David Moyes: The reason Manchester United are champions no more

Published: April 8, 2014
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS PHOTO: REUTERS

Old Trafford Stadium, known as the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ for Manchester United FC, has unfortunately become a theatre of nightmares under David Moyes’s managerial reign. With another poor performance against their arch rivals Manchester City FC, and a sixth home defeat of 3-0, fans have become greatly disconcerted.

As part of the aftermath, many stewards were seen guarding the ‘The Chosen One’ banner at the Stratford End, as fans wanted to take the banner down.

The defeat has left United reeling 12 points behind first-place Arsenal FC. During the 2013-14 season of the Barclays Premier League, United secured one victory while playing against English Premier League’s top five football clubs, which shows how dismally it has progressed this season.

Manchester United celebrate winning the Premier League last season. Photo: Reuters

While the Red Devils prepare to face Bayern Munich FC in the quarter-final match of the UEFA Champions League, their chances of winning look very slim. Bayern Munich remains undefeated after their last 52 matches and currently, under Pepp Guardiola, is one of the best football clubs in Europe. They are going to give David Moyes and United a tough competition.

However, United’s current situation, sadly to say, was inevitable.

When Sir Alex Ferguson retired, after being in-charge of the club for around 27 years, many speculations were made regarding United’s fate. The task of replacing Sir Ferguson, for instance, was perhaps one of the most daunting matters. The club needed an experienced and high profile manger to handle the kind of pressure and expectations associated with replacing him.

Sir Alex Ferguson. Photo: Reuters

At the time of his retirement, the board and Ferguson had to give their choices for United’s future manager, which included Jose MourinhoJurgen KloppCarlo Ancelotti and even Pepp Guardiola, who at that time hadn’t joined Bayern Munich and hence was available. Therefore, hiring one of the top managers would have certainly ensured at least a top-four slot for the Red Devils.

Yet, the board went with Moyes, who was not at all the right choice to replace Ferguson; he was a mid-table manager and has similarly turned United into a mid-table team, earlier than anyone could have predicted.

Consequently, incorrect comparisons were made at the start of Moyes’ term between him and Ferguson. He had a wonderful track record of winning titles in Scottish football before he joined United. He took over a mid-table team and turned it into a champion team. Moyes, on the other hand, hadn’t won a single title in his 10 years at Everton FC, and hence, there was no comparison between the two.

And now we see that difference in the team’s performance as well.

The influence Moyes has over United was already expected. During pre-season, the team lost matches even against Asian clubs, something which had never happened before. Furthermore, the refusal of successful international players to sign up for United under Moyes shows his reputation amongst the football community.

The biggest flaw seen in Moyes’s managerial abilities is the lack of sound tactics and the authority to drop big names from the starting line-up, like Ferguson would do if players didn’t perform well.

David Moyes. Photo: Reuters

Consequently, Moyes has made two costly sign-ups of Maroune Felliani for £27.5 million and Juan Mata for a club record of £37 million, both of whom haven’t performed well. Now, there are talks of giving £150 million to Moyes for a major overhaul in the club, but looking at his recent selection, can the United board trust him?

I definitely don’t think so.

Therefore, by the end of the season, United should look to sign an experienced and high profile manager to bring them back in the game and become part of the elite football clubs of Europe again.

Bilal Muzaffar

Bilal Muzaffar

A freelance sports writer who would like to work as a professional sports analyst in the future and is currently doing his MS. A big football fan who also enjoys watching F1, tennis and cricket. He tweets @bilal__mu (twitter.com/bilal__mu)

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