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What has Ferguson seen to make him think Moyes needs more time?

It is fair to say that this season so far at Manchester United has not gone as anyone would have expected. We were humiliated in the summer transfer window, points have been dropped against teams we would normally beat without getting out of second gear, and whispers from the dressing room of player discontent have refused to go away. However, Sir Alex Ferguson claimed on Sunday that David Moyes will come good for Manchester United, saying ‘it’s early days and there have been a few changes’ in an attempt to back up this view.

It is very difficult to know what the great man has seen so far this season to suggest to him that Moyes is the right man to steer the United ship through these troubled waters. On his appointment, the most compelling argument that could be made for him (aside from the nonsense of his being ‘cut from the same cloth’ as Ferguson) was that we didn’t know how he would adapt to managing the global behemoth that is Manchester United, and it could be that managing a club on a level far above what he had known before would allow him to raise his managerial style to a similar level. Well, we now have some idea about how he would react to managing the biggest club in the world, and unfortunately for him and us, instead of raising his game to United’s level, he has brought United down to his.


I feel it prudent to say at this point that at the start of the season, although Moyes had not been my first choice to replace Ferguson, I was prepared to cut him some slack and give him as much support as possible. I knew this season would be a struggle, but was content to see it out and only judge him after two seasons. Had there been any signs of improvement this season then I would still be thinking like this. Had our results been down to experimenting with exciting new systems and blooding the youngsters, I would have accepted our league position, knowing that this would have led to better results in the future. However, if anything, we have got worse and worse this season, as one drab, soul-destroying game follows the next. This style of football has gone on long enough for anyone to see that it is not working and the fact that Moyes has stubbornly persisted with it is what leads me to doubt Ferguson’s claim.

As Ferguson has said, there have been a few changes, so before we go any further let’s take the time to analyse these changes and how they have affected the squad. Firstly, Moyes axed Ferguson’s old backroom staff, full of proven winners, and replaced them with coaches either with no experience of winning trophies, or no experience of coaching at all. Then, in an unprecedented move for the Glazer era, the manager was extremely open regarding our potential transfer targets in the summer, leading to egg on the faces of all of the Old Trafford executives when one by one these transfer targets either moved elsewhere, or signed the contract with their existing club they had been trying to engineer all along through their public flirtations with United.

Sir Alex Ferguson on Manchester United's bench

The start of the season arrived and with that came further changes. A team previously full of ruthless professionals with a win-at-all-costs mentality has been turned into a collection of whinging primadonnas who buckle under the first signs of any pressure and then bemoan bad luck and refereeing decisions to cover up for their lack of quality; and a swashbuckling, counter-attacking style has been sacrificed for defensive-minded, turgid and uninspiring dross. Unfortunately for Moyes, no change has occurred in the areas which blighted Ferguson’s last few years at the club, so we are still desperately short of quality in midfield, and hampered in the transfer market compared to the growing number of petrodollar-fuelled clubs thanks to our leeching owners (although all the noises regarding ‘warchests’ coming out of Old Trafford suggest that is set to change in the summer).

So with a continuation of all that was bad about the tail-end years of the Ferguson era, and changes involving much that was good about it, what has Ferguson seen that the rest of us have missed to suggest to him that Moyes will come good? Well, let us not forget that it was made very public that Ferguson was the one to pick Moyes. At Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola appears well on the way to creating his second contender for the ‘greatest team ever’ in just a four and a half year managerial career, and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea are beginning to look ominous once again, so it’s fair to say that most fans’ top two choices for the role of Ferguson’s successor are doing significantly better than Moyes is at United. Were Ferguson to admit that he had made the wrong choice, how would it look to the fans? More importantly, how would it make David Moyes feel, knowing that virtually his one supporter throughout this ordeal of a season has lost faith in him? Add to that the fact that Ferguson is still a director at Old Trafford, and it makes it impossible for him to take any stance other than total support for Moyes. His pride and his position as a director means that, short of burning down Old Trafford and urinating on Ferguson’s statue, Moyes’s support from Ferguson is virtually assured, publicly at least.


