Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

All Manchester United boss David Moyes needs is time

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22:  Wayne Rooney (R) of Manchester United and manager David Moyes (L) arrive at the stadium before the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Wayne Rooney (R) of Manchester United and manager David Moyes (L) arrive at the stadium before the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

A self-proclaimed Manchester United 'nut' of my acquaintance, aged north of 60, once boasted without a trace of irony that his allegiance to the club stretched 'all the way back to the days of Cantona.' In other words he started supporting United, aged 40. There are many, much younger than he, who could give him 26 hurtful years of a start.

One of many irritations about the glory-hunting Man U bandwagon jumpers of the last two decades is their airbrushing of history. Spoilt and brainwashed by unprecedented success, life began with Fergie and now it has ended with Moyes.

It would almost be worth a few barren seasons to be rid of those who, since Sunday, seem to believe there were no bad days under Fergie, all their Christmases growing up were white and fairies resided at the bottom of their garden.

The more sensible, patient majority will study the lessons of club history and keep the faith with Moyes to get it right eventually.

Remember, United lost 4-1, 5-1 and 6-1 to Manchester City in Fergie's time.

Moyes requires time and space – wide acres of it. The unspoken truth about the quality of his inheritance is that his squad is nowhere near as strong nor formidable as last spring's emphatic title success suggests.

Even so, after Liverpool tonight, Moyes' next five league games against West Brom, Sunderland, Southampton, Stoke and Fulham offer both him and the team the opportunity to regain some ground. Not all those who glitter at United are gold. But given time and the tools to do the job, there will be a silver lining for Moyes and maybe even the blinkered will properly see.

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