On 22 April at 8:30am, the Manchester United official twitter feed announced that David Moyes would be leaving the club. It claimed that “the club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role”. Due to the bad season United have had, this did not come as a surprise to many. Sophie White weighs in to the argument.
Personally, I feel sorry for him, as he built up a solid ten-year reputation at Everton and he finally made it as manager to a ‘top’ club before being sacked. This has definitely tainted his reputation, and debatably ruined it. However, it is fair to say that anybody following the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson (who managed United for an astounding 28 years) would struggle.
Although Moyes was personally selected by Ferguson himself, he lost the vital support of United’s owners, the Glazer family. Simon Stone from BBC Sport said that, “the sacking of Moyes was inevitable after Sunday's awful performance at Everton”, where they lost 2-0.
It has been announced that former United player Ryan Giggs will step in as acting manager for the last four games of the season. However, while he does have a vast knowledge of the club, he has no management experience whatsoever, so it will be interesting to see how the next few games pan out. Although, because he has been managed by Ferguson, he can draw upon advice he gave him as a player and use it for his managerial role.
There are many things the media have critiqued Moyes on, such as the dramatic fall in the league table. They have failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1995. They will end their season with their lowest points total in Premier League history, and their home record this season is the worst it has been since 1978.
At present they are seventh in the Premier League with four matches still to play. This time last year they were first, eleven points ahead. They have also lost six league games at home.
Another mistake he made was not playing with a consistent team. There have not been two consecutive games where the players on the pitch have been the same. He has not given time for the players to gel together and work as a team. There appeared to be little desire and passion for them to win.
Related to this is the fact that the players he has bought have been playing out of position, such as playing Mata on the right wing. It has been theorised that he is trying to implement the same style he used with Everton for ten years, which could United into a standard mid-table team. On the other hand, the current playing squad is arguably the weakest it has been for many years.
He has made some bad transfer decisions too. He bought Marouane Fellaini for £27.5m, when if they had acted quicker, they could have bought him for £4m less. This made officials lack confidence in him – they had to be sure he was the right person to make these decisions. With the mistakes he has made thus far, he could not be trusted to make the nine-figure investments required over the summer.
However, in my opinion he has been unlucky and has been treated too harshly. United have not had a new manager in 28 years, so they should have let Moyes settle and have more time to gel with the players and adapt to his new role.
It is unfortunate that has been sacked. But it was always inevitable that the manager after Ferguson would be compared to him. That being said, he should have been given more of a chance to prove how good a manager he actually is.