The tale of Manchester United, stuck in an endless time warp

Last summer Manchester United said goodbye to one of the greatest managers who has ever graced the game. Sir Alex Ferguson turned football on its head and made Manchester United into a relentless, ruthless and hated club that dominated English football for the best part of two decades.

It could be seen as some kind of cruel irony that as Ferguson was adjusting his retirement plans, his successor was just taking the job at Everton where he would remain for 11 years before replacing a legend. Ferguson was an admirer anyway, he tried to get Moyes, then at Preston North End, to be his assistant manager when Brian Kidd left to take up the managerial spot at Blackburn Rovers as United closed in on a famous treble. It’s unlikely Moyes would have replaced Ferguson in 2002 but you never know and you do wonder how different things would be for the 2002 Moyes compared to the stressed, dishevelled figure we see on the touchline at Old Trafford in the present day.

sir-alex-ferguson-way

David Moyes has lost all confidence in his own ability, and he has plenty of it. You don’t manage a top half Premier League team for over a decade and get chosen for the biggest job in the world if you don’t. Whatever people think about why Sir Alex Ferguson chose David Moyes, ability would have ranked higher than the fact he comes from the same neck of the woods. Moyes took Everton from a precarious position to a constant top half side. He had a bad first season (who would have guessed?!) scraping to 17th but with very little money finished 4th the next season, leading Everton to the Champions League, scarcely believable. It would have been interesting had it not been for a cruel draw against eventual finalists and Juan Roman Riquelme-inspired Villarreal.

Funnily enough Moyes encountered similar issues before that with rumours he’d lost the dressing room whilst trying to coax the burning talent of a certain Wayne Rooney. The parallels to United’s current season are quite scary in some ways. So nobody really saw that came next. Considering Moyes lost prized assets in Rooney and Thomas Gravesen during the season, it was a remarkable feat for Everton to finish in the top four, adding only Marcus Bent, James Beattie, Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill to the first team squad during the season.

david-moyes-watching

Martin Baker, then a sport journalist for The Observer spent a week in the presence of Moyes, someone he described as ‘the best young manager in the country’. The thing is, he probably was. Moyes’ success in making an Everton a top four team was staggering. And yes, it was success. No, he never won a trophy and he never won at a top four team although he did win at a very strong Manchester City every now and again but it was success for Everton. They were relegation fodder when he arrived and for a while it looked like he would take them to the next level.

Baker spoke about Moyes’ time at Preston, he stabilised the club, promoted them and then almost promoted them again. He was getting offers from clubs all around the country, he was surely destined for the top if his meteoric rise continued. He was described as ‘ultra modern’ and Michael Calvin also went behind the scenes during his later years at Everton spoke about the ‘recruitment room’. Awash with whiteboards which covered all four walls, bargain buys, the top football league players, cheap European options, strikers, goalkeepers, you name it, it was there. It was like a list of all the filters when you delve into the Football Manager transfer centre.

It appeared Moyes had the world at his feet, nobody would have laughed in 2004 if you’d said David Moyes would become the next Manchester United manager, he’d have probably been odds on. He was even good with the PR side of things, something which has been one of many disasters in his eight months at Old Trafford. He said he was taking over the ‘people’s club’ of Liverpool, something which instantly went down well with the Toffees faithful. David Moyes is a very good manager but it seems he is struggling to let go of what made him successful. He isn’t modern any more, he isn’t the brightest young manager in the game. Maybe his success at Goodison Park has hindered him, it worked from the off and he had no reason to change, it very rarely let him down as he continually guided Everton to European finishes and at least at home they were always a match for the big sides.

david moyes

He more often than not got it tactically spot on at home, usually victorious over Manchester City and Manchester United, strong performances against Chelsea have disappeared at Old Trafford. It seems everything he was fabled for has vanished and the things we worried about weren’t a worry after all. Manchester United have the best away form in the country, it’s small praise but it’s something to hang on to and barring a torrid away performance in Greece he’s more often than not got it bang on in Europe. The club appear to be suffering from an identity crisis that stems from the manager himself. We were naïve to think Moyes would come in straight away and let go of something that had made him what he is, or at least what he was. A very fine football manager. But he has to, this is a whole different ball game now, this is Manchester United, you have to say the right things, do the right things and play the right football. Fans can live with defeats, they can’t live with the manner of the recent humiliations from Liverpool and Manchester City.

