David Moyes & Manchester United: Where does the blame lie?

David Moyes has had a tough time at Manchester United since taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson

Author: Bricki

Follow Bricki on Twitter – @Bricki‎

So this is how Manchester United ends… with a whimper and not with a bang. The last 6 months have conclusively proven that our time in the sun is now over and we must accept mediocrity on a level of Liverpool in the 90s.

That’s the only conclusion we can draw from the difficult six months since Sir Alex walked away and David Moyes was given the chalice isn’t it?

I mean it’s not like Sir Alex bled every last bit of success he could out of a group of players we have been saying for several years has been performing better than the sum of its parts. That a manager with over 25 years experience at the same club, a club he effectively had lead role in redesigning and helped to reform from top to bottom, would know exactly how to drive these players further than they realised they could go.

If a manager with 25 years at one of the most successful and famous teams in the world, gives you advice and tells you can achieve something, it might just make you do something many didn’t think you could.

So we come to David Moyes and the current situation we find ourselves in; out of the FA Cup, off the pace in the league and looking likely to face City IF we make it through to the Capital One Cup Final. It wasn’t supposed to be this way for Moyes this season, it was supposed to be a season where we may not have been title chargers but we’d be in the mix.

Was David Moyes the best candidate for the job in the summer? In terms of experience at the level required, success in terms of trophies won and personality then the answer is plainly no. Sir Alex had the casting vote in the managerial decision and seems to have tried to find a manager who resembles himself the most when he first came to Manchester United. The landscape of football has changed beyond recognition since Ferguson first walked into The Cliff all those years ago. Manchester United has changed beyond all recognition from the club Sir Alex walked into. Sir Alex was given the task of rebooting a club that hadn’t been reaching it’s potential and was languishing in the shadow of Liverpool.

Today Manchester United is the biggest name in English football and one of the leading names in the world. The job now is not about rebooting the club but rebuilding a squad that nearly every observer has identified as in serious need of new blood. Ferguson appears to have identified a manager for a job that doesn’t need doing at United. The club is already established and didn’t need the same things as when he came in. The club required a manager who could identify the issues in the squad quickly and act to make the necessary changes required.

Everton fans have said before that Moyes likes to scout a player as much as possible before making a move, this coupled with a Chief Executive who was inexperienced at transfer dealings left us in a situation where the main targets had already gone or no longer wanted to move. A late move for Fellaini didn’t address the issues that everyone were aware of and are now coming home to roost.

David Moyes is of course culpable in some way for this, it is mad to think he wasn’t getting the lowdown on the squad from the moment he was announced and formulating targets. Moyes also didn’t help himself with his openness regarding the chase for Fabregas which ended up making United appear to be chasing their tails. With his more closed comments so far this window he appears to have learned the lesson about not being so open in his dealings.

The biggest problem facing Moyes with the current squad is that he needs do 4 or 5 years worth of squad changes in 18 months maximum. The need for midfield additions has been clear to all for several years and coupled with the likes of Carrick, Evra, Ferdinand and Vidic now reaching the back end of their careers. The lack of investment in dependable replacements have left the squad relying on the influence of a few players who they don’t perform, the team usually struggles. The blame for that situation can be laid at the door of Ferguson, Gill and The Glazers. The concerns of recent years has been paying back debt and getting by with what we have thanks in the most part to Fergusons management of the squad.

The current set of players may not be the greatest the club has ever had however they are a side that should be putting in better performances than we are currently seeing. The side that faced Swansea were all International players who should be delivering better efforts than what is being served up. Darren Fletcher summed up the feeling for many fans after the game by saying that the players are currently letting down the club, manager and fans.

Things such as the leaking of team line ups to the press would never have happened under Ferguson and it appears that some players are almost acting up to see what they can get away with. Much like when you were at school and a supply teacher took the class, some would slack off and not do what they should be doing. It will again take Moyes time to deal with this but we can be certain there will be players moved on due to not fitting with what Moyes wants.

