As everyone knows, I’m not the greatest fan of David Moyes. I’m sure he is a good man and he’s proven to be a good manager but he’s simply just not good enough for Manchester United. He’s the Ashley Young of management. A good, solid Premier League pro suited to a team chasing the Europa League, but he is not top level.
However, in the spirit of fairness I asked people who are still ‘pro-Moyes’ to send me their arguments as to why he is the right man to take us forward and why they think he should stay beyond the end of the season.
Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who did write in.
I appreciate the time and effort it took to send in your thoughts. It’s not easy to write in an engaging and interesting manner and only a select few can do it well. Unfortunately for me, I lie with the vast majority who cannot!
I received 12 different articles/responses from various people and they largely had similar themes:
- poor squad lacking investment
- Ageing squad
- Sir Alex Ferguson’s genius
- Players not making an effort
- Poor summer transfer window
- Other teams strengthening better than us
- Did well at Everton with smaller funds
- ‘cut from the same cloth’ as Ferguson
- Ferguson told us to stand by him
- Injuries to key players
- Bad luck
My problem with all of that is, aside from doing well at Everton, it could have been written about any manager that may have come in.
Even Steve Kean would have faced those problems. Even if I agreed with all of the points (which I don’t), it still doesn’t explain why people think he is the right man to lead us forward.
My point to all of the above is this – yes, we have issues at the club but I firmly believe that a different manager would have coped better, in some cases a lot better.
Not many articles actually focused on why they believed Moyes is the right man. Why he, in particular, is the right man as opposed to every manager we could have potentially appointed or could potentially appoint in the summer.
I would suggest this is because nobody really knows why he was appointed aside from the fact Ferguson saw something in him. It was not the logical appointment and in fact, the evidence to suggest he was is minimal.
Anyway, I digress. In among the articles, some good points were made about the manager himself and some stirring stuff about the club.
Below I have taken extracts from the stuff sent to me that I feel are slightly more focused on Moyes and also stuff that I think will resonate with us all.
The following was sent in by Sam Skelding (@TheSkeldinator) who uses Moyes’ previous Everton teams to paint a picture of a potentially brighter future.
“One thing that I, as a fan, keep coming back to with Moyes is the way his Everton teams played. Ok, perhaps in his last season at Everton they were a little more 19th century due to the necessity of having to shove Fellaini behind the striker, but in previous seasons weren’t Everton an exciting team to watch?
“I’m sure people used to talk about them as an exciting, fun side to watch which is almost the direct opposite of what Manchester United have been this season. So, this leads me to believe that, given time, Moyes could make an exciting Manchester United side. Now, let me be clear here, this doesn’t necessarily equate to a winning Manchester United side, just one that is good to watch.
“Now, I do fully understand much of what I’ve said here is assumptions and supposition and for many people, that’s simply not enough. I appreciate that, it’s totally understandable. At points this season, I’ve felt the opposite. I’ve felt that Moyes should be gone, just like many, many others.
“Right now, I think he deserves some time. At the very least, he needs this summer (and he needs to make sure it’s a successful one) and next season. Even then, I feel as though that might be not be enough time. Ultimately, it depends on how his ‘new look’ Manchester United team fare next season. At the moment, I simply live in hope that the next game is the one in which Moyes and the team click, the one in which he gets it right, because I do feel sorry for the man. It was an impossible job.”
This from @Odd_Dizzy was one of the few comments written that looked at Moyes’ specific attributes.
“The Moyes I know has a very good hands on approach. There’s no way he’s just turned to a tactical moron cause of one season. There have been glimpses, not enough for all, but I watched his Everton last season. They played some of the better football in the league, while having a right balance in defence. Of course, against bigger teams he tended to tweak things but many of those criticising him don’t know him. Granted, many want a household name. But it’s only fair that he get given time.
“He’s a thorough man and his work rate is second to none. We’ve got a manager in our hands that is open to change and with ethics, we may not appreciate all that now but with time, he’d get things right. Sacking him I fear is something we might regret.
“His transfer policy, scouting and all is definitely a major improvement. We lose nothing from giving him a bit of time imo. While we might miss a lot if we don’t.”
He then sent this in part of a reply during our email exchange, again extolling Moyes’ virtues.
“Proven track record with transfers, scouting, youth, has a tremendous work ethic, gets the best out of his players very keen on stability. He’s a fighter and with time will build his reputation as a top manager. Knows the league very well too.
“I feel we got ourselves a potential great manager. I feel he has it in him to make a name for himself.”
The following is from @RahulSomaiya11 who also looks at Moyes’ record at Everton.