I’m a big advocator of time, I always have been and it’s put me in some sticky situations on Twitter recently with certain people. I respect everyone’s opinions, it’s become a running joke between myself and Richard Cann, a fellow writer on Manchester United. He writes a negative piece, I write a positive piece and vice versa. I respect his opinions, I respect anyone’s opinion who wishes to have a constructive, non-abusive discussion. Contrary to popular belief, I also understand why United fans want Moyes out. It’s been awful, there are very few signs it will get better but Moyes is a talented manager but he’s very much stuck in times where he was a success, he was the prodigy to Sir Alex Ferguson, a man himself who in some ways seemed stuck in older times, transfer wise at least.

David Moyes can be a success at Old Trafford, he hasn’t got where he is today because he’s Scottish and the close friend of Ferguson. You don’t receive the praise of managers like him, Kenny Dalglish, Arsene Wenger and more for what you did at Everton if you were useless. His service to the club was mentioned in parliament, at times he looked like he could be the best so he needs to show it now. I spoke in a recent piece about the potential plan he has for Manchester United. Whether it’s right or not he will have a plan. No Premier League manager doesn’t.

You can point to many faults, the first transfer window, the many, many own goals he has scored in press conferences and post-match interviews and the tactical detail he once had at Everton that has disappeared, especially in the big games and especially at Old Trafford. I’ve called for time and many Manchester United legends have done the same. In recent weeks Roy Keane, Bobby Charlton, Paul Scholes and Eric Cantona have all said the manager needs time, they’re right.

Eric Cantona, King of Manchester United

I’m under no illusions that this season has been catastrophic with only a few highlights. The performances against the lower clubs have improved, away wins in a row to Palace, West Brom and West Ham plus a Champions League reprieve brought breathing space that was blown away by defeats at home to Liverpool and Manchester City. Whether or not you believe in David Moyes and it appears very few do you have to believe that once he begins to build his squad this summer things will improve. If he is now ready to execute his plan with the players he wants and gets rid of the players he doesn’t then it should give us cause for optimism. It doesn’t appear he’ll be sacked before Christmas, a lot of work has been done to make sure United get the very best players this summer. Champions League football, or the lack of it, isn’t the issue people are making it out to be. Players want to play football and they want to get paid well. Manchester United will always be a pull as will playing in front of 75,000 fans at Old Trafford.

If we get to Christmas with an improved squad and we’re still where we are now it might just be time to admit we made a huge mistake and we’ve taken a punt on a manager ten years too late. David Moyes has to realise he’s a good manager but he has to forget what made him a success at Everton. That will be difficult after ten years but for the future of the club and his own personal future it is the only thing that will work. He seems completely daunted and overawed by taking the biggest job in the world, a sad, very stressed and rather depressed looking rabbit caught in the headlights. Maybe the fact we’re here is because Alex Ferguson never moved on either, he was still at the height of his powers when Moyes was making a name for himself, they became good friends, they had similar personalities and traits and it seemed like there was never going to be anyone else take over but David Moyes.

sir-alex-ferguson-camera

We have to believe it will get better, even if the evidence points to the fact it won’t. If we can pull it off and line-up next year with players of the calibre of Toni Kroos or Ilkay Gundogan then we’ll be right up there, Moyes or no Moyes. This summer is huge, we have to get it right and we have to get it right fast. Get the signings in early and get rid of the deadwood, nail down the tactics, play the United way and hopefully not only will the confidence in the players be restored, but the manager. David Moyes might become the biggest, most expensive mistake the club have made since Juan Seba Veron but his attributes are there, he’s a good manager who succeeded on scraps, the man who could claim 6th or 7th as an achievement. He needs to forget that and remember where he is. Whatever the fans think I’m sure there isn’t a single one who doesn’t want him to succeed. We’d all be absolutely over the moon if one day David Moyes lifts the Premier League trophy at Old Trafford but for that to happen he has to move on, forget Everton and forget what he did there. Focus on being the best, focus on good football, attractive football and the best players.

