. He’s always been there and always works hard at what he does, is passionate in what he does.
“He’s proved again what a top-class manager he is and he’s already got my vote as manager of the year. To get West Ham in the top four – and it’s not just that, it’s the recruitment, what he’s brought in and how they’ve managed.
“They’ve done very, very well. I’m really pleased for Moyesy, of course I am.”
Bruce got the better of Moyes when the sides met at the London Stadium on the opening day of the season but the two men have moved in very different circles since, with Newcastle having found themselves engaged in a tooth-and-nail survival fight amid an ongoing takeover saga which this week made further headlines.
Like the Hammers manager before him, the 60-year-old has been branded a dinosaur in certain quarters and had his methods questioned, but he knows that goes with the territory.
Bruce said: “Look, I suppose when you get a bit older, you have to deal with all those things.
“But he’s got to the top because of his ability to work hard, to have a certain resilience, a certain toughness and it just goes to show, in my opinion, what a top-class manager he is because he’s relentless in his work ethic.”