Fergie time is now Moyes’ only hope

March 16, 2014 Tags: , Reads 47 comments
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It was, frankly, the worst Manchester United performance against Liverpool at Old Trafford for two decades. So limp was David Moyes’ team that the Scot’s decision to bring on substitute Rio Ferdinand for Juan Mata, with the Reds already 3-0 down, summed up United’s ambition. There simply wasn’t any on a day when Brendan Rodgers’ side was superior in every single department from management down.

Indeed, so poor was Moyes’ outfit that all logic points to Sir Alex Ferguson as the Scot’s final hope of remaining in the United job long enough to correct the failures of a disastrous season. Sir Alex, it seems, is determined that Moyes will get “time” in the job. There is little doubt that at each of United’s peers on the continent the former Everton boss would have already been ignominiously sacked by now.

Dumped out of the FA and Capital One Cups, seventh in the Premier League, and seemingly heading for European exit, United’s season could hardly have been worse before Sunday’s derby defeat. It has hit a new nadir mostly of Moyes’ own making.

Yet, the brutality of Liverpool’s performance at Old Trafford is impossible for United’s supporters to stomach, no matter how circumspect the old guard has become amid the club’s slide this season. Not only were the Merseysiders’ full value for a thumping victory, but another brace might not have flattered the Anfield outfit.

If any data point is a précis for Sunday’s match – and there are many, few of them flattering for the home side – then United’s single shot on target over the 90 is perhaps the most succinct. Complaints about the three penalties awarded to the visitors should drown in the complete lack of creativity proffered by the home side.

It was a match in which United looked lost at every turn. Moyes’ side was conspicuous for a lack of shape, an absence of a clear pattern and an approach devoid of philosophy. The visitors, by contrast, were everything that United was not.

And the savage truth, whatever the limitations of United’s squad or failure in motivation with which many of the home side appear to be suffering, is that United’s lack of identity is entirely Moyes’ responsibility.

Worse, the home side was naive as well as mediocre on Sunday. That Liverpool dominated so completely and Moyes failed to make a single change of note before the 75th minute smacks of a coach out of his depth and devoid of ideas. It was ever thus under the 50-year-old Glaswegian. With Michael Carrick and Marouanne Fellaini overrun by Liverpool’s three-man midfield it was little wonder the visitors created chances with such ease. Moyes did nothing to fix an obvious failing.

Meanwhile, in United’s back four Nemanja Vidić and Patrice Evra proffered a timely reminder that age is no friend of two formerly great players who have appeared on more than 650 times for the club in aggregate. Rafael da Silva and Phil Jones, two talented but frustratingly raw defenders, contributed fully to United’s defeat.

And up front no amount of spin from United’s over-worked communications department can mask quite how unhappy Robin van Persie is this season, nor how poor the Dutchman’s form. In his shadow, Wayne Rooney’s fizz has withered through the winter, although the ink on that £15 million-a-season contract is barely dry. The Scouser looks every inch a player over-trained and under-rested.

But few players summed up the tactical mess better than Juan Mata, the £37 million playmaker forced into a manifestly uncomfortable role on the right wing. Indeed, those observers who continue to press for the Spaniard’s inclusion in a wide role seemingly forget quite how Moyes prefers is his wide men to operate.

In Mata and Januzaj United boast two hugely talented players who prefer to operate from central areas, yet 80 per cent of United’s play was compressed to the two wings on Sunday. It was, as ever, infuriatingly predictable from United, with supporters’ anger building with each new episode.

It should be alarming how few chances Moyes’ side creates, but it has been a season coming. The Reds have scored just 18 goals at home in the campaign – the same number as bottom-club Fulham.

Still, there was little answer from Moyes in the aftermath, where sorry excuses have become the norm and confidence is absent. United’s manager has neither the insight to analyse the Reds’ fall, nor a plan to resurrect a path to success.

“It’s difficult to explain it,” Moyes said. “I felt as if the players were in good shape and good fettle going into it, but we didn’t get to the standards required. I’ve seen confident players who are well motivated and hard-working and conscientious. I’d not seen that coming.