“To start with, Moyes has nothing but a formidable record at Everton. Taking over the relegation threatened side and turning into a decent side finishing in the top half of the table. Everton have finished eight times in the top half of the table in the past ten seasons under Moyes. Also, he was the third longest serving manager in the league.
“Moyes was known to sign some great value talents during his time at Everton – the noticeable ones were Baines, Oviedo, Cahill, Mirallas and Coleman.
“A sacking in this situation would only lead the players to think they are bigger than the gaffer and even if Moyes doesn’t fit the bill, it’s perhaps too soon to judge what he can bring to the club.
“The fault is not that he isn’t a good manager, in fact he will do well, but Moyes must show the players who is the boss here. Often this season, we have seen players openly complaining about various aspects. If Moyes can be bold enough, make the changes we need and axe some players who haven’t been doing enough.
“He could still do a good job at the club.”
I have decided to end with an extract from @RocBlank’s blog. I like his emotive style of writing and believe it resonates with us as fans. Whilst he doesn’t specifically say why Moyes is the man to take us forward, it’s hard to argue with what he presents (the extract is part of a longer article on his site so I have edited it ever so slightly to remove references to other parts of the text that would look out of place).
“Manchester United – fragile, handle with care
“There is only one reason I support David Moyes. It’s because this isn’t about David Moyes. This is about an identity. If this doesn’t work we’re just another club. We’re no different to City and Chelsea (actually we are different – we’re not as rich). We throw money at problems, we sack managers, we covet agents and we bitch and moan our way from August to May. We discard young players and demand the impossible from the seniors.
“In this new world, the enjoyment we get from our rivals’ misery far outweighs any hope we have for our own future. We sing stupid songs about Vincent Kompany, we trumpet achievements from years gone by to allow for an abject present. In short if this doesn’t work, we have lost everything. This has to work.
“The principles that we’re fighting for have to win out. Youth, continuity, planning, composure – we have to show that these ideals have a place in the modern world. Ferguson was the link to the past. Now he’s gone the club is wobbling, trying to retain its identity under new management. It’s understandable. The club has suffered a heart attack with the departure of Ferguson (and the inexcusable summer transfer window). David Moyes, your job is to help us recover. Because if you don’t, who will?
“View from the Glazers…
“This could have gone two ways. Moyes could have taken to it like a duck to water, born for this moment. Or it could have gone the other way. And it’s gone the other way. Oh it has gone the other way. But the facts remain: Moyes was chosen. He was given a six year deal and given £37million to spend on a Chelsea outcast in the January window.
“He’s also been given a mandate to clear the squad and start moulding as he sees fit. If he’s building a new team – and the Glazers are on board with that – then it takes time. They either sack him now or give him at least two more years. There is nothing in between. The Glazers, Fergie, David Gill – they knew his CV. They knew the risk.
“The pain of watching Mourinho mastermind (and there is no other word – it was stunning the Chelsea performance at the Etihad) a victory over a City side who continually thrash us showed what we’re missing out on – a winning, committed football team fighting for an inspirational manager. Jose is wonderful. But that doesn’t mean he was for us.
“There were very rational reasons why Moyes got the job. Now more than ever we need to stay true to our principles. I can’t deny that this season has been an unmitigated disaster. But nor will I use this forum as an excuse to vent my frustration and list Moyes’ mistakes. There have been some well articulated pieces of that order but I think they’re poorly timed and too short-term.
“The fans have been unbelievable. The singing at 3-0 down at Stamford Bridge was unreal. This is a new time, a new era and it’s going to be a new team. All the Glazers will be hoping is that Moyes, though a slow starter, will take some stopping once he gets going.
That was the most positive stuff sent through. The rest largely looked at the failings of the club/squad. Of course, there are issues at the club but those problems would be there regardless of who might’ve come in or who might come in the future.
I think I have been fair in terms of what I have posted compared to what was sent through. There are a lot of people who understand the club has problems and that Moyes should be allowed to sort them out before judging but a lot has been written on that front. However, I hadn’t seen too many opinions from fans who are pro Moyes. Hopefully, this gives a slight insight into their mindset although I’m sceptical as to how much it has made me change my mind.
I am, perhaps, more sympathetic to his plight but am still unconvinced that we have enough evidence in front of us to back up the claim he can turn it around. Ultimately, I hope he proves me wrong and that he does turn it around and makes us a successful side again. I will happily eat my words if that were to happen as would every United fan who doubts him, I suspect.
As a fan of the club, I hope the people that took the effort to write to me in support of Moyes are right. I genuinely want the man to succeed but unfortunately, I haven’t seen any evidence to even suggest that he can prove me wrong. If he does start to improve. I will get my humble pie recipe prepared (again) for the moment that happens