When Fergie decided it was time to leave, I was devastated to think what the team would be without him. For years his presence on the byline had being the one constant with Manchester United the thought of him not being there was just inconceivable.
One of the reasons I loved Sir Alex was that he was a genius at master stroke. I remember a couple of *seasons ago in an FA cup match against Arsenal, he played seven defenders and still managed to win the game comfortably, most recently dropping Rooney to the bench in the Champions League quarter final match against Madrid; which seemed to be working until the Turkish ref decided he needed his time in the spotlight.
Whatever the decision was, whether it was using O’shea as a winger, leaving Berbatov out of the team list for the CL final against Barcelona, you always knew Sir Alex had an ace up his sleeve. So when he decided that Moyes was his pick among so many plum, we all took the leap of faith; after all Sir Alex was rarely wrong.
David Moyes had supposedly achieved the impossible at his former club Everton, making them a formidable force despite the club’s financial constraint, so definitely Ferguson had just provided another master stroke. Not only was David Moyes a part of a long term plan by the club despite his never winning a trophy in his years as a manager, he was shrewd and looked to be the younger version of Sir Alex Ferguson or so we thought.
Fast forward to Tuesday night’s derby humiliation against yet another bitter rival and the fairy tale has turned to something out of a Stephen King novel.
Most United fans started falling out of love with Moyes and speaking out vocally about it after the match against Olympiacos. That was the first time many fans started to ponder the hashtag #Moyesout! That was the first time I had heard analysts and sport writers express their fears that Moyes might be in over his head. But to me they were a little too late!
I knew Moyes was in over his head when Man City pummeled us like kids in their own backyard and where was the next Sir Alex? On the bench with his head in his hands!! For days after that defeat, that was the one image that circulated the net and the newspaper and that did it for me. Why? Simple, this was a man the players were supposed to look to for confidence and inspiration and there he was cowering in the stands like a wet puppy.
Here are the reasons why I think Moyes’ time is up at Old Trafford.
1. United have lost its fear factor, time was when they walked into almost every match as favorites, not these days. Every team now believes that they can get a result off Manchester United.
2. Moyes has destroyed every conceivable record United had before he took over at Manchester United. Tuesday’s defeat was the first time City had beaten United 3 times in a row at Old Trafford in 42 years. The defeat also means that United has lost 15 times this season, the first time in over 22 years. United currently lie 7th, the lowest they have being since the inception of the current Premier League format. Against Liverpool United conceded 3 penalties, they haven’t conceded a penalty at Old Trafford since 2004. It’s like Moyes is saying, ‘show me a record and I will break it’
3. Moyes just doesn’t know how to inspire confidence. This same team blew the EPL apart last season, playing with verve and pomp. Not this season, most times United have played so lethargic, so nonchalant that it is painful to watch. You look at the players and they look like they have got the weight of the world on their shoulders. They have got no guile, no finesse and their confidence is shot. Even Mata who was Chelsea’s player of the year 3 times, is playing like a kid fresh out of the academy, most matches he is simply invincible. What can you say about Fellaini the man who bullied the EPL last season?
4. Many people would argue that Moyes inherited an aging team, but we are talking of the same team who won the league last season. Again only 7 of the current United team are 30 and above; that is one more than Chelsea, the rest are between 18 and 29. So how is that an aging team?
5. Everton are having a fairy tale season and one would dare say that it has being Moyes holding them back. Berkley is playing with such verve he never showed under Moyes and not just him, the whole team too. They look compact and could even be in the Champions league next season! Something Moyes never managed.
6. Moyes lacks any tactical nous. Some of Europe’s finest play a particular blend of football, Barcelona play the tiki taka, Bayern play a strict type of possession football something not akin to Barcelona’s tiki taka but with a blend of German about it. But I can bet no football analyst in the world can give an insight to what Moyes’ game plan is. His team selections have being hopeful instead of inspired most of the time, his game plan even more so. Many people will point to the his deployment of Giggs in the Champions league clash against Olympiacos as genius. But I simply see it as luck and the players playing for pride. Even his former player Berkley stated that current Everton coach was better tactically than Moyes. What more do you want?
6. People have argued that Moyes should be allowed to build his own team from the ground up, suggesting a complete overhaul of the team. But would you trust Moyes with 200 million? This is a guy who chose Young over Zaha, gave Nani a 5 year contract for no return at all! Bought Mata for 37.1 million pounds and deploys him to the wings? When United was crying for creativity, dropped Kagawa to the bench and sometimes out of the team list in favor of Cleverley. This is the guy we should trust to build a team at Old Trafford?
7. Moyes’ post match talk have become sadly predictable. ‘I thought we played well…. We lost concentration and we lost the game…. We would try to make ourselves unbeatable.’ But last night’s talk almost made me mad! How can a manager say that?! That your rivals are playing at a level you aspire to? Maybe Moyes should aspire to coach at the level the managers at the top levels are.
Honestly United are sitting pretty at 7th place because they hired a mid table manager to manage a top four club.
8. Moyes has no pedigree to fall on! So how on earth is he going to attract big name signings to the club? If the only incentive United has to attract players is money, then I think honestly we are headed into dangerous territories. Nobody wants to play for a uncharismatic manager who has never won a trophy.
Much has being made about how busy United are going to be in the transfer market come the summer, but the truth remains that if you put the engine of a Toyota in a Ferrari, it is just a Ferrari in name. What am I saying? If United acquires the best in the market, it will take a good manager to utilize every player and their strengths, if not it’s just a bunch of great players.
Time and again football aficionado have stated that one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s biggest footballing mistakes was selling Jaap Stam, but I think appointing Moyes as his successor crowns the cake. Moyes has had a full season’s audition and honestly he is not up to the job, but we know Manchester United is not a firing club and Moyes isn’t about to step down, so as a Manchester United fan I guess it is time to say goodbye to champagne nights and embrace the new dawn of nights in the shadows of the top 4.