“There’s disappointment for everybody that we didn’t get the result today, and disappointment about the goals and the way they were conceded. We had a spell where we played quite well and tried to get ourselves back in the game with one or two half-chances. It’s difficult to explain.”

Yet, it is a message that sounds so familiar; one of victimisation that is inappropriate for the manager of England’s 20-times champion club. There is now little shock in the whispers emanating from United’s dressing-room that all confidence in Moyes has drained away. That Ryan Giggs is among the disciples lost, according to fanzine Red Issue, is perhaps Moyes’ starkest warning yet.

This was, after all, every bit as poor as United’s performance against Olympiakos in Greece last month – and that was the worst United exhibition in a decade. There is little evidence to suggest Moyes’ side will turn around a two goal deficit in the Champions League Round of 16 clash with the Greeks at Old Trafford on Wednesday night – a game when the Reds’ season may effectively come to an end.

It may well be a night when the patient minority turn on the former Evertonian; when Ferguson’s call for time finally runs out. After all, time is not only a commodity for good, but one in which more damage can be done.

Time may well be less than constructive given the mutinous rumblings from inside Carrington’s closed walls. The regularity with which half-a-dozen United players seemingly switch off says much.

Indeed, defeat to Liverpool cannot be viewed in isolation. The decline in fortunes has been so rapid under Moyes that the Merseysiders’ performance at Old Trafford is simply a précis for a season lost. One, unfortunately, from which United’s manager has no guaranteed roadmap to success.

After all, whatever expenditure the club empowers Moyes to undertake this summer is viewed in the context of the Scot’s tactical and philosophical approach. The £75 million spent on Mata and Fellaini has brought little but confusion, and almost no incremental improvement. There is, in contrast to Sunday’s victors, no clear path on which United now headed.

It is an observation that draws an obvious question: whether Moyes should be trusted with a third transfer window and the time that Ferguson is desperate for his protegé to enjoy? Time that Sir Alex earned in an era of very different challenges.

“It’s a nightmare,” said striker Rooney in the post-match fallout. “It’s one of the worst days I’ve ever had in football and it’s hard to take.”

That is a sentiment which can be applied to a entire season.


Sanjay Modha - March 16, 2014 Reply

good read. I can’t see how giving Moyes £150m+ in the summer will help

Sanjay Modha - March 16, 2014 Reply

surely it’s more reason to mess things up

Scott Sartin - March 16, 2014 Reply

“: New on Rant: Fergie time is now Moyes’ only hope – http://t.co/NZ8oIqMI2E #unitedrant http://t.co/4ZemmaFNIy” #true #fair #sad

Giles Parker - March 16, 2014 Reply

Time for Moyes to go, no idea whatsoever.

Steve - March 16, 2014 Reply

Nevermind old Ryan (22 years past his prime) will be back next match to provide the Hoofs for Fatman and Robin (both 10 years past their prime).

Geraldthadevil - March 17, 2014 Reply

Notes has no clue….RVP,Rooney every single game..get Hernandez in there let him start for once…..make Rooney n Van Persie thrist for games a bit…..get rid if cleverly n use Kagawa……..cant u see what happened in the previous game? Moyes is not Fergie stop conceding early u don’t have the character to do come backs…nobody believes in you…..go for the throats from the onset…..Rooney n Rvp might as well b injured they started every game since they came back from injury….use welbeck who had momentum when they were absent …not all the time but every now n then bench one of the two main guys….also bench mata sometimes as well…what a puasy weak fool of a manager.

Kathleen Flaherty - March 17, 2014 Reply

I will have to go back and finish reading later. Great article but when got to Moyes quote was so annoyed almost threw my phone

zac lazari - March 17, 2014 Reply

There’s not much to say really other than the guy is totally fucking useless and a fucking parasite who deserves to be sacked immediately

zac lazari - March 17, 2014 Reply

The Utd board should wake the fuck up

abdul - March 17, 2014 Reply

D.Moyes should be sacked right now

Andrew - March 17, 2014 Reply

The nightmare will only end once Moyes is removed as manager of Man Utd. You hit the nail in the head, “After all, whatever expenditure the club empowers Moyes to undertake this summer is viewed in the context of the Scot’s tactical and philosophical approach”. Moyes has no footballing vision, tactical or philosophical approach.

