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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Man United: Moyes should never have replaced Sir Alex


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Replacing Sir Alex Ferguson in the Old Trafford hot seat was always going to be an impossible job. For David Moyes, the Chosen One, that turned out to be the case as the Red Devils went from champions to seventh in less than 10 months.

But the former Everton manager should never have been given the job in the first place. I know hindsight is a wonderful thing but it's true. 

To be manager of Manchester United you need to be brass, you need to be arrogant, but most of all you need to be a winner. While Moyes achieved a great deal during his time at Goodison, he failed to win anything. One top four finish in 11 seasons is not the credentials needed to take charge of the biggest club in the world. 

At the time the decision was welcomed by the fans. Sir Alex had given them so many great memories that they had to back his appointment. Here was a promising home-grown manager doing a great job on limited resources at Everton. Surely he deserved a chance to manage one of the big boys rather than another foreigner coming in and spending money like confetti. 

Moyes understood the history of the club and the importance of youth. 

However, it didn't take long before his appointment started to be questioned. Getting rid of Fergie's loyal backroom staff was not the brightest of ideas. I understand him wanting to put his own stamp on Old Trafford, but he did it way too soon. His inability to convince any top names to join in the summer also set the alarm bells ringing. And then to panic buy and sign Fellaini, who has been a massive flop and is in no way a Manchester United player, was the beginning of the end. 

On the field was causing even more ructions. Old Trafford, once a fortress, was becoming the Theatre of Screams for the home fans. West Brom hadn't won there in years. Neither had Everton or Newcastle. Where as once teams would park the bus and try to frustrate United, they were now going there with every intention of going for all three points.

They were on the receiving end of doubles against rivals Liverpool and Manchester City, and even Everton got in on the act. They were knocked out of the FA Cup and Carling Cup, both at home, and they were fortunate to have reached the quarter-final of the Champions League after that toothless display at Olympiakos. 

It was the performances if nothing else that cost Moyes his job. Under Sir Alex, United would attack right to the final whistle. Even if they were winning 3-0, their first thought would be to make it four, not defend what they had. That defensive mindset of Moyes went against the grain at Old Trafford. It they were winning it may have softened the blow, but to drop points playing that way was frustrating.

And as for the stat that he never played the same 11 in any of his 51 games is astonishing. I know injuries, suspensions and so on play a huge part in team selection, but at Everton he regularly kept faith with his small squad of players. 

Whether he ever had the respect of the dressing room is questionable too. All season we've heard rumours of discontent from the likes of van Persie, Rooney and more recently Welbeck, while Vidic has already decided to walk away.

Manchester United took a risk by appointing Moyes, but it is one that has backfired spectacularly. United will finish outside the top four for the first time in the Premier League era and it's highly likely that there will be no European football next season.

The new manager has a huge rebuilding job on his hands at Old Trafford. Apart from Rooney, Mata, Januzaj, De Gea and RVP - who may well be off in the summer - the squad is full of ageing or substandard players. How do you attract the world's top talent to your club when you can't offer them Champions League football? First off you appoint a top class manager. Louis Van Gaal and Carlo Ancelotti fit that bill. Secondly you spend money, a lot of it. Thirdly, this is Manchester United. They may have endured their worst season ever, but the brand name is known around the world. To be in the squad that gets United back to winning ways would be immense.

Calling all United fans: Who do you want to replace Moyes? Was the Scot fairly treated by the club? Where do you think Moyes will end up now? Whatever your views we'd love to hear from you.

 

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Antony Melvin

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