There is another, more cynical side to all of this, however. Ferguson spent 27 years at the club and when he retired, his status as one of the greatest managers the game has ever seen and as a club legend was never in doubt. Could his decision to appoint Moyes when other, more accomplished managers were available be one final attempt to show his genius? It was widely agreed last season that it was a poor team which won the title – could the appointment of Moyes be an attempt from Ferguson to show just how good an achievement it was from him to win the league with that squad last season? Similarly, hypothetically, how would it have looked if Guardiola had come in, bringing Thiago, Fabregas, and God-knows-who-else, along with a ruthless and inventive style with him as he tiki-taka’d United to two Champions League titles in five years, matching Ferguson’s tally in 27? Obviously, this scenario is totally hypothetical and we will never know if that would have been the case but you can bet the thought crossed Ferguson’s mind before he made the decision of who to appoint as his successor.

So although on the surface Ferguson’s claims might have seemed strange to most fans, dig a little deeper and his motives become clear. His stubbornness, which we all came to know so well during his 27 years at the club, coupled with a desire to be seen as the managerial genius that he is, means that it’s not beyond the realms of possibility to consider his support for Moyes as little more than an attempt to cement his own legacy in United’s history.

Do you think it is time for David Moyes to be sacked at United? Comment in the section below.

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By RedManc

RedMancunian is the number one source for Manchester United news, insight and opinion on the most successful football club in the English top flight. RedMancunian was founded at the end of the 2011/2012 football season. We hope to provide insight on football matters related to Manchester United and provides a sense of what the club was and is all about. Follow RedMancunian on Twitter - @RedMancunian

31 replies on “What has Ferguson seen to make him think Moyes needs more time?”

Rooney is not worth that kind of money, and why has DM not got his p45 things won’t get any better while he is still in charge he should just go

Fergusons latest cock up.. last one was Ashley young.. when fergie makes a mistake, he is simply too stubborn to just admit it.. plus he has made a hole for himself as utd supposedly don’t sack managers..and as much as I love him for what he did for us, it was his pig headedness with jp magner that finally led to them selling all their shares to Glazer..hence forcing the buyout..come on fergie admit your wrong.. Moyes does not have the pedigree to run our great club..if we are not careful, Liverpool will knock us off our perch!

UTD`S problem is Fergusons ego.Firstly no-one who leaves a job want`s to think the next person will be so much better that they will be forgotten, then how much worse would that be for an ego like Fergusons.He picked Moyes, who undoutably is Fergies puppet, hence the fact he would be controlled is why Fergie backed him. This is why Mourinho (the best manager in the world, and i don`t support Chelsea ) wasn`t picked because he wouldn`t have any interference in his management, and the supporters wouldn`t be phoning the police to get the old management back, which by the way he must have loved. UTD would be riding high with Jose in charge and Fergie would be a memory as the club looked to a brighter future.The team needs so many new players, that`s another reason he decided to slip into the shadows, at this point in time. All UTD`S trouble`s are caused by Ferguson, he`s not sat there at every game for nothing.

Alas, this is no more than Blether from SAF. It sounds like SAF did no wrong in his tenure.He and Charlton backed the Glasers.As they have backed Moyes. Both very costly mistakes that have bled the club considerably. (Paid for my the fans).
SAF had success before United.Moyes did not.
SAF had successful habits……..Moyes does not.
SAF had an able backroom team…….Moyes has a team of ‘yes’ men.(2 of whom are learning from him.)
SAF had an ability to analyze his mistakes…..Moyes has not.
SAF hid his feelings from view…let the team know though….Moyes looks forlorn and it does not help when he puts his head in his hands in front of the world
SAF moved with the times;re;tactics training……Moyes has crocked a significant number of players, confuses even more, and prepares ….well does the team looks prepared?….he also has attempted to fit players into roles that they are not trained for!……….Either SAF is attempting to take the heat off Moyes….but rest assure DM will put it back on himself…..It is a case of history repeating itself… is Frank O’Farrell yet again…..We were relegated after 18 months of him……Current form of United= Relegation………Only an idiot would join him…….P.S Joe Royle…Keep your banal comments to yourself…..This is United ….Not Oldham or City or Everton….your buddy is not up to the task!!!!!!!

If this is all a Ferguson ploy to cement his place as a great genius at the club, then it has backfired. By anointing Moyes as ‘The Chosen One’ (please someone tear down that insipid and arrogant banner) then he had clearly nailed his colours to the Moyes mast. Therein lies the problem, hence the ‘give him time’ mantra.

