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Three immediate tasks for David Moyes

Sports Mole picks out three immediate tasks for new Real Sociedad manager David Moyes.

When David Moyes took charge of Manchester United last summer, the Scot had a six-year plan to rebuild the club after Sir Alex Ferguson had departed.

As it turned out, Moyes did not even get 12 months, with results and performances leading to the former Everton manager's dismissal.

Football never fails to surprise, however, and now Moyes has landed on the sunny shores of Spain, with Real Sociedad providing the 51-year-old with the chance to rebuild his somewhat damaged reputation.

With that in mind, Sports Mole has picked out three immediate tasks that must be undertaken at the struggling La Liga club.

A dejected David Moyes manager of Manchester United looks to the ground during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United on April 20, 2014© Getty Images

1. Address a faltering forward line

After 11 matches of the season, Sociedad sit 15th in La Liga on nine points. It could have been a lot worse when Moyes took charge, but the Basque outfit recorded a 2-1 win over champions Atletico Madrid at the weekend, with that result lifting the club out of the relegation zone.

The equaliser in that particular match came from Carlos Vela, with the Mexican's first-half strike just his second league goal of the season. Before Sunday's game, their top scorer was centre-back Inigo Martinez on two goals.

In total, the Basque side have scored just 12 times in the league this season – averaging just over one per game, which is in line with other sides at the bottom. Unlike other struggling teams, however, Moyes will inherit quality in the final third.

Since joining Sociedad in 2011 – firstly on loan – Vela has scored an extremely impressive 42 La Liga goals, including 16 in 37 league games last season. The attacker's struggles have coincided with his team's issues this season, but he did look back to his best in the win over Atletico at the Anoeta.

Also on the scoresheet against Atletico was Imanol Agirretxe, who has a ratio of one league goal every four games for Sociedad. On form, the 27-year-old is a real handful and is another asset that Moyes will look to recharge.

Alfreo Finnbogason arrived from Heerenveen in the summer after scoring 53 goals in 65 league goals for the Dutch club, but has not yet found the back of the net for his new team. The 25-year-old clearly has goals in him, however, which Moyes will look to find in the coming months.

Real Sociedad's Mexican forward Carlos Vela controls the ball during the Spanish league football match Sevilla FC vs Real Sociedad at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla on May 18, 2013© Getty Images

2. Rebuild confidence

One year ago last week, Sociedad held Moyes's Manchester United to a goalless draw in the group stages of the Champions League. The Spanish side secured their place in the competition after finishing fourth in La Liga in the 2012-13 season - losing just eight times in the process with largely the same squad.

The departure of Antoine Griezmann this summer was certain to hurt the club and it has done, but aside from the Frenchman, the spine of the team is much the same, with Inigo Martinez and Xabi Prieto two key cogs that have wavered this season.

Moyes was unable to rebuild confidence at Manchester United when heads inevitably dropped, but this is a different challenge and it seems the only way is up. In fact, despite Sociedad's poor start, they are just six points off the top eight, which is certainly achievable and indeed attainable at this early stage of the campaign.

Add into the mix the likes of Carlos Martinez, Ruben Pardo, Sergio Canales and Joseba Zaldua, Moyes does have a squad that is full of experience and exciting youngsters. New signings are needed and money should be available in January, but this is a squad that should be in the top seven or eight in the division.

Sociedad's struggles are all the more strange when considering who they have beaten this season. They have only won twice in the league, but those victories came against Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. It is against the so-called smaller teams that Sociedad have struggled, which will be a challenge for Moyes.

Real Sociedad's players celebrate a goal during the Spanish league football match Real Sociedad vs Atletico de Madrid at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian on November 9, 2014© Getty Images

3. Bring the supporters back

When Sociedad finished fourth in the 2012-13 season, they did so under the stewardship of Frenchman Philippe Montanier, whose attacking and adventurous style was a favourite with the club's supporters, who have, to a certain extent, turned their back a little this season.

They had to watch Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao claim fourth position last season, while major honours have not exactly been rife for Sociedad, with their last trophy back in 1987, when they beat Atletico Madrid on penalties to win the Spanish Cup.

Supporters have also become more and more frustrated with the loss of key players in recent seasons. Griezmann, Claudio Bravo and Asier Illarramendi are just three that have been sold in the last two summer windows, with Sociedad not in a position to compete financially with the bigger clubs.

There are striking similarities between Sociedad and Moyes's former club Everton, who have also been forced to live in the shadows of their more famous rivals in recent seasons. Moyes was a favourite with the Everton supporters, however, and to stand a chance of success in Spain, he must overcome the language barrier to gain some sort of rapport with the people.

Sports Mole has also looked at three possible Premier League targets for the Scot, who is expected to have funds available in January.

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Man United manager David Moyes prior to kick-off against Newcastle on December 7, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134848049
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
9Leicester CityLeicester35145164646047
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35136164352-945
12Bournemouth35126174961-1242
13Crystal Palace34116174046-639
14Burnley34116174260-1839
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle34108163243-1138
16Southampton3399153954-1536
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3556243276-4421
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535271968-4914

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