He wasn’t dealt a great hand. Premier League champions yes but I don’t think any United fan could honestly say the core of this squad is as good as years gone by. The likes of Valencia, Young, Cleverley, Smalling, Rafael, Evans etc are good players. But like Moyes himself that’s all they are right now. They are not Beckham’s, Ronaldo’s, Keane’s, Rio’s, Neville’s and Moyes certainty isn’t Ferguson. Sir Alex led this group of players to a place they shouldn’t have been allowed to go. Manchester City and Roberto Mancini got complacent, they didn’t strengthen. Chelsea were swapping managers, Liverpool were under new management whilst Arsenal once again fell short. The goal posts have moved in many ways this year. Age has hit the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra hard, injuries have bitten some of our finest players whilst the teams around us have grown and become stronger.

The squad is good enough for top four, don’t get me wrong but this is a unique season. It’s a brand new era, many believe we could sign Messi and Moyes would only lead the club to 7th. I don’t believe that, I believe we have ourselves a very good manager but like some of our players he needs to make the step from good to great. We’re settled in attack, we have some of the finest talent in the world but our midfield and defence needs big improvement, Moyes or no Moyes. Jurgen Klopp or Diego Simeone coming in won’t change that. We will lose Rio, Vidic and Evra this summer, we might even lose Rafael. We’ll almost certainly lose Ryan Giggs, maybe Darren Fletcher whilst Michael Carrick couldn’t complain if he was relegated to the bench if a stronger midfield is built this summer.

nemanja-vidic-sent-off-not-happy

I’ve said all along I’m under no illusions of how bad it’s been, I didn’t expect it to be like this. But I wasn’t disappointed when Moyes was hired because I saw what he did at Everton but I hoped he would change his methods, I hoped he’d move on with the modern game and realise where he is. He hasn’t, he seems scared, totally daunted by the job he’s been given and that has to change. It has to change this summer or else both he and the club will pay the price. I wouldn’t gloat at the opinions of fans who want Moyes gone if we won the Premier League next season. I don’t expect that myself but I honestly think with time Moyes can repair the damage done this season but he needs to take a long, hard look at what he’s doing and realise it isn’t working. He has to change things, he has to listen to the senior players and take their advice, there’s no shame in it. He’ll be better for it and hopefully it will mean the good times return to Old Trafford very, very soon.

Many think I’m mad for my support of Moyes, I may well be. I have constant discussions on Twitter with Richard Cann, Alex Shaw from the Sunday People and Miguel Delaney among others about Moyes and I’ve always been a defender, I probably am mad but there you go. I get criticised for my ‘blind faith’ approach but I do try and hold on to the small things that come from this season. It probably doesn’t mean a lot but it’s something to cling to. It feels a little like LOST, for anyone who never watched it you can click the little red x in the corner of your screen right about now.

Richard Cann, Alex Shaw, Miguel and many others are like Jack. Methodical, look at the evidence and the reality in front of them whereas I appear to be like John Locke, living on faith alone and a burning desire to want things to go in his favour and to see someone succeed. The comparisons don’t end there either, Jack and Locke were stuck in a time warp, so is David Moyes…

Written by Rich Laverty@journorich

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14 Comments

  1. That’s about the best case any one could possibly make in Moyes’ defence. But it’s not enough to convince me he shouldn’t be sacked at the end of the season.

  2. I have been a loyal United fan for 35 years and will be until the day I die. I am ashamed of the treatment the boss and Moyes were subjected to at OT, and I do not agree with the banner. However, I fully understand and appreciate why these things have happened and know that these people who did these things are proud and loyal United fans who are very upset at watching what is happening at our club. But I also think like Bruce; you have made a very compelling case, but he has shown no sign of moving the club forward.

    I honestly think that he should be moved to a Director of Football, with no decision making powers over a new world class manager like J. Klopp. That way he could help Woodward, and Woodward could do what he does well, sign sponsors and look after the money. If he is really as good as everyone says he could establish and run the scouts, administrational side, etc., and let the manager run the football.

