“Manchester United announces that David Moyes has left the club. The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role.”
After hours and actually days of speculations, the inevitable was officially announced. The statement above comes from Manchester United’s official website and Communications Department post the intense rumors during yesterday’s board meeting.
The funny thing about the statement is that it mentions Moyes left the club rather than being sacked. It is not a secret that his departure was not his own decision the same way his appointment was not his desire.
David Moyes may have been heavily criticized since day one at Old Trafford but he is not a victim. He is a villain. As harsh and unreasonable this sounds, there are facts to prove it true.
Among the few crimes David Moyes committed with the Red Devils was the string of bad results against opponents that never dreamed of winning at Old Trafford. West Bromwich Albion F.C. managed to win in the theater of dreams for the first time since 1978, Swansea won for the first time in their history away to Manchester United, Newcastle finally won in the same place since their last win in 1972, and the team conceded three consecutive losses for the first time since 2001.
On top of the bad results, the whole team’s tactics looked strange and odd in many matches, and the same players who won the league title months ago could not even score regularly or defend properly. Robin van Persie became a mediocre forward who would score sometimes, and even lost interest in remaining at the club.
If all the above is not convincing enough, and you still think Moyes needed more time and new players to build a strong side and win games, it is your problem. Moyes inherited the same team Sir Alex Ferguson bid farewell to, and he even got his own Marouane Fellaini and Chelsea’s Juan Mata to reinforce the squad. Still, he failed.
The more you dig behind the initial appointment of Moyes the more you realize how unfit as the Red Devils manager he was. His ten year plus career with Everton saw him qualify once to the Champions League third qualifying round, and earn zero domestic and European trophies. His best league finish was fourth, only once, and his best points tally was 65 points in 2008. If you compare the current Everton with Moyes stay, they look better. They have 69 points with three more games to be played, and the manager Roberto Martinez is among the best in the league in his first season as their manager. Martinez outshined David Moyes in less than a season with the Toffees.
Roberto Martinez made Everton better than they were with Moyes, while Moyes made Manchester United worse than they should be. Simple equation shows Moyes appointment was a bad decision. Martinez even managed to win twice against Moyes in the Premier League and showed him the right way to do things (Moyes managed to win only twice in the last 17 games against United).
What is next for Manchester United is deciding on an interim manager for the rest of the season, or directly appointing a permanent manager who will study the club better at its bad days and prepare them for better ones. The candidates are Ryan Giggs for interim position, and Van Gaal – Klopp – Simeone – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the permanent role.
Whoever takes charge of the club will face many impossible tasks. The first task is restoring the image of Manchester United as a big club. Second is shuffling the existing squad members and filtering who stays and who leaves. Third task will be convincing big names like van Persie and Rooney of staying. Fourth is luring in new signings (especially that the club will possibly not play in any European competition next year).