Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

David Moyes sacked: Manchester United's folly just ran out of excuses

Manchester United owners Joel (right) and Avram Glazer talk to a Manchester United fan at the New York Stock Exchange
David Moyes looks on prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester United at Boleyn Ground on March 22, 2014 in London, England. Manchester United now face a daunting task as they look to replace Moyes and turn the club's fortunes around (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
David Moyes looks on prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester United at Boleyn Ground on March 22, 2014 in London, England. Manchester United now face a daunting task as they look to replace Moyes and turn the club's fortunes around (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Everton manager David Moyes (right) shouts instructions to his team as Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, April 23, 2011
Everton manager David Moyes (right) shouts instructions to his team as Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, April 23, 2011

David Moyes said Manchester United played well on Sunday. It made a change from the never-ending stream of ridiculous excuses the Scot came up with for previous defeats, but the silly statement simply added to the embarrassment factor at Old Trafford.

The performances have been rubbish. The last thing the club needed was more garbage from the man supposed to be in charge of clearing up the mess.

Manchester United did NOT play well on Sunday.

For the umpteenth time this season they lacked penetration in attack, creativity in midfield and discipline at critical moments in defence. Shamefully, there was no desire or fight either.

This was David Moyes's Manchester United.

Everton, chasing a Champions League place, ran out comfortable 2-0 winners at Goodison Park.

The Toffees have been terrific for the majority of the campaign, but at the weekend they didn't need to be fantastic, merely functional, to see off the inferior opposition.

The final straw for many frustrated Red Devils fans came months ago, but clearly the 11th Premier League defeat under Moyes at the weekend broke the camel's back for the Glazer family.

Deciding they cannot accept this failure any more, they dispensed with the services of Sir Alex Ferguson's successor, recommended by Sir Alex Ferguson!

While Liverpool going from seventh place in the table to first is a staggering achievement, it is even more bewildering how United have gone from first to seventh in the same short space of time.

From Champions to Chumps in the 11 month spell that Moyes has endured. Some going that!

With the 50-year-old on his way out of Old Trafford, some will say United have shown a small club mentality ditching the boss without giving him a proper chance, but the way things were going more time for Moyes would have meant more woe for the supporters.

Replacing the iconic Ferguson, who made the club a worldwide power, was never going to be easy, just like it was no cakewalk for Wilf McGuinness and Frank O'Farrell, when they took over from the legendary Sir Matt Busby after his two spells as boss, but Moyes didn't help himself.

McGuinness and O'Farrell each lasted a season and a half. Moyes didn't even get that long!

He never truly got to grips with being United's manager.

Further Reading

David Moyes sacked: Jurgen Klopp rules out Manchester United move

In Pictures: David Moyes sacked - who will be the next Manchester United manager?

David Moyes sacked: Five nightmare results for the Manchester United manager this season

David Moyes sacked: Eric Cantona, Sir Alex Ferguson, David Beckham, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes' thoughts on Manchester United's manager this season

David Moyes sacked: Why Manchester United cannot afford to get it wrong again

David Moyes sacked: Manchester United appoint Ryan Giggs as caretaker manager 

From whining about a difficult fixture list to recruiting the ill-fitting Marouane Fellaini, he made a poor start and never recovered as fortress Old Trafford soon became one of the most welcoming arenas in England for visiting teams. Roll up, roll up, get your away wins here...

Keeping the unsettled Wayne Rooney was considered a success, but so far the player has done a whole lot better out of that £300,000 per week contract than the club.

Rooney may have been content, but few others, star player Robin van Persie among them, were unhappy with the new regime. Skipper Nemanja Vidic even announced he was leaving the club. And all the while demoralising defeat followed demoralising defeat.

United were out of the title race before Christmas and the domestic cup competitions shortly after. They stayed in the Champions League until April 1, but only a fool thought they would actually go on and win it.

Moyes apologists insisted that Brendan Rodgers had problems in his first season at Anfield before turning things around. True, but there was faith amongst the Liverpool players and owners that the Ulsterman's footballing philosophy would bear fruit. Moyes instilled no such belief.

Losing the fans and players, who should also take responsibility for their abject efforts this season, and latterly the owners can only mean one thing. All connected with the club want the old stylish, swaggering Man United back, not the wimpering, wailing Moan United the team have become under Moyes.

Ryan Giggs has been touted as a long term replacement, but Borussia Dortmund's confident, charismatic and clever Jurgen Klopp would be a better choice.

There is an irony that all this has come to a head after United's defeat at Everton, where Moyes spent 11 years.

He had the safest job in football there. Soon he won't have one at all.

Moyes did a fine job at Everton, stabilising the Toffees, but having seen Roberto Martinez take the club to a new level in just one season playing free flowing attractive football, you wonder if he was holding the Merseysiders back with his more cautious approach.

David Moyes has certainly been holding Manchester United back. The Glazers are intent on spending up to £200m in the summer to get the club on track again and didn't trust Moyes with their money.

He had to go. It was the correct call.

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