The fact that his only two signings are completely different from one another shows that Moyes has no clear vision. In makes it all the worse that neither of is signings have been successful and they were both very expensive. Moyes has wasted enough money.

Liverpool were terrific today and the difference between the two teams was massive. Liverpool were a team with a clear vision of how they wanted to play football, clear tactics and players that understood their roles. Man Utd were a team that looked lost, slow, tired and ageing with every minuet that went past.

It going to be a long road to get Man Utd back to where they were. I would much rather we went forward with a young coach with fresh and clear ideas about how he wants to play football, like Brenden Rodgers and Roberto Martinez has shown for their clubs. My choice would be Frank de Boer.

dudley dooright - March 17, 2014 Reply

i am a die hard Utd fan and could not agree more with you…..I used to coach the Toronto Blizzard (now Toronto FC) and my bet is the team they are putting out now, could beat Man U.
Enough already….Moyes has wasted $64m on Fellaini and Mata (reason the special one didn’t need him anymore- no energy) pleeeeease do not let him stay beyond the end of season because I just don’t trust him enough to spend ANY of it wisely,,,,,he is a complete fucking dreamer…..what is the point of complaining about refereeing when you get one bloody shot on target – AT HOME !
Pull the trigger and put us fans out of our misery and before you lose half of your commercial value as a club…..and Fergie STFOOI and let it happen , for all our sakes !

Steve Brown - March 17, 2014 Reply

Think DM needs to use one of those IPads to write his letter of resignation! #cluelessmoyes

Sel - March 17, 2014 Reply

Once again spot on. Time is up for Moyes, he can’t be blamed as he is just not cut out for a club the size/expectations of utd. The players have lost the little belief they had in him and it’s been showing week in week out. It’s prob also time for Fergie to cut his ties with the boardroom, he has been a shadow hanging over Moyes for the entire season, he has been visible at far to many games. The Moyes appointment will raise questions over his judgement as will the no doubt unwillingness to sack him due to the belief he will turn things around. I’m afraid that aint going to happen so he shouldnt be in position to spend the transfer budget during the upcoming summer

Salford Red. - March 17, 2014 Reply

The cliche is that match going reds are preaching patience. I don’t think that’s the case. All the clued up reds I know understand our decline will be irrevocable if he doesn’t go. The main reason being his tactics. The heat maps of our games this season and Everton’s last season are scary: 95% of play coming down the cluttered corridors of the wings; the chasm between our midfield and forwards meaning anything coming through the middle is hoofed forward and as a result maintenance of possession is the exception never the rule. His most damming trait is the fact he shows no insight or inclination to change or adapt. There’s continuity and there’s atrophy. Nice guy got to be put out of his misery.

Mongoletsi - March 17, 2014 Reply

There’s still a lot of vocal support. But it’s for the players, for the club.

Salford Red. - March 17, 2014 Reply

The cliche is that match going reds are preaching patience. I don’t think that’s the case. All the clued up reds I know understand our decline will be irrevocable if he doesn’t go. The main reason being his tactics. The heat maps of our games this season and Everton’s last season are scary: 95% of play coming down the cluttered corridors of the wings; the chasm between our midfield and forwards meaning anything coming through the middle is hoofed forward and as a result maintenance of possession is the exception never the rule and perhaps his most damming trait, his disability or disinclination to change or adapt his team structure either in match time or in preperation for a match. There’s continuity and there’s atrophy. Nice guy but got to be put out of his misery.

m b shaw - March 17, 2014 Reply

I guess a night mare for not only Rooney but 4 all Utd fans. The way forward for united is to get rid of moyes and regret ever having him as a coach. He is the worst coach in my experience to ever coach a big team. He is not fit for the job. Let him go!!!

