Why United should sack David Moyes

One step forward, two steps back. Just one of the kinder ways that you could describe the catastrophe of a season that United fans have endured ever since David Moyes took charge last summer. We’re not even a year into his tenure, and we have a whole host of reasons as to why he should go already.

No matter where you start looking at his record, this theme is recurring. Whether it be hunting the likes of Thiago and Fabregas, only to end up purchasing Marouane Fellaini for £5m more than his buyout clause. Or if you look at some decent results and performances that we have occasionally produced, only to churn out a completely abject performance just a few days later – the theme is recurring.

Back in May, Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement and a couple of days later his successor, David Moyes, was announced. Following Ferguson’s final home game, he uttered these words:

I’d also like to remind you that we’ve had bad times here. The club stood by me. All my staff stood by me. The players stood by me. So your job now is to stand by our new manager

From all of the managers in world football, Sir Alex chose him, and despite some reservations, fans were relatively positive and supportive of the clubs new leader. We had a tough start to the season, facing Liverpool, Chelsea and City within the first 5 games and sadly only picked up one point from those matches, but not to worry, better times would come once the manager had settled in, wouldn’t they?

Defeat to City was followed by a Capital One Cup victory against Liverpool, only then to go and lose to West Brom. In the following months, we conceded last minute equalisers to Southampton and Cardiff, as well as being beaten at home by Newcastle and David Moyes’ old side, Everton. But then, out of nowhere, United went on a six game winning streak. We had finally found our feet.

As we replaced the calendar and moved into 2014, all hell broke loose! 4 defeats from 7 in January (5 if you include the League Cup exit to Sunderland). Following that result against Sunderland, I wrote a piece for this blog asking the question ‘Where is it all going wrong’ – but in the main, fans still stood by the manager and wanted him to succeed.

Since then, two months have passed, and despite smashing the club record transfer fee to bring in Juan Mata, things continue to go from bad to worse.

The first real cracks in the support began to show following a woeful performance at home to bottom club Fulham where we once again managed to concede a late equaliser having already coming from behind. A poor away performance against Arsenal followed, and then the icing on February’s cake came during our Champions League fixture against Olympiacos. A truly heartless and clueless performance leaving us on the brink of European exile.

Despite victories against West Brom and West Ham, March has been a real tough month too. Just over a week ago we were battered at home to bitter rivals, Liverpool. The 3-0 scoreline isn’t the worst thing, it was the performance on the field. Despite the fans best attempts to inspire the players, it was to no avail. The players were dreadful!

We did manage to overturn our 2-0 deficit in the Champions League, with a Robin van Persie inspired victory against Olympiacos. However, despite our progress to the quarter finals, the team seemed to sit back and invite pressure for the final 35 minutes as we looked to hold on to our aggregate lead. We held on, JUST!

That leads us to yesterday. Another massive game, another local derby, and another embarrassing 3-0 defeat, this time against title chasing Manchester City. It was a dreadful performance and there was a distinct lack of direction and ambition from either the players or the management. We gave Manchester City far too much time and space, with no closing down or pressure on the ball. £27.5m man Marouane Fellaini had another shocker and should have been sent off for an elbow, but it was all the more baffling to see him, and Tom Cleverley deployed in more wide positions for periods of the game.

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The damning stats:

10 league defeats so far this season – the highest amount in the Premier League era.
6 league defeats at home, more than the 3 previous seasons combined
6 points against the 6 teams above us, scoring just 6 goals, conceding 19
27 points worse off than this time last season.
18 points behind leaders Chelsea, 15 behind City who have 2 games in hand!
18 league goals scored at Old Trafford.

So what is the problem?

It is well documented that Sir Alex Ferguson was a phenomenal manager who managed to get the best out of his players. His very presence on the touchline would inspire us to victory no matter how unlikely. Some of the players he left behind were simply not good enough. Players such as Alexander Buttner, Tom Cleverley and Ashley Young to name just three would not be players who you would describe as ‘United quality’ players.

However, that being said, those players won the league last season by 11 points, as well as finishing second to City the season before after picking up 89 points. So the quality must have been there.

But this season, the same players, as well as the additions of Wilfred Zaha, Marouane Fellaini and latterly, Juan Mata, have failed massively! But why?

Of course, the players have to take responsibility for their performances, but the manner of the performances and the lack of passion I witness every week from the stands is alarming, and for this I have to lay the majority of the blame at the doorstep of David Moyes and his coaching staff.

Why is Moyes getting the blame?

Some managers are excellent at certain jobs whilst being less successful in others. Would you want Mick McCarthy as United manager? Not a chance. Would you want him to help you out of the championship? Of course you would. Ok now that’s a bit of a silly comparison but a more realistic comparison would be England manager Roy Hodgson.