The squad in itself is not in the same state as last year, injuries to Carrick, Rooney and most importantly Van Persie have left the squad missing vital players. The loss of these three has again showed the lack of depth in terms of senior, reliable talent. If we had suffered these sorts of injuries last season we would have struggle to maintain the title charge that we had. Some blame can be placed at the coaching department for injuries but it mostly comes down to sheer luck. Ferguson also had his fair share of injuries but generally had players who could come in and do a job. Those players are not really there now in this squad, the players coming in are more used to complimenting the senior players not taking their place.

Can we categorically say 6 months in that Moyes is or isn’t the man to manage Manchester United? No we can’t, Moyes has effectively been doing the role with one hand tied behind his back so far. Problems inherited from the previous manager are still being addressed and the change of leadership in the boardroom has also hindered Moyes in implementing any squad changes he wants to make.

Sir Alex Ferguson was not Sir Matt Busby when he arrived at the club. David Moyes is not Sir Alex Ferguson, it takes time for things to balance off when such a major change occurs and that time has to be given before a real judgement can be made. If in 18 months time we are looking at a side that are not competing at the top of the table and have failed to show improvements from what we have seen so far then serious questions will need to be asked.

To ask those questions now is foolish and acting now before we have given Moyes time to mould his team will lead to a situation that fans have mocked other clubs for. To not even allow a manager 18 months to build a side is ridiculous. Moyes needs the opportunity to put his side together, if then we are in a similar situation the hard questions will be asked.

For now though Moyes is dealing with issues he was left with, not issues of his own making. We should at least give him the chance to at try and repair them.

23 Comments on David Moyes & Manchester United: Where does the blame lie?

  1. I gotta say i in essence agree with most of what you said..
    For me Moyes was either
    A – Right man, Wrong time or
    B – Wrong man, Right time

    Lets be honest, as has been said many times, this was a job that anyone would want , but when no-one would want it, Firstly the have to replace SAF, then as plain as our noses the squad had reached its end.
    So if we consider A or B. then
    A – If as Fergie believes that David is the man to lead UTD until 2020 then clearly its the wrong time and we needed someone to come and do a job this year and next, get the newer players required and let the older players goto grass, players like Rio/Evra/Vidic/Carrick/Giggs – servents and truely great united players, but now more a part of the history than future, and yes i acknowledge that Evra & Carrick can do job for year or two, but clearly not the future.
    However, if it was B – Then clearly Moyes will know that he has a hiding to nothing, and you would wonder why would he give up a nice comftable job (where he was almost worhsipped) to be a manager in a team that is at the end of cycle, taking over a God and to end up the pariah he will be.
    If we consider both, I truely believed that there are only 2 or 3 managers in the world who could keep us competitive whilst at the same time change the staff that need changing and these are (order of preference)
    1 – Mourinhio – This guy is a mercenary, and whilst not a board favoroutie we know he will come in do a job for 2 (maybe) 3 years but leave us in better position than he found us (look at real madrid, look at inter milan)
    2 – Cappello – Again a man who has done it all, isn’t clearly going to be a long term solution, but someone who can come in, do a job, move the relevant players out and pass the club on in a better position.
    and 3 Lippi – Again the experience of making teams play above their individual quality is what makes this guy tick, His Juventus side were like UTD the last few years, full of experience and sum is better than the parts.

    Now what do all 3 have in common,
    Firstly they can attract players with (probably) no more than a phone call – These guys can attract the stellar names who will drag us through the next couple of years

    Secondly, Winners and been there done it, Heck couple of world cups, 7 (pos) 8 European cups, and many league trophies , these guys can bang their medals on the table with even the most decorated UTD players (Giggs excluded of course lol)

    Finally, They have all managed at the biggest clubs, 2 Real Madrid, 1 Ac Milan, 1 Juventus, 1 Inter Milan just to name some of them, not inlcuding international managers.

    Now buy going with them 3 all of them would take the pressure with pinch of salt, The players would know who is coming in has the scars to prove what they say goes, and finally, its a Stellar name that both the fans and (not forgetting) the press want.