Hosea - March 17, 2014 Reply

David Moyes is simply not good enough to be the manager of Manchester United.

As simple as that.

With him at the helm, UNited is going to be camping in mid table for a long, long time.

Just like Everton, which is the best he can do.


SKW - March 17, 2014 Reply

Changed your opinion yet Ed?

The sad fact is I now root against us because only a disaster in the next few ill get this clown out. So oddly, in that sense, I’m reduced to being glad we were thumped.

Mark - March 17, 2014 Reply

I’m rather embarrassed to agree but I was looking forward to the Liverpool game too. 1- because they’ve been playing some real attractive football this season(something I haven’t seen from my team) and 2-for the good walloping they’d give us and the hope it will get Moyes gone sooner!

Why the board is sticking by him is inexplainable. To all the people who say..give him more time..has anyone ever actually come forward with a single reason why he should be given more time?? What has he ever proven, except that he can root a team to mid table?
He is not the man for the job. He never was. He believed he could ride on the legacy created over many years with his mediocre talent, but has only succeeded in pretty much destroying everything in a under a single season.
He just looks more and more clueless by the week.

I’d love to hear his explanation for bringing on Ferdinand at the end there. I have no managerial skill whatsoever and I’m pretty confident even I could shoot holes all through any argument he put forward over that one.

Ed was totally correct in saying that just because he’s given more time things wont naturally get better. More time could also just continue the rot, take us further down the wrong path, and lead to the poor next manager having further to climb back from.
No other club would accept this form from their manager. No club. Why on earth would you let him do it to the biggest club in the world?

The_Philosopher - March 17, 2014 Reply

I’m also looking forward to defeats because they mean Moyes is one step closer to the exit.

I hope we lose against Olympiakos, West Ham especially (OMG we need to lose that game) and then obviously we need to lose against City.

If we lose our next 3 games I don’t know how Moyes could survive that.

KJ - March 17, 2014 Reply

Hi ED, what do you think of Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk? And how do you think Nick Powell will fit into the 1st team next season?

Andy Taylor - March 17, 2014 Reply

What a contrast to the same fixture last year. United were awful. Moyes has got to go.

red1961 - March 17, 2014 Reply

When are people on here going to realise (like I finally have) that it doesn’t matter which players he picks or which formation he uses the end product will be the same.
It is pitifully to watch his antics on the sidelines, they vary from his impersonation of a Sunday League manager to somebody frozen solid by complete and utter ineptitude.
How would any internationally successful player feel when , all of a sudden,he turns up for training and he is being trained by Phil the Gargoyle.
I keep on hearing the phrase ‘grow a pair’ It is time we the supporters ‘grew a pair” and took matters into our own hands. Hit the parasites where it hurts most ,in their pockets. Boycott all sponsors products (and shout the fact from the rooftops), boycott all season ticket renewals and boycott all merchandising.
It doesn’t matter if the parasites tell us that no income = no transfer budget as new players will not make any difference.
I have watched United for over 50 years, never have I witnessed a situation at OT where a ‘manager ‘ has so lost the dressing room.
Ferguson and Charlton you have managed , by making this one non-sensical decision, to tarnish your reputations for ever!
Go with the muppet and make sure you take the rest of genius’s incompetents with you.

Julian - March 17, 2014 Reply

So far the Glazers have taken the advice of Fergie backed up by Woodward no doubt. That advice was to hire DM in the first place and then to give him more time when things started to go wrong. Its a Board decision and clearly Fergie and Woodward are key members of that Board with Charlton having his say. The Glazers should now seek some independent advice because clearly the aforementioned are not objective in this. They need to assess the risk of keeping Moyes on beyond this season and giving him the best part of 100m to spend on the team. To many this is a risk far too great given the ineptitude displayed by Moyes is handling the team since he arrived. We seem to stagger from one disaster to another. The alternative to Moyes must get more time is to call an immediate halt to his tenure as manager and to seek a far more suitable manager who can be installed in advance of the summer transfer window opening.

