He’s gone. The Chosen One. After 10 months in charge of the most successful club in England taking after Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes has been released from his duties as manager. Now a lot of Manchester United fans are thanking the heavens that the Scot has been sacked but I for one am outraged that he as been sacked. On the 22nd of April 2013, Manchester United secured their 20th league title and exactly a year later, they sack the man who was supposed to pull the club after the Fergie years. Of course following Sir Alex would have a monumental job and even if Pep or Jose came into the hot seat, they would struggle to please all the mass amount of followers Manchester United has. Although Moyes has had more than his fair share of bad luck, he did do somethings right and I am grateful of the things he did achieve to help the club in the long-term.
When Sir Alex appointed David Moyes as manager, Moyes brought in a whole new backroom staff from Everton and various other places and I think this only paved the way for the bumpy and turbulent road ahead. The former staff was familiar with the Manchester United way and knew the players and knew how to get the most out of the players, most evident in Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs, keeping the now interim manager fit to play for so long. Another thing that barred Moyes was the fact that the team was Fergie’s team and although he had the summer and winter window to buy and sell players, that isn’t a sufficient time period to really change-up a squad and make it your own with players that you want in your team and that can help improve your team.
For a number of years, the weak spot in Manchester United has been their midfield and during his reign, Ferguson didn’t really improve the midfield after Paul Scholes had left, and signs of that were showing last season and was actually quite often overlooked and overshadowed by the fact that United had dominant season in the league.Sir Alex gave David Moyes an already deteriorating squad and it was lacking a certain creative flair that has been missing for the United team for quite a few years, something their cross-town rivals, Manchester City have in abundance. David Moyes was handpicked by Sir Alex, when the board could have gone with a more widely known European coach, like Jose Mourinho, who was one of the major contenders for the job after leaving Real Madrid with mutual consent with Perez. When Moyes become manager on July the 1st, it was widely discussed how he would improve the quite visibly weak squad and in his first day in charge, he bought U20 Uruguay international rightback Guillermo Varela after an impressive 2 week trial, United signed him for around €2.4m and was constantly linked with every other half decent attacking midfielder, from Real’s Luka Modric and Bayern’s Toni Kross but the pretty public rejection of Cesc Fabregas after 3 failed bids pretty much summed up United’s woeful summer transfer window. On deadline day, United signed another youngster, giving an Arsene Wenger-esque feel about Moyes at United, in the form of Swiss right back Saidy Janko for a disclosed fee and of course the infamous signing of Marouane Fellaini from Everton for £27.5m which really hasn’t worked out for either party and is a top target to leave in the summer as a result of a poor debut season. In the January transfer window, Moyes loaned out Wilfried Zaha and shipped out Fabio both to Cardiff City and bringing in Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata for a record deal of £37.1m.
David Moyes’ tactics were something that raised a few eyebrows as in his total of 51 games in charge, he named 51 different and unique starting elevens, showing that he still had not found his first choice starting eleven, which is understandable with a whole new set of players. Another thing that puzzled United fans and football fans in general, was the underuse and often misuse of Shinji Kagawa. He is arguably the Reds’ most creative and after a very promising debut season, many expecting big things from the Japan international. He was often a used substitute in the first half of the season and this didn’t help, as Manchester United suffered a lot of shocking home losses to teams like West Brom, Stoke and Chelsea. When Kagawa was starting or subbed on, he was most times, situated on the left or right hand side and his best position is behind the striker, as a number 10 playing in the hole. After Juan Mata joined the club, Kagawa surprisingly started more, with him or Juan in the middle of the midfield and this worked a treat as often Kagawa, Mata, Rooney and sometimes Januzaj would link up beautifully. Another problem The Chosen One faced was fitting all his best players into the starting 11 such as Van Persie, Rooney, Mata, Kagawa and young star Adnan Januzaj and it seemed after Robin Van Persie was injured, many players got into the starting line-up in their preferred positions so this may have been a sign to Moyes to possibly ship out the Dutchman.
Out of all the bad luck David Moyes suffered this season, he has done a few things right and they could prove pivotal in United’s future ahead. Moyes promoted Adnan Januzaj from the youth team and he has been a revelation for United, being one of the bright sparks of United’s dim season, his creativity and skill on the left-wing has been compared with Ryan Giggs of old, who used to terrorise defences from the left hand side. Adnan has picked up a few admirers from Europe such as PSG and Real Madrid but Moyes convinced the young winger to sign a 5 year contract extension with the club and Januzaj stating that if he could, he would carry out the rest of his career with Manchester United, so he could become even more like Giggs for years to come. Another Moyes did right was get Rooney ‘signed up for life’, signing a contract until the summer of 2019. At the start of the season, he looked out-of-place and was reported to wanting out of Manchester. As the season progressed, it became clear to David that Rooney is a player they simply can not lose, so getting the former Everton man to sign with Manchester United till he is 33, at the twilight of his career, was a smart and very beneficial move by the Scotsman. Also bringing in Juan Mata 4 days after the Rooney contract extension was also a major feat for Moyes, as something he needed was a creative midfielder as he had bought in one of the best playmakers in the league and at 25, could serve the Red Devils for many years to come.
Personally I didn’t want David Moyes to leave and if he was to leave due to being sacked, I would have given him at least 2 full seasons to give him an adequate time to gel with the squad and make it his own.
I hope the best for David Moyes in his future career.