    Whilst I do believe that David can do a job, its unfortunatly not the job that we need at united.
    Lets be honest would you sign for United if we are not challenging and not in European Cup if your a top world player, if Moyes is leading the team, Then chances are very few will (yes our name will still attract the players) however, change this same question to the managers i named above and you will see lot more prepared to come play for that manager.

    Last point, I think the 2 things most people haven’t considered is Gill leaving had a massive impact behind the scenes, and David not keeping some of the coaching staff, I mean letting Rene go and now look what he is doing, Not keeping Mike Phelan on , removing these type of guys has also had a knock on effect.

  2. But must add, I will follow the boys, “Keep the red flag flying high”

    We have had a period of domination that no team apart from liverpool have enjoyed, and now its time to eat a bit of humble pie…..

  3. Wrong choice. Feels like the squad is not behind him.
    We are now playing old fashion football. Hurting me to see that. Sack him!

  4. Hi, I’ve been a United fan since five (I’m 48 now); I can remember myself tuning to SW radio for BBC World Saturday Sports Live, to listen to games, long before the Web was invented. It’s all too easy now, and it’s equally easy to support one this year, and another the following.

    My two pence to the debate on Moyes; I expect to see him and all of his coaching team live permanently in Manchester area. Not in Lancashire, not in Liverpool. Until this happens it will still be a transition period, but a transition period for HIM first, and consequently the team. No one is devoted to a cause, if he commutes to it back and forth every day. I was SO disappointed the other day to read about how he –Moyes– felt when he happened to go downtown Manchester. This is wrong, totally wrong. You, and the partners you have chosen, need to be 24/7 devoted to the team and its surrounding; the city and its people, United’s supporters.

    To me it looks like for the moment the faith SAF, the board and us all are putting is Moyes is much more than his faith towards United.

    There go my two pence.

  5. No – its easy to be sensible about it but a decision needs to be made, he is clearly not fit for the job, give him 18 months of losing at home? Its not going to happen, he should go now and we should get someone in with experience of big clubs and winning championships. I’d rather have Mancini 😉

  6. the Morinho come to MAN UTD i will stop watching MAN UTD game.what about LOUIS VAN GAAL. so my fellow MAN UTD FANS MOYES needs time.

  7. From my vantage-point, it sure looks like AgentMoyes has inherited a cluster-fuck – aging stars not replaced, injuries to the spine of the team, and mid-prime guys who have stalled/regressed.

    Only the NatteringNabobsOfNegativity thought it would turn out so horribly wrong – YET, in only one match (the derby defeat 4-1 against $hitty) have UTD been comprehensively beaten. Most of the other defeats have been characterized by TheLads having a preponderance of play but not scoring. And, if you don’t score then you just can’t win.

    If we replay the tape – give Moyes an injury-free opening-half to the season so that there’s not been so much desperate “tinkering” AND, somehow, depart from the touchline-hugging winger style then one can imagine a quite different situation today.

    But, alas, there has been an avalanche of injuries to everyone of the main men with the exceptions of DDG and NinjaEvra.

    Older players – Rio/Giggs – have declined precipitously and are beginning to embarrass themselves.

    The just-past-prime-time players like Vidic/Evra/Carrick/RVP (who are the spine of the team) have either been injured or else (in the case of Evra) conspicuous by their declining abilities.

    Prime-time guys – with the exception of TheWayneBoy and Jonny Evans – have been hugely disappointing; thus Nani/Anderson/Valencia/Young/Cleverley – have either stalled or else they’ve gone backwards. Fellaini has been a monumental bust. DarrenFletcherinho’s return is a huge boost but he’s not the player he was three/four years ago – will he ever return to that level ?

    Chicharito has been marginalized and, in KagawaBunga’s case, played out of position

    The kids – DDG/Rafael/Jones/Smalling/Welbeck – are all showing promising signs of development while AdnanJ has been a huge surprise. It’s impossible to know what to make of Fabio since he’s had so little playing-time that his rush-of-blood yesterday was as much the result of a heightened desire to impress as it was the Da Silva mode of “getting stuck in”.

