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Is Criticism Of Moyes A Little Harsh?
Footytubeblog (Blog) 10 months ago
Manchester United have made a stuttering start to the season to say the least. David Moyes, taking over from the iconic Sir Alex Ferguson has amassed just seven points from five games, losing two of them to rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in the process.

It was always going to be tough for United to continue where they left off at the end of the Ferguson era - one of the most common sayings in football is that it is more difficult to retain a Premier League title than win it in the first place. Yet Ferguson’s unprecedented period of success made this the norm for fans of the Red Devils. In a sense, Moyes is taking over at a time where things can only get worse, not better.

It is hard to compare the incumbent and previous manager of Manchester United. However, what is strikingly different is the contemporary climate in which they took hold of the reigns at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson started his tenure in 1986; English football was in crisis in European terms. Hooliganism and thuggish behaviour blighted the reputation of England and its fans, with English teams banned from participating in European competition in the wake of the Heysel disaster one year previous. Clubs in England’s top tier were simply not expected to make a significant impact in international competition. Serie A and La Liga had the pick of players, and this meant that managers like Sir Alex benefited from more time to get things right than both their European counterparts and the managers of today. Indeed, it took him nearly four years to win his first trophy, the FA Cup success in 1990.

Fast forward 23 years and much of the time afforded to Ferguson will not be enjoyed by David Moyes, despite the realisation of fans and boardroom that the best model for clubs to follow is that of stability. Moyes is a beneficiary of the stable, sensible running of a club at Everton where he spent 11 years making the club a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League. In this next chapter of his career, one can sympathise with him for the scrutiny he will be under to deliver results week in week out. In the high pressured environment of English football at the moment, not only does Moyes manage arguably the nation’s biggest club, he does so on the back of failing to win a trophy with his previous club. While most came to the conclusion that he was the right man for job, critics’ agendas would undoubtedly be enhanced by Moyes’ lack of experience at the very top of the game.

Moyes has several pressures adding to the challenge he has undertook in the red half of Manchester. He enters Old Trafford at a time where the money flowing into English football is like no other - the Premier League is a truly international league with revenue from around the world. With this comes generally the pick of players, but also huge expectation that money should equal success, and fast. In addition to this, the modern world of technology we live in today not only means that coverage of matches has progressed to a stage unthinkable at the start of Ferguson’s era, the emergence of social media has made all fans, pundits - constant reflection and surveillance is placed upon matches.

While one could defend Moyes in saying that his mediocre record as boss so far on the pitch is merely a tiny snippet of what the season will hold for his club, other criticisms can be justified. Publicly naming his transfer targets and then failing on not one, two or three but five or six occasions to land his first choice is not an event people expect Manchester United to become a victim of. The failure to convince players like Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara put the message across to fans of the game that Manchester United could be at the start of a long fall from grace after the normalisation of success over the last 20 years. This has created a cycle of negativity surrounding Moyes that has probably contributed to the questionable start that the team has made and the fans’ reaction that comes with it.

Moreover, when Moyes did manage to bring in a player successfully on the last day of the season it sparked off whispers that it was simply a panic buy to appease fans after the failure to land first choice targets. New Chief Executive Ed Woodward should not be immune from criticism, but unfortunately although the role of a manager in part has changed over the last 20 years, the connotation it suggests means that a manager is still seen as responsible for many things that go wrong out of their control behind the scenes.

Of course, it’s very early days for Moyes, but there are several things he could have done better to make his settling in period easier at Manchester United. Fans of the club have to hope that this is a manager that learns from his mistakes.

blog by Greg Newcombe


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