Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Local fans of Red Devils say boss isn't only one to blame

Ulster-based Manchester United fans have pointed the finger of blame for their team's struggles this season at a wide range of people – and not just under-fire manager David Moyes.

The Scot has felt the heat at Old Trafford practically since the day he stepped into Sir Alex Ferguson's shoes last summer.

After losing 10 games this season, things got worse on Sunday with a performance and result that Moyes branded 'diabolical' as United drew 2-2 with Fulham, the Premier League's bottom club.

That has left them in seventh place in the Premier League, nine points behind Liverpool in the fight for a Champions League place.

The blame hasn't been laid solely at Moyes' door, the club's owners, the current and former chief executive and former manager Sir Alex Ferguson have come in for some hard-hitting criticism too.

"I blame the previous regime, David Gill (ex-chief executive) and the Glazers (United's owners)," said Harry Blevins, secretary of the Portadown Manchester United Supporters Club.

"David Moyes have been shafted by all and sundry. Yes, he's made mistakes and hasn't done himself too many favours at times, but he has been well and truly shafted.

"The squad is not as good as has been made out and although United won the league by 11 points last season the rest of the teams in the top four have all improved and spent between £50m and £100m.

"If Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge now we wouldn't have fallen this far, but would we be top of the league? No.

"I think Fergie knew what he was doing when he got out. He squeezed every last drop of energy out of players like Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, even Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs is 40 for goodness sake."

Other fans have exonerated Ferguson from any blame whatsoever for the current situation at Old Trafford.

Gary Copeland, from the West Belfast Supporters Club, said: "People are losing patience with the players and the management situation.

"I am trying to stay patient with the players, but we didn't spend wisely last summer, although we made a good signing in Juan Mata.

"People are saying that having Sir Alex Ferguson (below) around is putting pressure on David Moyes, but I believe he has earned the right and it entitled to be there if he wants.

"Whoever took over from Ferguson was always going to find it difficult, but some blame must be placed on Ed Woodward (chief executive)."

One fan, Robert Quee from the North Down Manchester United Supporters Club, even wants Ferguson to make a return to the dugout, like Sir Matt Busby in the 1970s.

"It's a total disaster and my personal opinion is that David Moyes just doesn't have the experience with a big club that the job needs.

"The sooner Sir Alex Ferguson comes back to finish the season the better. That way we might make it into the top four.

"The Glazers are a big worry, they don't care about the football as long as they are getting their money out of it.

"There was always a concern that when Fergie would retire we'd end up in a situation like this, but nobody thought we'd drop so much so quickly."

Ian Hall, from Dungannon, who has supported United since 1957, wants to see fans show some patience for Moyes as he tries to turn things around.

"It's not going well, but I am old enough to remember it being worse that it is at the minute.

"I knew it would be difficult when Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down, but give it time.

"Good players don't become bad players overnight.

"We had 26 years when Liverpool won nearly everything and they let us know all about it.

"Sir Alex Ferguson didn't start well and look what he ended up doing. We are still in the Champions League and the best scenario is that Liverpool finish fourth and we put them out of qualifying for the Champions League by winning it."

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