    To me, injuries aside, the problem has been that the team has been playing too cautiously and the team-sheets reflect this. I can’t understand how Cleverley/Valencia/Young get playing-time ahead of Kagawa and Chicharito.

    We have no idea of “if”, “whether” or “when” RVP will return; no one has any idea of the impact of Rooney’s “me-first” attitude on his team-mates; AgentMoyes’ brown-nosing seems to have mollified him for the time-being but he’s basically holding the T-E-A-M to ransom. Will the owners countenance spending BIG ?

    For all that, it’s still too-soon-to-tell whether – or not – Moyes is the right man for the job. One thing is for sure, the job is much, much bigger than anyone thought when the succession was announced in May.

  8. One other thing – I had hoped that Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer would get the job as his very brief coaching resume suggests that he is destined for big things. I guess that the second half of this season in south Wales – and Solskjaer’s “running contract” – might still come into play.

  9. Sacking the entire backroom staff and replacing with Everton’s was of his own making. Negative football and tactics and a fear of losing is of his own making. Highly predictable football is of his own making. Mind-boggling substitutions at crucial times in games is of his own making. Signing Fellaini (a style of player NOT needed!) was of his own making. Apart from that, you’re right 🙂

  10. Errr, liverpool fan here And just wanted to say……


    Moyes in moyes in moyes in moyes in!!!


  11. Why do people keep banging on about the squad ?? It’s the exact same squad as last season!! We had a 3 month break for the summer! Nobody has grown old overnight. Yeah we have a few squad members that are getting older, but these guys last season played well. Admittingly we was not great at times last season and other teams blips may have helped, but we still won the league by 11 points with this exact same team. The only thin that has changed is Sir Alex leaving and David Moyes coming in. For me he never warranted the hot seat, he does not have the credentials for the job. Did he really do that well at Everton ?? Look how well Verton are playing this season, that itself kind of speaks volumes. We played 7 friendlies during the summer break, we won 2!!! That itself was the warning signs for me. I called this a soon as Moyes got the job. I knew everything would go tits up!! The club is too big for Moyes, he does not have the winning mentality. Even when we lose, he doesn’t seem bothered by it… Clearly he is the wrong man for the job… Even sometimes the great one Sir Alex made a mistake, I think this was one of them. There is so much negativity surrounding the team, they have lost all of there confidence, we cannot defend, we are so lacklustre, we are rubbish going forward… All in all it’s a total mess! Team selections, tactics, players being played in wrong positions, everything just seems wrong, plain and simple, David Moyes in 6 months has destroyed 26 years of hard work! We are now a laughing stock. Once again, I say about the squad and people blaiming the squad, yes they are under achieving, but would be in this position if Fergie was still in charge ?? NO CHANCE!!

  12. I must confess I’m not a Utd supporter, but Denton Davey’s view is very similar to my own. The key moment came around 4 years ago when Citeh ( no I’m not a Citeh fan either) made the very perceptive decision to make a massive raid on the most important part of the transfer market ie for 24/25 year olds. Citeh bought about 6 or 7 players in this age range and won the Prem 2 years later. 24/25 year olds are just about to hit their peak, often felt to be around 26-28. Fergie’s response is what has caused the problem- he said there was no value in the market, and proceded to turn his attentions more to 20-22 year olds. Cheaper yes, but more of a gamble in terms of whether they come up to scratch, and it takes longer for the maturing process. Because of this you now have a demographic problem in your squad. The 6 over 30’s in your squad have been hugely successful, but don’t forget that it was around 9-10 over 30’s with Scholes, Neville and van der Sar for a kick off. Those 8 or 9 players were able to nurse through many of the younger players who came along. Consequently certain players like Evans,Smalling, Nani, Young and Cleverley have looked better than they really are. Now the over 30’s are in decline and struggling with their own game the cracks are re-appearing. Like Denton Davey I feel the second group of players between 25-30, who should be the immmediate future of the club, are not ready to step up. Only Rooney, and perhaps Valencia are performing up to a good level. Young and Nani have gone backwards, Evans will never be good enough and Fletcher has been unlucky. If the 25-30 year old should form the core of a future team that’s not a promising start. There is more talent in the under-25’s with de Gea, Januzaj and probably Jones and Wellbeck, but you may have to wait 2 or 3 years to see the best of them. The truth is by ducking out of the 24/25 year old market, Fergie left an ageing team, with 25-30 year olds who under-perform, and don’t take responsibility, and youngsters who need time. Demographics are the underlying problem!

