After Manchester United’s worst start to the season since the Premier League’s conception, Jamie Kirby and Jason Phillips give their views on the future of David Moyes at the club.
YES – Jamie Kirby
The noise around Old Trafford is disconcerting. A man hand-picked by the club’s greatest figure of all time – Sir Alex Ferguson – is being hounded by the media. Of course, this has happened before. After all, Ferguson also brought in Ralph Milne, Massimo Taibi, David Bellion, Eric Djemba Djemba and Kleberson, to name a few.
David Moyes has suffered Manchester United’s worst start to a Premier League season. Underwhelming performances abound, dressing room difficulties and transfer fumbles, Moyes has had trouble settling into his role at the most successful football club in English football history.
So are we to add David Moyes’ name to that list? Let’s refresh some memories.
In 1945, Matt Busby was tasked with taking United from the war into a period of domination. Reforming the club to suit his vision, Busby demanded total autonomy, as well as a five year contract. This patience paid dividends, spanning a 24 year career.
This number has only been exceeded by one man, whose living memory taints any forward steps made by the new man. Yet it was Sir Alex Ferguson who, after guiding United to a second place finish in 1988, followed this by finishing 11th. As fans grew impatient and restless, Ferguson held on, and the rest is history.
And this is where it should remain, and Moyes knows this.
Moyes has reformed his backroom staff despite advice from Sir Alex himself. He has a six year contract in which to rebuild a squad whose reputation is diminishing, as old stalwarts will need replacing in the near future. Ferguson left knowing this, and knowing that there was a long-term project required to fix it.
And as for their start to the season, even as recently as 2002, United languished one place and one point above their current tally.
They went on to win the title by five points.
While this may not happen again, as City and Chelsea grow into their new manager’s styles and Liverpool and Arsenal experience a resurgence, I know one thing for sure.
If it takes finishing 11th to form the foundation for another 24 years of glory, I think I’d take it.
NO – Jason Phillips
When Sir Alex Ferguson announced his shock retirement after 27 years at Manchester United, there was only one question on the lips of pundits, fans and anyone associated with the industry. Who could replace the Great Scot? Would it be Joyous Jose from Real Madrid? Or what about King Klopp from an on-form Borussia Dortmund?
Moyes’ appointment at the club could be seen as an enormous step down from the highly charismatic and popular Ferguson. Despite his predecessor claiming that his fellow compatriot is the right man for the job, I believe that it has got to the point of no return for the Bearsden-born manager.
While last season’s title winning team conceded 43 goals, Moyes’ stumbling squad have let in a staggering 9 goals at such an early stage in the new season. To add insult to injury, Wayne Rooney’s insulting and distracting controversy has already clouded a previously optimistic new era at Old Trafford.
To add to my argument, you have to look at the managerial patience around the footballing world. Chelsea have had 11 managers within 13 years, while one season of struggles at Manchester City triggered Roberto Mancini’s one way ticket back to Italy. Despite the anomaly of Arsène Wenger at Arsenal, the modern day football manager has too much to do with so little time, giving the window of patience a short-term lifespan in the sport.
Champions League qualification can generate millions of pounds in revenue for a football club, adding to the extra worldwide exposure and marketing firepower it gives a club. With United sat at 9th in the league at this stage, the fear is that if this side doesn’t start performing consistently soon, the stars will fade abruptly for Moyes and his boys. 20 league titles, 11 FA Cups and 3 European trophies, there is no doubt that Manchester United Football Club are one of the biggest names in football. But, if they want to continue to ply their trade among the elite, changing to a manager with as big a name as their own could be the only answer before it becomes too late.