  3. Time is relative.

    I don’t hear many saying that a new manager shouldn’t have time. As a critic of Moyes I question whether he is the man for the job, whether he is up to it, regardless of time. I question his team selection, player roles, coaching methods, tactics, motivation, public comments etc and feel he is failing on most counts. I am not demanding that he should have rebuilt the team by now. I don’t believe he will ever be up to the task.

    I am frustrated by the process used to appoint a successor to Ferguson. His retirement was not really that unexpected given his age and comments he has made over the last two or three years. How much real forward planning was done to have as seamless a transition as possible? It appear that ‘out of the blue’ Moyes was tapped on the shoulder towards the back end of last season and he was mightily surprised. He stumbled into the job, bringing his coaching mates from Everton for support, and the idea of a structured orderly transition went out the window. Instead we started hurtling back to Ground Zero.

    The successor to Ferguson should have come from one of three categories:-

    1. A manager with proven experience and success at the highest level. United is an elite club which needs an elite level manager.
    2. A young gun with lots of progressive ideas, excited by challenges and a burning ambition.
    3. A partnership team made up of the above 1 and 2.

    David Moyes does not fit any of these categories. Ten to fifteen years ago he was the up and coming young gun. However, he is now a fifty year old who stayed too long at Everton, became set in his ways and a non-winner. He no longer has an ambitious burning fire in his belly, only a burning fear, the burning fear of failure. He shows no excitement with a challenge, he isn’t full of new tactical strategies. Neither is there the confident swagger of a proven winner, a manager experienced at the elite level with a trophy cabinet to match.

    Moyes is desperately out of his depth. He should be living the dream but instead it’s a great big nightmare.

    United is a huge step up from Everton but instead of moving onwards and upwards to United, Moyes immediately rushed back to Everton for coaching staff and players. He was not confident enough to make the necessary great leap forward.

    Moyes is the one stuck in a timewarp.