  13. great report as ever but i would like to mention the fact that doran said,saf did let the situation slip a few years ago when he said there was no value in the market so he stood by the players that he had at his disposal.we stood still and the game moved on a bit quicker than saf expected,we didn,t play well last season but won the league purely for the fact that everyone in the chase were,n,t that good either.we should have replaced the midfield a few years ago,carrick should have got the player of the season last season for us,we should have moved to rebalance the situation in midfield at this time,2/3 years ago.give moyes 18 months to readdress this form with astute signings,if things hav,n,t improved then,well i dont know where we are going to go.give him a break,let him do his things.fergie did in 88/89

  14. its not a problem with recruitment or injuries like fergie propaganda machine (i.e. this kind of nonsense written here)try to brainwashh some people – the problem is a complete lack of identity in terms of football style – currently we are playing this ridiculous 90’s style football croses and hoping for the best. even if moyes sign some good players, he’s too cautious and defensive and in terms of attack all he knows and understands is long ball direct football. it’s unacceptable at united iam afraid. hope he gets sack soon this pathetic muppet and all his lumsdens and fucking rounds…please tell me are you not bothered that kind of football we play or just simply don’t get it?

  15. Minimal @ 10:55: “the problem is a complete lack of identity in terms of football style – currently we are playing this ridiculous 90′s style football”

    That’s part of the problem – let’s not overlook the essential fact that the two so-called wingers (Young and Valencia) are just dreadful. AdnanJ is not a winger; nor is Kagawa. They’re both “inside forwards”, whatever that role is called nowadays.

    But even if there were two really good “wingers” the essential problem is the one you have brought to the fore: the style of play is outdated. Playing two touchline-hugging wingers means that there are just two midfielders and that often means that UTD are overrun or else TheWayneBoy is dragged backwards, out of position, so that the lone striker is isolated.

  16. Denton Davey is spot-on!

    The best players in the world if they are not played in their best position and to a system that they can perform to will fail. Who has Moyes played at full-back when crucial goals were conceded…Smalling, Fletcher? What position is Kagawa playing in? I doubt he knows! Welbeck playing at 10 but is that his best position? The system of play is so old style British hoof up and pray that I am sure opposition managers and players must be secretly laughing to themselves. If you hoof the ball up either to the wing orthe forward, there is no need for a midfield. Save the money on midfielders and get more wingers and big CBs. Junior footballers learn and progress from hoofiing the ball up to passing it forward from defence to attack through a midfield. But does the team now play better than a junior football team ? The build-up play is so slow and boring with the first thought of passing back rather than forward. How many of our present players have their first thought when they receive the ball to dribble and beat their man! Only Adnan..for now until he catches the 1 step forward 2 step backward disease! Ohh gone are the days of Ronaldo. Now with all that I have said, who’s fault is it? To me it is pretty clear that it is the Manager with his tactics and players placed in the position he wants them to play. Enuff said!

    It is so sad to see players unsure as to where and how to play. Not only does the Manager look clueless the fear and uncertainty has now spread throughout the team. How to do you treat a diseased team? You cut off the infected parts and try and save the good parts before they get infected. First remove the source of the infection – Moyes. Give it the right treatment..i.e. play the players to their strengths and with clear and positive tactics.

    My worry is that if Moyes is given more time, the team and its name will be damaged to a point that our good players will leave. No good players will want to join. You are then left with mediocre players. Performance and results will then suffer and we are down a slippery slope.

    When do we panic? When it looks like we may not make UCL for next year! Qualifying for UCL is the minimum as anything short of that will mean we are heading down the spiral path that will quickly get out of control, no matter who takes over then or comes into the team!

