David Moyes divides opinion among Manchester United fans. Some want him gone, while others believe he needs more time.
As a dispassionate observer of events at Old Trafford, I have decided to support fans in the former category and have started a one-man Twitter campaign with the hash tag Sack Moyes NOW. This campaign will continue even if Manchester United knock out Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. A possibility that’s not as far fetched now, as when the draw was made a couple of weeks back. Man United put up a spirited display on Tuesday to go to Munich on level pegging, at one goal apiece. Despite Bayern scoring a precious away goal, the tie will be turned on its head if the away team score first on Wednesday. In fact both Tuesday’s quarter-finals are balanced on a knife edge, an identical scenario obtained in the Barcelona, Atletico Madrid tie. Both Spanish sides contriving to play their fourth draw in all competitions this season, an amazing sequence of results.
Back to Moyes, I feel his appointment was a monumental blunder and he must be judged on Man United’s league placing. No matter the excuses or platitudes trotted out by ‘the give Moyes time, he will come good’ brigade’, he has taken a team of champions, who won the league with consummate ease last season by eleven points, to being in danger of not qualifying for Europe all together. The fact that his former team Everton under his replacement, Roberto Martinez are making a late push for a Champions League spot is a damning indictment of Moyes’ ineffectual stewardship at Man United.
Even though its universally accepted Man United’s substantial investment in relation to their title rivals, the inconvenient truth is that Moyes made a fundamental error when he joined the team. He tried to reinvent the wheel. We accept that replacing Sir Alex Ferguson was going to be an onerous task but in his final years at United, how much coaching did Ferguson actually do? All the training and tactics development were handled by Ferguson’s trusted and vastly experienced backroom staff of assistant manager Mike Phelan, Head Coach Renee Muleesteen and goal keeping coach Eric Steel, all of whom were immensely popular with the players and all of whom were deemed surplus to requirements by Moyes. I read an article by Micheal Owen where he wrote that match day was only two per cent of a footballer’s actual preparation. The other 98 per cent takes place behind the scenes. Moyes came and swept away decades of trophy winning experience and replaced that with his neophyte coaching crew from Everton. A manager with no track record of winning trophies dispensing with a highl- experienced boot room was a serious error in judgment. The players Moyes inherited from Ferguson may not have been good enough to retain their title due to the consequent improvement in their nearest rivals playing staff. However, they are much better than the seventh place they currently occupy in the English Premier League.
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