  4. From The Sunday Telegraph……(I do not believe that Moyes has got ability)….
    31 reasons David Moyes must leave Manchester United
    Manchester United may have reached the Champions League quarter-finals but there is a growing and convincing body of evidence that David Moyes is not up to the job
    Comments691 Comments
    OVERVIEW
    1 This season Manchester United, the reigning Premier League champions and third richest club in the world:
    – are seventh in the Premier League, their lowest placing for 24 years. Their previous finishes in the rebranded league have been:
    Position finished Number of times
    1st 13
    2nd 5
    3rd 3
    4th or below 0
    – have been eliminated from the FA Cup by Swansea City, who have never won the FA Cup.
    – have been eliminated from the Capital One Cup by Sunderland, who have never won the League Cup.
    In simple terms, this is failure.
    UNWELCOME STATS
    To reinforce the point:
    2 On 26 March 2013 United had 74 points from 29 games and were 15 points clear at the top:
    On 26 March 2014 United have 51 points from 31 games and are 18 points off the top:
    3 51 points is their lowest total after 31 games in the Premier League era – indeed they have never previously had fewer than 60 at this stage.
    4 United have fewer home points in the league than Norwich and Hull (21 points).
    5 United have scored the same number of goals at home in the league as Cardiff and Fulham, the table’s bottom two teams (18 goals).
    6 Moyes has done marginally worse with the reigning champions than he managed with Everton last season:
    Played Points For Against
    Everton 12/13 31 52 49 37
    United 13/14 31 51 48 37
    TACTICS
    7 Everton were expected to struggle post-Moyes, almost in the same way United might post-Ferguson. Instead the club has moved to a new level.
    Under Roberto Martinez they have altered their style of play and have 57 points from 30 games, sitting above United in the league. In Moyes’s last five seasons at the club they averaged 12 points fewer (51, 40, 40, 45, 48).
    Ross Barkley’s verdict was unintentionally damning: “He’s similar to David Moyes as they both like to take over the training session and be the main man but Martinez is more tactical. We do a lot more tactical work which is good for me because I’m young and still learning.”
    8 United’s limitations are well illustrated by these two images. As unfair as it may be to pick a single snapshot – and it goes without saying that different pictures could be presented by the case for Moyes’s defence – they reflect the differing perceptions of Pep Guardiola’s well-drilled Bayern Munich team and the Scot’s one-dimensional United side.
    Bayern Munich build an attack against Manchester City, with players in close contact and providing plenty of passing options for the man on the ball.
    Rafael looks to start an attack for United against Fulham, with the nearest player 20 yards away.
    9 In the 2-2 home draw against Fulham, pictured above, United became a laughing stock as they put in 81 crosses, to little effect with only 18 finding a team-mate. Fulham defender Dan Burn said he had “not headed that many balls since the Conference”.
    There has been a lack of variety and subtlety in United’s play all season. Some have argued this is down to the squad he inherited from Ferguson, which was full of ageing players and lacking in quality. There may be an element of truth in that, but the disparate performances in the home matches against Liverpool this season and last night rebuff that assessment.
    Last January United won deservedly 2-1 against their biggest rivals at Old Trafford, enjoying the majority of possession and having 15 shots on target. Ten days ago United, for whom 10 of the 14 players fielded had figured in last season’s victory, were totally outplayed by Liverpool, managing one shot on target, their lowest in a home match for five years.
    Moyes was comprehensively outcoached by his opposite number, Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers has transformed Liverpool in the past 18 months into a dynamic, cohesive unit with attacking full-backs, pace and mobility in attack and a versatile and tactically astute midfield. It is everything Moyes’s United are not, as Gary Neville remarked last night after a very similar 3-0 defeat, to Manchester City: “They need to have a rethink about where they are going. There is no pace and power going forward. At this moment they have an identity crisis.”
    10 Some supporters have been perplexed by Moyes’s reluctance to select one of the most creative players at his disposal, Shinji Kagawa. The Japanese international’s former manager at Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp, was referring to Ferguson when he made the following comments last year, but they could have been uttered a few months later and been just as pertinent.
    “Shinji Kagawa is one of the best players in the world and he now plays 20 minutes at Manchester United – on the left wing! My heart breaks. Central midfield is Shinji’s best role. He’s an offensive midfielder with one of the best noses for goal I ever saw.”
    Rarely has Moyes experimented with Kagawa there – last night he came on as a substitute on the right of midfield – prompting United fans to produce videos emphasising how redundant he is in this team setup.
    TRANSFER MARKET
    11 United and Moyes had by common consensus a dreadful summer, being embarrassed in their pursuits of Cesc Fabregas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Leighton Baines, Fabio Coentrao and Ander Herrera, among others. So misjudged were they that they passed on the option to return to Moyes’s old club, Everton, in July to buy Marouane Fellaini for his release clause value of £23m, and were then forced to pay £27.5m for him weeks later when other transfer targets fell through.
    There is mitigation in that chief executive David Gill retired along with Sir Alex Ferguson last summer, and so Moyes was partnered in the market by the inexperienced Ed Woodward. But Moyes has actually spent £70m, on Fellaini and the club-record signing Juan Mata, as yet recouping no money, and has next to nothing to show for that outlay.
    12 Fellaini, or “the Lampshade” as he is known by the crueller United fans, has certainly not brought value for money. He has made only 17 appearances and has failed to score or register an assist in those games. Anecdotally he slows down the play, needing three touches where rival midfielders would use one, and stymies any attempts to modernise United’s brand of football. In fairness he does have one goal to his name this season – for Everton, against Stevenage.
    13 It is too early to judge Mata, but his impact has been minimal so far and already the pundits who heralded him as a terrific signing are now wondering if, in fact, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho pulled off a masterstroke in selling him for such a large fee. He is yet to score in his nine games for United, and has had only one shot on target in those matches. Moyes paid £42.5m for the World Cup, European Championship and Champions League winner, and is certainly not extracting the best from him, frequently playing him wide rather than in his best position, No 10. The player looks horribly lost as he plays balls sideways all too often rather than being the creative spark he was in winning Chelsea’s player of the year award in successive seasons.
    14 The Glazers are willing to give the manager at least £100m to spend in the summer in the all-too-obvious knowledge that the squad needs an overhaul. But is Moyes the right man to spend this cash?