In recent years, he worked wonders with Fulham, getting them all the way to the Europa League final. He subsequently took over at Liverpool, but his reign didn’t last long as his bland brand of football left the fans furious. Pressure on the club built and Hodgson left the club by ‘Mutual consent’. He then moved on to West Brom where once again he did well before finally becoming England manager in 2012. The key point is, some managers are more suited to lesser profile teams.

My friends who support Everton were certainly not disappointed when Moyes left their club after winning absolutely nothing. They told me he lacked tactical awareness and a winning mentality. They also recall so many occasions where Everton were in a winning position and Moyes tried to protect it, and subsequently threw away the points. At first, I thought they were just trying to worry me, but after 9 months of him in charge, I can see everything that they spoke about; Now happening at Manchester United.

Interestingly, Everton are now doing better under Roberto Martinez than they did under Moyes, playing a much more positive and dynamic style of football, and crucially, they are still in with a shot of reaching the Champions League.

It is the managers job to not only train the players throughout the week, but have the tactical awareness and flexibility to get a result from any situation. It is also the job of the manager to inspire the players and get them believing in the philosophy that you are trying to achieve. Mourinho for example, despite not being a traditionally attack minded manager, always gets the players playing for him, in the manner he wants, and generally, he is sucessful.

Watching the Manchester United team week in week out, it becomes more and more apparent that the players don’t believe in David Moyes and what he is trying to achieve. The players are low on confidence and if it hasn’t happened already, Moyes must surely be on the brink of losing the dressing room – he’s already lost a good chunk of the fans, with one pictured last night having a go at Moyes himself.

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Why should United sack Moyes?

David Moyes is not a bad manager, but he’s not the kind of manager that a club of Machester United’s stature need.

If the team were genuinely being unlucky, as Moyes has often alluded to, but the football on display were good, then I would fully be behind the manager.

If the results were good but the football were poor, the I would also be fully behind the manager. Let’s not forget, some of the games we played under Ferguson weren’t the best, but we got through.

But the football isn’t good, the belief isn’t there, the results aren’t coming and on the whole it’s been a dreadful season. Moyes himself keeps churning out the same drivel in his press conferences, about how we will ‘try’ to do better, and ‘hope’ we will win. He even went as far as saying Liverpool were favourites last week before the defeat. That’s no way to inspire your team, and it certainly transpired that way. And now, following yesterdays defeat, we are aspiring to be like Manchester City. Wow! Just Wow!

Moyes brought Fellaini from Everton, and you have to wonder why. He’s had a couple of good games but on the whole, he’s been poor, especially yesterday. He strikes me as such a lazy player. Then we signed Mata, a superb player, but then we waste his abilities by playing him out wide. This all after its been glaringly obvious that we need a new midfielder or two, as well as a left back and probably a central defender.

Failure to reach next seasons Champions League, which looks all but certain, will be a huge blow to the club and the fans. Despite it being a blow, it doesn’t have to be a fatal one. We are the laughing stock of Europe at the moment, and I dread to think what will happen against Bayern Munich.

Replacing Moyes now would allow for a new manager to come in, get some belief back in the squad and have a good end to the season. This will show that despite our failings this season, it’s only temporary and we will be back. Ask yourself the question, if you were Toni Kroos, would you want to come to Manchester United only to play this brand of football under David Moyes?

Who would replace him?

In an ideal world, Pep Guardiola for me. But that’s not going to happen considering he’s only just taken over at Munich. So the best candidate for me would be Jurgen Klopp. He’s done a wonderful job at Dortmund, finding some excellent players, winning the league as well as reaching last seasons Champions League final. He does however have to contend with losing his best players every year, with the like of Kagawa, Gotze and Lewandowski all leaving. Ilkay Gundogan is another potential departure this year. Coming to a club like United, he could attract top players and give the squad the belief we so badly lack. He is a character.

However if Moyes were to go now, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to see an interim manager/management team take charge. The likes of Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville are currently in coaching roles with United and England respectively, and by all accounts, Giggs isn’t happy with the way things are going under Moyes. Former United midfielder Paul Scholes also declared his interest in becoming a manager at some point in his career, during a guest appearance on Sky Sports last night as a pundit.

What will happen?

Unfortunately – I think it will take pressure from the fans towards the club to have any chance of Moyes leaving any time soon. Uniteds fans have been praised for their support, but realistically, we support the TEAM. It’s not necesarily support for the manager. The ‘David Moyes Red & White Army’ and ‘Every single one of us, will stand by David Moyes’ songs have not been heard for some weeks now.

Sir Alex selected Moyes and said he wanted the fans to give him time, but the situation and performances have been far worse than anyone could have imagined. We all know Fergie is a stubborn bugger and he won’t want to be shown to have failed in his last big decision as Manchester United manager.