As a man used to wielding absolute power, he doesn’t take kindly to criticism and hasn’t got the openness to publically admit to making mistakes. He prickles if a journalist or pundit has the temerity to question his judgement. Ferguson only ever wanted sychophants asking questions at his press conferences.

‘No player is bigger than the club’ is a cliche often used. No manager or ex-manager is any bigger than the club either.

Truth is, Fergie got it wrong. Big deal! We will all forgive him if he puts it right. Continuing to polish a turd, doesn’t change what it is. Ferguson should be open enough to admit, what we all know now, that Moyes isn’t up to the job and never will be.

If he is trying to save face by not being seen to change his view about Moyes then Ferguson is potentially damaging his long term legacy, anyway. One season under Moyes we can deal with. Any more and the hole being dug will get deeper and deeper, and the fans resentment stronger and stronger..

I’ve always thought this was the reason for Moyes getting the job, but we’re not bothered what Fergie thinks anymore! He’s always going to be part of the foundations and history of Manchester United, that will never change. He’s got a stand and a road named after him and he’s even got a fucking statue! It’s time to evolve. We need new managing systems with established people. Bring in the Double Dutch!!!

Wake up people. He has a six year contract it will cost united a lot to sack him I think they hoping he just resigns….i can gurantee you s few resignation forms being slipped through Moyes door.

yeah im sure fergie really wanted to mess us up with moyes just to show how good he was, what a complete load of rubbish, this author and all you mugs commenting your agreements and believing this are a disgrace to united supporters

I agree with your condemnations about the comments regarding Sir Alex but I also believe ALL MU supporters would support Moyes and give him time if their was ‘ANY’ sign of him being up to the job in any area of his management.

The world and his dog can see he is beyond his capability level, the board at OT are sitting with fingers crossed, which is criminal for so called business men.

The problem is Fergie’s ego..he never accepts his mistakes. Am so disappointed in him, what does he think he is? He forced that imbecile called moyes on us..he’s supposed to be sacked a long time ago. He never should have put moyes there , cos he’s a mid-table team coach with a mid-table mentality..he deserves to coach only a championship side.moyes is a big disgrace to our beloved club, and should be shown the door before we become relegated

This is ridiculous sir Alex is trying to cover his mistake by telling us Moyes should be given more time….Sack Moyes.Sack Moyes..enough of his rubbish tactics and player selections.

Sack Moyes yesterday please. and get Phil Neville out of the club. Backroom staff don’t have a clue as to what to do with tactics during play… Fergie you are the greatest manager Utd has. but if you are so whimsical in this decision to get Moyes so as to cement your place in utd folklore, then everything you have built over the last 27 years, will disappear, no one is talking abiout the victories of the past anymore, and no one will. it is always about the present victories and the future trophies. pls fergie, be the interim mgr and find someone better to replace you as that is the mark of a great man!

Fergy has to admit that he made the biggest mistake of his life by choosing a mid table manager with mid table Ideas of managing a football club..Lets face it…Moyes spent 11 trophiless years at Everton and his greatest achievement was a rare 4th place..Mourino has won trophies with diffrent clubs…Jurgen Kloop is a football genious not to mention Guardiola…Why on earth would Fergy choose “The chosen one”??? Fergy I think your old enough to be at Old trafford!! Just go home and let Manutd choose a manager of their own!! We dont need you or your selfish Ego at Old trafford !!

What an absolutely ungrateful piece of shit you are, If it werent for SAF you would probably be a liverpool fan, Selfish ego? So because this auther talks total bollocks you take it as gospel? What a fucking joke

Tommy. Write off something you don’t want to believe about your beloved Ferguson. It is a fact that he is stubborn and has problems admitting mistakes as well as that he played a major role in the Glazer’s acquiring ownership of the club. You obviously take everything Fergie says as gospel and struggle making informed rational decisions when it comes to anything Fergie.