    Leave aside Fellaini and Mata’s performances thus far. Or the fact that the likes of Toni Kroos are unlikely to be clamouring to play for Moyes. Or that the 51-year-old has no experience of this kind of transfer budget. The evidence of his purchases at Everton count against him. When he did buy (relatively) big the players failed to perform as they had at their old club. The three most expensive strikers he signed all had low goals to games ratios:
    Player Fee Everton goals / games Previous club goals / games
    Yakubu £11.25m 25 in 82 37 in 53
    Johnson £8.6m 17 in 61 24 in 80
    Beattie £6m 13 in 76 34 in 62
    THE HUMILIATIONS
    Time and again United have been humiliated this season by clubs they would expect to beat – certainly clubs they had not lost against for a long time, ending streaks which were decades long:
    15 West Brom’s 2-1 win in September was their first at Old Trafford since 1978. None of the Baggies squad that day were born when the club had lost won at United.
    16 Everton inflicted huge embarrassment on their former manager when they won, 1-0, at Old Trafford in December for the first time since 1992.
    17 Yohan Cabaye’s goal for Newcastle in December gave them their first win at Old Trafford for 41 years.
    18 The 2-1 defeat to Tottenham at Old Trafford was United’s first loss on New Year’s Day for 20 years.
    19 Swansea recorded their first ever win at Old Trafford when they knocked United out of the FA Cup in January. Ferguson only lost in the third round once in 27 attempts.
    20 Stoke’s 2-1 win at the start of February was the first time they had beaten United since 1984.
    21 The Champions League first-leg 2-0 defeat to Olympiakos was the first time ever that United had lost to a Greek team.
    22 The 3-0 home defeat to Man City witnessed the first time United had conceded a goal in the first minute of a Premier League game at Old Trafford.
    THE BIG GAMES
    23 Until recent weeks it could have been argued that the lowest points of Moyes’s reign had been the defeats to Sunderland and Swansea and the others listed above. But the consistently poor record against the Premier League’s top teams, several inflicted in a painfully embarrassing manner, have done the most damage. The bare stats tell only half the story, but here they are (matches against Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham):
    Played 11
    Won 1
    Drawn 3
    Lost 7
    For 5
    Against 19
    Points 6
    This is consistent with his dreadful record against the top clubs with Everton. An often trumpeted fact during his reign at Goodison Park was that he never won a league game at the Emirates, Stamford Bridge, Anfield or Old Trafford (the latter has been rectified now, although not as many times as United fans would like).
    24 While Manchester United are still in the Champions League, following the come-from-behind victory over Olympiakos in the last 16, few people hold out much hope for them against the Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals. As Paul Hayward wrote following the draw last Friday: “For the first time in decades, gallows humour shapes United’s response to a Champions League draw. Expectations are even lower than their league position.”
    Moyes’s experience in European football is limited, his record with Everton reading:
    2005-06: Champions League qualifying round defeat to Villarreal
    2005-06: Uefa Cup first round defeat to Dinamo Bucharest
    2006-07: Did not qualify
    2007-08: Uefa Cup round of 16 defeat to Fiorentina
    2008-09: Uefa Cup first round defeat to Standard Liege
    2009-10: Europa League round of 32 defeat to Sporting Lisbon
    2010-11: Did not qualify
    2011-12: Did not qualify
    2012-13: Did not qualify
    25 Moyes has never won a major trophy in his managerial career (he did win the Scottish League with Celtic as a player, and the Second Division with Preston North End as a manager).
    PUBLIC APPEARANCE
    26 When Moyes first took the job he cast himself in Ferguson’s shadow, talking about what a “big job” it was to be replacing the United legend, how “it would take time” for him to adapt, playing down expectations at every possible juncture since then and admitting more recently that he is baffled by United’s woeful performances. Recently he even conceded Liverpool were favourites for the match at Old Trafford.
    As Henry Winter wrote last night: “It certainly felt both an undeniable truth and an unwise frankness when Moyes remarked that United are ‘aspiring to be like City’. Such comments signal the caution, even negativity, of the Moyes era that he should be fighting, not highlighting. He has to start behaving like a Manchester United manager, exuding defiance off the pitch and instilling width, pace and fearlessness on it.”
    27 Moyes did not help his cause by moving on all of Ferguson’s backroom staff and surrounding himself with familiar faces. Dismissing the experience of Rene Meulensteen and Mick Phelan, among others, and replacing them with Steve Round, Phil Neville and co has left himself horribly exposed. Eric Steele, the discarded goalkeeping coach observed: “You had the United perspective – [Ferguson] saying, ‘Keep what we’ve got, keep the continuity, work with them and they’ll guide you through. You’re taking on a massive machine here. You’ve gone from Marks and Spencer’s to Harrods.”
    28 There have been reported fallouts with key players, vigorously denied by Moyes. To his credit he handled the Wayne Rooney contract standoff well last summer, but what is not debatable is that the senior players have not stood up for him – captain Nemanja Vidic is off to Internazionale, Patrice Evra is almost certainly returning to France at the end of the season, Rio Ferdinand is likely to become a full-time television pundit, Van Persie’s future is shrouded in doubt, and Ryan Giggs has barely been seen on the pitch this year, not being picked for last night’s derby despite his virtuoso display against Olympiakos. That is a lot of knowhow that Moyes has failed to tap into.
    FINALLY
    29 The most trenchant defence for Moyes is that Ferguson struggled in his early seasons at United before becoming the most garlanded coach in English football history. “He must be given time.”
    But this is not 1986 – football has changed a tad in the intervening 28 years. Moyes inherited a squad that had faults but had won the league title, and joined a club that despite being saddled with debt has plenty of money to spend in the transfer market. He has handled himself with humility and decency during these arduous few months but even some of the loyal Old Trafford support has now turned.
    30 While United may not be able to attract managers of the calibre of Jose Mourinho or Carlo Ancelotti as they might have done last summer, there are plenty of deserved candidates who would be interested in the job of reviving one of English football’s great institutions. Klopp, who took Dortmund (wage bill lower than Queens Park Rangers) to the Champions League final last season, leads the betting at present.
    31 Results are worsening, not improving. Moyes’s Manchester United record:
    Year Played Won Drawn Lost
    2013 29 18 6 5
    2014 17 7 2 8
    There really is nothing to suggest that downward spiral is going to be reversed.
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    • Wow, Deluded David Moyes Fan Club, that’s quite a dismantling job! I’m impressed. But I don’t think you mentioned the continual criticism of the players he inherited and therefore the consequential lack of motivation. Or the fact that Everton now train more with a football than under Moyes.