If a mistake has been made and just about all the indications are that it has, admit it and have it rectified – sooner rather than later.

Keeping Moyes on beyond the end of the season now carries considerable risk. Will he be able to attract the right quality given that United may well be out of Europe as well as all the uncertainty regarding his position?

But who is going to advise the Glazers to make this decision? There really is nobody except their CEO and erstwhile manager plus Charlton. More than likely, in fact certainly, they are going to back their man and the Glazers are likely to take that advice. Overwhelmingly it seems it would be a mistake if they do

Giovanco - March 17, 2014 Reply

SAF won’t admit his mistake on choosing DM as his heir. He won’t. His ego is waaaayyy too big for that. And I still see no advantage in sacking Moyes imediately. I’d prefer waiting until the summer so that we can pick a more decent manager.

Julian - March 17, 2014 Reply

But you cant suddenly pick a manager. If they decide to do it (which they probably wont so this discussion is somewhat academic) they will need time for a proper, more suitable replacement to be sought with terms agreed upon. This season is a disaster with nothing left to play for if we lose the next two home games – so we wont need a manager. We’d just need a caretaker. Or Moyes could stay on and see the season out seeing that he is under contract. He’d have to be told though that a replacement is being sought. No point in pretending that all is ok.

Alan - March 17, 2014 Reply

excellent, as always. The Giggs development is interesting.

united1961 - March 17, 2014 Reply

Probably thinks he should be playing and wants another extension on his contract so he make more money under false pretencies

Nick - March 17, 2014 Reply

superb analysis. & good point that time may bring improvements but may see things get worse. tara moyes.

Hosea - March 17, 2014 Reply

David Moyes is sorely lacking in tactical wit and too rigid to change. United’s attack is soooo one dimensional and sooooo predictable.

I rather watch Southampton play than United and it pains me to say so.

Moyes please go NOW!

Hosea - March 17, 2014 Reply

“Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said he was surprised that Moyes had labelled his side as favourites for the game at Old Trafford before kick-off. Rodgers said: “I would never say that at Liverpool, even if we were bottom of the league. Anfield is Anfield.”

Moyes responded: “I just thought Liverpool were above us in the league and playing well and that any average person would have said the same.”


Will - March 17, 2014 Reply

It might be worth considering Giggs as a care-taker until the end of the season; one would have thought he of all would have the respect of the players. Don’t see any gain in sacking Moyes now, equally there’s no harm in it, so why not? After Wednesday night the season is likely to be over, and very few seem to want DM continuing into the close-season.

united1961 - March 17, 2014 Reply

Ridiculous! What experience does he have?? If he wants to become a manager I suggest he drops down a few divisions to learn his trade.
Look at the joke that is Phil Neville if you don’t believe me.

Julian - March 17, 2014 Reply

Caretaker until the end of the season. If we’re out of the ECL as well as no hope of fourth, then it doesn’t matter a great deal who’s in charge such is the current mess. It gives the club time to settle on someone who is more suitable for the job well in time for next season. All academic of course as it wont happen. Moyes will still be there come the start of 2014 -2015.

Bantuxxx - March 17, 2014 Reply

Dear DM,
1. Why in the World will you offer Nani a new 5yr Deal?? Seriously
2.Why did u bring on Smalling against Sounthampton @ OT 88mins we are leading 1 0 only to concede seconds later???for fuck say we are Mancheter UTD we kill off games not see out games.
3. Why did you Kneel down for rooney and beg him to take a £15M a Year deal??why can’t you jusy stick rooney on the left play mata or kagawa as No 10?fergie did it and we won the league even though rooney was not happy but then the club is always bigger than any player.
4.Does Cleverly have Naked pictures of You and a Prostitute?is he Blackmailing you wit it??
5.why did u bring on Rio 3goals down 3mins to the end of normal time??are you afraid Liverpool will score another 3 in 3mins??
Finally what do you tell your players before matches??how do you motivate your players??what in Gods name does your assistants do??what did You do in dubai apart frm obviously your players taking pictures with maradona,do you think fergie would have even condone that??smh

