Gary Neville believes that Manchester United’s players are more in danger of leaving the club in the immediate future than David Moyes is.
Neville has verbalised his frustration at managers this season being sacked before they have had the opportunity to build their own team and feels that because of the philosophy Manchester United have had over the years, Moyes is safer in his current position than the players are.
“I said earlier on in the season the players will be in more danger than the manager,” he told Sky Sports.
“The way in which Manchester United have always worked is to give the manager time and I believe in that philosophy.
“Managers are getting sacked after 70 days but to even think of sacking a manager after seven months is nonsense, so I think [United] will support Moyes.
“You look at the people on the board, and we’re talking about the Glazer family and whether they’ve ever been put in this position before.
“But you look at the likes of David Gill, Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Alex Ferguson – who are obviously the main football people at Manchester United – and I don’t think for one second it will be crossing their minds at this moment in time.
“The players will be more at threat and feeling nervous about whether they are part of the future.”
To an extent, it is easy to agree with Neville. United’s players have been atrocious this season in their attitude and approach to playing for Manchester United under Moyes and a lot of them have been under par.
Even if you take the last few weeks as an example – if Van Persie had scored his one-on-one against Arsenal and buried his chance against Olympiacos, United wouldn’t be in such a doom and gloom situation right now but that is how small the margins are.
Moyes is under immense pressure and his job is certainly on the line but not in the immediate future if Neville is to be believed.
He added: “I think Ed Woodwood said as part of his shareholder announcement a couple of weeks ago that the money would be there for Moyes to invest in the summer.
“I truly believe Moyes will get given the opportunity at Manchester United to complete his work.
“I’ve said myself, two to three years is the time that should be given to a manager for him to try and do a piece of work – there will be people who will disagree with that but that’s my opinion and you won’t change that.
“Sir Alex Ferguson got given two to three years and now people turn around and say that’s 25 years ago, well alright, what’s changed? Are we saying managers can’t get given time now?
“I don’t know what the board are going to do but my view of that club, which is the way they always speak and the way they’ve always behaved, is that managers get given time – Ron Atkinson gets given time, Dave Sexton gets given time, Sir Alex Ferguson gets given time.
“The people who are there believe in the philosophy around the club and have been at United for many, many years and that’s why they’ve given David Moyes a six-year contract.
“I have to say at another football club, whether it be Chelsea – we saw with Andre Villas-Boas who was sacked – or Tottenham, Moyes would be in a lot more trouble.
“But he’s at the club that you’d say he was probably safest, where the club will stand by him – think about Sir Alex Ferguson, he’s public on his philosophy around giving people time.
“It probably jars against what most clubs are doing these days but, that’s the Manchester United way and always has been and they would have to change that philosophy.
“In terms of an acceptable season it’s gone because Manchester United have to win a trophy – that’s the barometer of measuring Manchester United’s seasons.
“It’s not acceptable that Manchester United don’t win a trophy, it’s not been acceptable for 25 years, it’s not going to change this year.”
Neville is right that the philosophy of United is to give managers time due to the longstanding philosophy of the club but thanks to Sir Alex Ferguson, there is an overwhelming philosophy that overrides anything else – winning trophies.
Moyes was never expected to win anything in his first season and he won’t but if the board continues to back him into next year, he will have to perform immediately with the squad he builds because United cannot afford to be out of the reckoning for two years on the bounce.