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Upon Moyes’ arrival, a certain banner was placed at Old Trafford, depicting Moyes as ‘The Chosen One’. As good as it is to support your new manager on his arrival at the club, realistically the banner was a foolish idea and should never have been created. For as long as it remains in place, it gives the club the impression that the fans are behind Moyes, because it was put up by a supporters group. Some fans, myself included, believe it should be taken down, other fans are threatening to rip it down leading to it being guarded by stewards at last nights game.

With home games against Aston Villa and Bayern Munich in the next week, time will only tell if the match going fans will vent their anger, or if the anger will be confined to the online realms of social media.

For more thoughts and opinions from Ben, follow him on twitter: @benguest7

About Ben 128 Articles
27 year old football writer from South Yorkshire. United fan and Season Ticket holder in the Sir Alex Ferguson stand.

12 Comments

  1. Too much ink wasted on an obvious conclusion. Moyes must go now. It appears that the media including this article are defensive in their criticism of Moyes. Why? His performance, results, attitude and communication with players and media sucks. What is it that we don’t understand. Everton is better without Moyes and United deserves the same.

  2. I now go to Old Trafford not just praying for a goal, but a bloody shot will do me!!! Bores me to tears watching them.

  3. It is sad to read such evil rubbish. Are you city or liverpool supporter that can write so much stupid things about united? I am ashamed by all the so-called united supporters that only want to bring down the team and are not interesting supporting it? How can anyone judge a manager after 8 months and with no chance to create his own team.

    • You just have to listen to gary neville and paul scholes and you see what they think of moyes.Why put mata on the wing.play him in his position .Neville and Scholes would get them playing

    • Are u liverpool fans or what. U enjoy man utd being thrashed by rivals so u supported moyes blindly. The word create isnt for man utd, we fine tune the squad. We still support man utd regardless it current situation. We just cant bear to see the club destroyed by a bastard. u guys have brains to think or analyse cant u see what wrong. Please stop giving comments that are not helpful.

    • well if u look at the amount of damage done,all record breaking by the way.How do u look at it? This is fans crying and sharing there feelings ,i respect fellow supporters thoughts ,just like yours but will try and make u see that u looking at it wrong,DM is so wrong ,not coz we said so ,he is showing everybody he is .All UTD fans WAS behind him at the start coz SAF asked even if some didnt agree they still did, out of respect for SAF but his results changed all that. He is not the only new manager at clubs in the league there is others also but none of them this bad and they did not get champions,pple say there is too much old players,the majority is still young and says players is not playing good enough,who is to blame for that? Wot is DM and his staff job then,performance u see is wot a coach and his staff puts in to prepare players,so please its not the players.There might not be so much big name players at UTD but SAF showed how they can play together as a team to win any team,moyes on the other hand is showing how any team can win against us.The game has changed ,it evolved and u must keep up or u will be left behind.Managers dont get much time its all about results or u sacked ,there is much more money at risk than in the era SAF started. I keep on asking do u think SAF would have gotten so much time if he had to start now? i dnt think so.All i see know is fans trying to prevent the club from more disaster nobody can blame them,and i see DM now as someone who does not have a clue of wot he is doing except knowing very well how to pump money in his old club.Not just fellaini he paid to get the staff he still trying to sign everton players…wow…wot a thank u for his time there and making sure everton is on top of UTD in the league.Just look at things in every angle and u will start seeing things for wot it is.I read how alot of UTD legends is saying give him time but the damage is so bad already in 8 mnths honestly the club will take much longer than lfc to get back in the game,why allow that?there is not 1 sign of him being capable of succeeding,BE GRATEFUL THAT WE WON OLYMPIAKOS HONESTLY DID WE DROP THAT LOW ALREADY,NO SIGN AT ALL

    • Of course you can judge a manager after 8 months. You can judge practically anyone in any job in less than that time, especially if they are particularly good or particularly bad. I’d have happily sacked Moyes at the start of September after that summer transfer debacle. But them I’d never have appointed him in the first place.

  4. Moyes was a mistake with best intentions by fergie i can live with that what i cant live with is the club not acting on the mistake . Hes just not cut out for this level of football mamagment.

  5. Ferguson always said that nobody is bigger than the club and that should include him. I know he is an absolute legend, but if things keep going this way then all we will be doing is remembering the good old days under Ferguson. It might make Ferguson look bad but this is about Manchester United and we need to remove Moyes now.

  6. well I cant say much ,moyes has 2 years to pull his socks up that’s it!! at least a shot for your strikers, set plays should be his main aim to improve, just look at how city took those corners on Tuesday. learn something… we are use to winning but even if it isn’t the EPL at least put united in the UEFA… ill say sack him after 2 years, he is manager in the EPL for quite a while and no silverware…This is Manchester United!

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