David Moyes’ reign as Manchester United Manager has come to an abrupt end after just 10 months in charge and giving the side their worst Premier League tally for twenty years. This, in my opinion, is a very unfair statistic to be given to a Premier League manager and one that many journalists and pundits keep focusing on. Yes it is true that 7th place is the lowest they have been in the Premier League but for the other 22 years, Sir Alex Ferguson, arguably the greatest manager of all time was managing the club and was consistently able to construct a team of world-class players. From the Class of ’92 guiding the side to Champions League glory in 1999 to the development of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney making them two of the best players in the world.
David Moyes was thrust into the most pressured job in known memory, becoming the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson, who arguably left Moyes with the worst group of players the side has ever seen. How can you blame Moyes for this season when firstly, the second he walked through the door, the backroom staff decided to leave, giving him no background knowledge of the club itself except for what every other manager can witness on the field and secondly have a group of a team that without the likes of Rooney, Mata and De Gea could just barely scrape relegation. As well as this, Vidic and Evra the senior players and the leaders of Sir Alex’s Premier League winning side from last season seemed to have immediately turned their back on Moyes and do whatever they liked and made the job very hard for Moyes from the outset.
Sir Alex Ferguson did personally select David Moyes as his successor and there are many reason for why he did that. Despite not winning any trophies with Everton in his 11 years as manager, they were consistently in the top half of the table one occasion led took them to the Champions League when securing 4th in the 2004/05 season. Just like Ferguson, Moyes was able to rebuild his side, season after season and he too was able to develop some world-class players in Leighton Baines and more recently Ross Barkley.
On his last day at Old Trafford, Sir Alex gave a very poignant speech, most notably saying “you have to stick by your new manager just like you stuck by me over the years”. This is exactly what the club and the fans didn’t do. What Moyes needed to do and what Sir Alex knew he had to do was rebuild and create his United, which he started doing signing Juan Mata in January. He was certainly on his was to do the same in the Summer when it was heavily publicised that United were after Southampton full back Luke Shaw and Bayern Munich Midfielder Tony Kroos. Signing these two would have been the perfect start for Moyes to create a title winning United side once again but he was not given the time.
I think the most important statistic to focus on is the fact that Ferguson had a much worse first season than Moyes has had despite being a successful manager previously with Aberdeen. He was given time and over time he was able to make the club the most successful in football league history. 10 months is not enough time to do that and I think Moyes should have given at least two seasons to develop the side, even if it means dropping down the table.
This now however makes the Manchester United job even less appealing for big name managers as they know the difficulty that Moyes went through with the club and players. Any manager would have been in the exact same situation but the fact that United don’t know what failure is, the club went on the attack and made a rash decision.
This Summer I think is going to be the most important in the club’s Premier League history because it could mean the regrowth of the club or the start of a twenty-year hiatus, just like Liverpool went through.