“The search for a new manager has been very short. Alex was very clear with his recommendation,” Avi Glazer told the media following Moyes’s appointment as the new manager of Manchester United back in June, 2013.
Although Sir Alex’s decision to retire from football management came as a brute shock to most United fans worldwide, his choice of successor was hardly much. The 72 year old Scotsman had gone on record multiple times expressing his admiration for David Moyes and how he transformed the Toffees into a competitive mid table side with a very tight transfer purse. Despite the fact that Moyes is widely considered as a good manager in England, many people believed that there were other candidates with far more impressive credentials to have succeeded Fergie at Old Trafford.
Even during his term at Goodison Park, the fans had a polarized opinion on their gaffer as many of them felt that their club should be performing much better to their liking in domestic cup competitions. Although the fans still hold Moyes in the highest regard for having brought stability to the club and changing them from a struggling bottom-half side into a competitive top half one, Everton’s improved showing under new manager Roberto Martinez this season goes to show that perhaps the Scotsman was not the right person any longer to take them forward.
Manchester United, under his managerial leadership, have managed to suffer four home league defeats already and find themselves sitting humbly in seventh position in the league table, still six points adrift of top four. They are already out of the FA Cup having lost to Swansea City at home in the third round and remain optimistic about turning around the deficit against Sunderland in the Capital One cup. In short, the reigning champions are possibly in the middle of their worst spell in decades.
And to complicate things further for Moyes, Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie have been missing from action through injuries leaving Danny Welbeck to lead their line of attack.
Manchester United are in the middle of a crisis; the fact that tabloids actually reported ‘manufactured’ stories about Moyes’ possible dismissal from the job only goes to show how vulnerable they look to the media as well as to their opposition. Joe Mourinho’s recent comments on Wayne Rooney’s current contract situation reinstate my above statement; United have become a soft target.
David Moyes has done a lot of right things since he took charge as well as quite a bit of wrong things. There is hardly much room for him to do any more wrongs given United’s current league standing. Although no Manchester United manager has been judged solely on one season, times have changed and now the most successful club in England are owned by Americans who would not risk the club’s valuation to fall.
Moyes has a great opportunity tonight to put things right, to make a statement that he was indeed the right choice for the job when his side squares up against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. It won’t be easy. It never has been.