      But other than that, what else did the Moyes do for us?

      Excellent reply!!

  5. I think you are spot on that Moyes must change. OT is a strange place — it turns players and managers to gold, but also to lead. For every Ole or Andrei Kanchelskis there is a Veron or a Birtles. I don’t want OT to destroy Moyes, but he has limited left to show it won’t. Absolutely agree that there are only so many defeats to Liv and City we fans can take. He needs to give us thumping victories where we tear teams much better than Olympiakos or Villa.

  6. Very good that,Stuck in endless timewarp,is about right.The United hall of fame museum could be another description.The theatre of nightmares another.A few adjustments,couple of good defenders and good midfielders and a manager that is a bit more savy than Moyes would have been a huge improvement,just like any other teams at the top. NOPE not the great United.The proof of the pudding is in the eating as the saying goes and I think we have all seen what Moyes is capable of by now.OF course with the right players,things will change for him and we could see super attacking football again,thats in the future,.As for now in the Warp it,s still Fergie time era or aura.Would you buy a product that was a bit dodgy but it,s guaranteed to get better over a six year periode and all you get is a thanks for being so loyal.Well thats just BIZZ folks and if you dont like it dont buy a ticket..

  7. Right now, ManU has no speed. You can have all the tactics in the world but if you have no speed, your tactics go down the toilet. If Moyes can get quality players that have speed then ManU will be back challenging for the league.

    Bayern can tiki-taka all they want. When ManU counterattacks with speed and accuracy, Bayern will be back pedaling and falling over. But sad to say, right now, ManU has no speed, so well probably get hammered by Bayern.

  8. I’ve read many articles, both for and against Moyes but I believe this one is the best, for it encompasses almost all the aspects where Moyes is strong and where he is lacking.
    That said, I should also mention that I’m also almost a blind optimist like the above mentioned ‘John Locke’, so no matter what I will stand by Moyes till the higher-ups at OT decide otherwise.

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