Please don’t blame Moyes, blame Fergie. He was the one who gave United this mediocrity. Hard to believe that SAF got this so wrong. The legacy argument makes sense to me. He didn’t want someone to come in with a big personality that that will take the shine off his accomplishments so blame him for this colossal mistake. Moyes can salvage the situation. Here is what he needs to do. Play Rooney on the left. Christiano plays there for Real Madrid and he scores boat load of goals. Besides Rooney is also a good defender and can show up Evra’s weakness. Then play mata in the “hole”, Fletcher and Carrick in mid field and Janujaz on the right with RVP top.

Since the sale of Ronaldo, United have been underinvesting and overachieving, a game Fergie has been playing with the Glazers. This has painted over the cracks which has kept the masses happy! Fergie for a while, has put himself and the Glazers ahead of United. The appointment of Moyes was a non footballing reason and was a plan that has backfired on them! They were hoping that Moyes would challenge for trophies and become like Arsenal, not winning anything but fooling everyone into thinking they have a chance! Glazers are happy with 4 th spot in Prem and Quarter finals in Europe! It means they don’t have to invest! The only other manager capable of winning under these circumstances is Mourinho, who was prepared to come! Fergie would become jealous of watching Mourinho winning his 3rd or 4 th European Cup at United so made sure it did not happen! The bullshit excuse was that he did not play good football and he is controversial! (What has Fergie been over the years and have you ever watched Everton under Moyes).
PS. It would have happened if Fergie’s £30 million fortune was dependent on the success of United! Guardiola is a great manager but would not come to United under these financial restrictions, Mourinho would have!
Fergie is the Glazer’s PR man because they have bought him!
They wanted Moyes as their puppet because he will keep the truth quiet!
That is why Fergie wants Moyes to stay!

Moyes is perfect for fergies legacy to remain he will take us so far down that fergie will be remembered for next 100 years fergie was best utd manager but his legacy will always be tarnished with giving the job to david moyes and his his book revelation against roy keane a utd legend david becham and so and so.i agree with this column one hundred percent .

Moyes is the right man for the Job. Just give him time for at least till the 12th game of next season and you will see what he can do.

Ferguson said that he cannot do anything he is retired now then glazer family u don’t have eyes u r the owner sack moyes

In a big team like united we should gave time to a new manager to bulid or adapt in the team.we gave time to a manager if the team is average team.

United have already make history winning title last year then if a manager cannot stand up as the previous manager success then he should be sack. Don’t him time. He did not need time.

Once again, SAF stubbornness rise over United, and once again blind followers think he is right.
We have an aged squad because he refused to improve and we have a mid table manager because he refused to appoint anyone who could overshadow him.
It already past the time to stop listening waht he says.
We all have a lot to thank him for what he turned United to, but he is retired now and we must start to walk our own steps.
Appoint Moyes was a huge mistake and as soon as we get rid of him and appoint a world class manager, better for United.

I will always be grateful for what success Fergiw brought to the club, but I will never forgive him for his role in Glazers acquiring ownnership of the club and his ceaseless backing of them. There have been many times where he has put his interests before the club under the guise of “no one is bigger than the club”. Since the champions league triumph he has been all about himself and securing his legacy. All this has been happening while the structure, technical and tactical progression of the club has been rapidly falling behind the rest England and Europe. If he really put the club’s interest before his he wouldn’t have released that ego stroking book at the time he did and he would have built off the champions league victory and intergrated modern, high intensity dynamic football from the youth levels through to the firts team. We could have still done this playing with width and keeping to our trafitions of utilising intelligent wing play. Was letting pogba go, bringing scholes out of retirement and constantly playing a old winger in central midfield in the best interests for the club. To add insult to injut pogba earns 20 000 euros a weel while cleverley and welbeck sit on 60 000 pounds a week and that disgrace of a footballer young earns 130 k.a week

I really agree with the author, but I really felt that the fans from africa should shut up, they are every where, my problem is they made us all look like a glory hunter, there is one fan who tweets that he will follow bayern from now on, and to make it worst one more threatened to support city and say they are bigger than us. My answer to both of these african idiot is, shut up at least until one player from your continent make it as a United player, and stop gambling using your wife and daughter as a wager you dumb fuck, just follow the footstep of the arsenal fan(also dirty african) who commits suicide before humiliating us on bbc, itv, espn etc.

Manu are the laughing stock of the prem league, and who is at fault no one but fergy 14 points behind liverpool someone
way back that this would happen oh how the mighty fall

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