Brian McGuinness - March 17, 2014 Reply

great article! Was it just me but I couldn’t see the “Chosen One” banner at OT on Sunday! Has it been taken down??

tourettes@thekob - March 17, 2014 Reply

I was physically sick watching the game, the players obviously have no faith or belief in the cretin moyes.
over the years, my tourettes had been getting better, but moyes , you fucking, useless, cunting, twating, moronic, turd of an excuse of a manager , are ruining the greatest club in record short time !
I am reduced to betting against my team to give a small chink of light in these very dark football times. I have liverpool and city to beat us at home as a double, another disaster against the neighbours will bring financial gain, and hopefully praying to the god of cantona, the sack for moyes!

corcorcor - March 17, 2014 Reply

Coming to this site is such a relief. It’s like everyone else is insane and these are the only people seeing reality.

So sick of the excuses.

corcorcor - March 17, 2014 Reply

I think it’s pretty obvious that the only reason Moyes was appointed the first place is because he is Scottish and SAF saw a bit of himself in him. Unfortunately credentials weren’t assessed in the hiring.

Also, if you think of United as a business…would any major, successful company at the top of the world in their field keep a CEO who ran them into the ground in 6 months’ time? One who all of the employees have quit trying for? And who has shown no plan or signs whatsoever of turning it around?

Hosea - March 17, 2014 Reply

2012/2013 Season, March 16
12W 12D 5L, Points = 48
Manager = David Moyes

2013/2014 Season, March 17
Manchester United
14W 6D 9L, Points = 48
Manager = David Moyes

See the similarities?

Man United will linger in mid table for a long, long time.

MS Assefa - March 17, 2014 Reply

Moyes is incompetent everyone knew this from the begining except the clubs biggest problem at this moment, SAF. Unfortunately I have noticed many a people who frequent OT are more supportive of SAF than the club itself. They will continue singing the club to ruin so as to make the ol man happy. Relationships end get over it people and help the board make the decison by booing the manager.
But that is not what loyal supporters do, some of you might say. But I ask, is accepting a bad manager who is quite clearly ruining our club truly supporting your club or is it supporting the wishes of the old and gone manager? I dont think many fans are willing to think that deep and hard as they are so entrenched in a position they knew was wrong from the begining and admiting it now will make them look like fools. Exactly the position the United board is in.
So either we the supporters swallow our pompous misguided pride and chase the cancer out of our club or the board should get rid of SAF which is higly unlikely. And he will never ever admit he got it wrong with Moyes, so we might as well admit we are doomed. The only silver lining is after years of mediocre result Ferguson will be remembered by the fans for his cynical nature which destroyed the club to further his own legacy.

red1961 - March 17, 2014 Reply

Go to Redrants. If what they are saying is true it will surely confirm what everybody suspected and he is a dead man before the weekend

SwissWavey - March 18, 2014 Reply

I’m not jumping to Moyes’ defence, far from it but there’s a serious question that is being avoided.

Why is home form so shockingly bad?

If you look at the away form Utd have a better return than Chelsea, City or Liverpool. So it’s not all bad (purely talking about results, not performances). Are they intimidated? Are tactics too obvious? What is it?

Kris - March 18, 2014 Reply

I`ve been looking for improvements to justify Fergies`s choice. Some times wev`ve seen them, but the decrease in the Olympiacos and Liverpool matches where just to awful.

It`s more than man-to-man motivational skills lacking, it is more than the old 4-4-2/4-5-1 formation, it boils down to those awful 11 pickings every match. For a while the chosen 11 looked good, but lately – come on!? Ashley F. Younng away against Olympiacos? We counted 6 players we would have palyed in before him. And RvP? Give him a rest as obiously cannot perform when in a bitchy mood. And Rio/vidic? Should have been sacked last summer. And staying with Vidic as captain?? A surpassed veteran with his head in Italy, come on!

Someone has to take responsibility and send him away. He should actually take his hat and leave by himself – be a man Moyes!

Love gone bad must die!

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