  17. but of course the biggest blame is on fucking peace of shit selfish bastard aka fergie – he is the one who picked up this buffoon moyes with his appaling record and the most boring football style in prem league together with allardyce.. he is the one who got rid of pogba, that an unbelievable selfish bastard fergie is – he cares fuck all about united the main thing for him is alex fucking fergusson. cunt.

  18. i pray everyday for moyes and fergie and these bloodsucking stealing jewish bastards glazers gone:D – they together destroying our club.

  19. Minimal @ 8:18: “these bloodsucking stealing jewish bastards glazers”

    Nice one !

    Still supporting the Nazis ?

  20. @denton :DD, but i just call things real names sorry if someone gets offended, fact is they are sucking blood from our club and they are jews…iam apolitical, but that about current british political regime is not nazi? all this garbage about foreigners and immigrants taking british benefits – how do you call it? for me its right wing nazi racists bullshit too..anyway nobody wants glazers here so that’s the problem..

  21. Minimal @ 1:15: “nobody wants glazers here so that’s the problem.”

    The root of the problem with MUFC lies with the Edwards family who took the team public then sold their shares to anyone with the vision to see that in the age of satellite television this was a gold-mine. Murdoch knew that but he was foiled; the two Irish horse=guys bought shares and then sold them for a 100,000,000 million profit when those shares enabled the Glazers to buy control of the company. Same thing with the Moores family and their ownership of LiverpoolFC.

    I find it hard to complain about chancres (“chancers” is what I wrote) like the Glazers making a profit from a leveraged buyout; that’s the way of the world. I don’t like it but people like us are essentially powerless to prevent it from happening. So, my position is to accept that that’s the “business side” of MUFC – and, who would the Glazers sell to ? another robber like Abramovitch ? or oil/gas-rich tycoons ? or meddlers like Vincent Tan ? All those options are essentially the same as the Glazers – well, maybe the Qatari royal family might be better because they would simply plough the profits back into the business rather than having to incurred a debt/interest payments to purchase the club.

    So, leaving aside the Glazers business style – “chancres” or “chancres” – they’ve not been especially meddlesome. They might not have “reinvested” the money from the sale of Ronaldo into the purchase of new players but SAF repeatedly said that he was never denied money. Fergy should have been more demanding – especially when it was becoming evident in the two failures against Barcelona – that reinforcements were called for BUT he made-do with a somewhat make-shift set of players and kept on winning.

    I’d venture to say that if things had gone swimmingly for AgentMoyes in his first six months then there wouldn’t be the sense of impending doom that surrounds UTD – lets not forget that TheLads have been routed only once (4-1 against $hitty) and most of the other losses/draws have been by an odd goal. Last year, TheLads wouldn’t have lost so many points because they would have scored the necessary goals to somehow squeeze a draw/victory but this time around that’s just not happened. Why ?

    The really dispiriting thing about the first six months of Moyes’ managerial career @ UTD has been how he has “turtled” and repeatedly given chances to the same non-performing players (Young/Cleverley/Valencia) who have shown absolutely no evidence that there’s anything more in their proverbial lockers. He’s marginalized Kagawa, playing him out-of-position; Chicharito has not been used enough and has had no decent “service” and the blame for that has to be divided equally between those three, regular non-performers and the manager. Nani and Anderson have either been injured or not selected so I don’t think it’s fair to lump them in with those three. Moyes not been helped by RVP’s recurrent injuries or the loss of playing time for MC16/Vidic and now TheWayneboy – those four guys are the spine of the team and those four guys have the skill and experience to deal with the other problems BUT they’ve not been available.

    TheLads have not scored enough goals which has meant that there have been too many games which were drawn/lost from a position-of-strength, domination-of-possession, and territorial advantage. These factors used to be translated into goals/wins but this season we’ve seen TheLads do the same things over-and-over-again without any evidence that those things will lead to improvements in performance/results. This has been the root of Moyes’ under-performance – he has been to willing to stick with players/systems that aren’t working.

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