Ten months after being hired, David Moyes’ reign of terror is over at Old Trafford. Well, maybe reign of terror is a stretch, but not to most United supporters. After the 26 years of English and European league dominance under Sir Alex Ferguson, the Red Devils came crashing down to Earth in monumental fashion. No one expected “The Chosen One” to immediately live up to the achievements of the man who handpicked him as his successor. Even the most diehard supporter knows it would be tough to live up to 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League titles and countless other trophies. However, neither was it expected that United would fall below clubs like Tottenham and Moyes’ former club Everton.
The Scot came to Old Trafford with an impressive resume that saw him become just the fourth manager in Premier League history to record 150 wins. Yet, his campaign started rocky with a thrashing from Manchester City that already had the journalists stating the pressure was on. After that, the pressure never seemed to subside. Even his ability to lure talent like Juan Mata from Chelsea did little to relieve pressure. After a near Champions League defeat to Olympiakos that saw an impressive turn around at the second leg, the wheels appeared to come off for the last time. Soon after, the club was back to embarrassing and record-breaking losses.
Making the pressure even worse was the arrival of many other managers in the league. Chelsea welcomed back its “Special One,” Jose Mourinho. Manuel Pellegrini’s arrival to Man City started similar to Moyes, only to see a resurgence. The only club that brought on a new manager to see worse results came from Tottenham. It sacked its new arrival, Andre Villas-Boas, after only eight months. Now, Tottenham is a rumored landing spot for Moyes. Before the dust can fully settle, let’s revisit the reign of United’s “Chosen One.”
Under Moyes the club could not get it together. This resulted in some atrocious losses that included 3-0 results to Liverpool and Man City. What made those losses worse were that they became part of an unprecedented season of losing for the club. Never before in United’s prestigious history has the club lost home and away to Liverpool and Man City in the same campaign. Compacting this further is that Moyes’ former club Everton also beat United home and away.
The last 2-0 loss to Everton was the match that finally sealed his fate. In the losses came even more embarrassment. United hadn’t lost home and away to Everton since the ’69-’70 campaign. Furthermore, in one loss to City the Red Devils gave up a goal in the first minute from Edin Dzeko, another first for the club.
Defeats to Newcastle and West Brom saw home winning streaks against both clubs that dated back to the ’70s snapped. Then, the club lost to Stoke for the first time since the ’84 campaign. In short, this season was a calamity. What makes this worse is that Sir Alex hadn’t done any of this in 26 years. Moyes did it all in ten months or less. This resulted in the next point about the Moyes campaign.
Lowest Premier League Points Tally
Since the Premier League’s inception in 1992, United has never had a lower finish than where they will be this campaign. Currently situated in seventh, the club will need miracles to vault over sixth place Tottenham. Even if that happens, the club has already clinched its lowest ever league points tally. The previous stated losses were bad enough. Yet, the points tally can also be blamed on nine potential points being lost during a three match losing streak that hadn’t happened to United since 2001.
When looking at their results from the campaign there are many times the club could have capitalized on weaker clubs like they have countless times before. A November tie at Cardiff City comes to mind. Home losses to Everton and Newcastle are near unacceptable results. United seemed to get throttled by the top of the table clubs, while the others gave United a run for its money that it hasn’t experienced in quite some time. Under Moyes, United couldn’t get it going at any point in the campaign.
Failing To Qualify For Champions League Lost A Lot of Money
For the first time in 19 years, United will be on the outside of Europe’s top trophy competion. Rubbing more salt into this wound is the financial impact that it carries. Being in the Champion’s League nets clubs millions of dollars that can be useful during the transfer windows. While United won’t be seeing empty pockets in its future, this money is still welcomed by any club.
When looking at the clubs likely to represent the Premier League in next year’s tournament Chelsea and Man City will be back, further padding their funds. Liverpool will be in the mix, and that should see the club making a splash signing or two in the next transfer window. This should only strengthen a club that already has the deadly strike combination of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Another EPL mainstay in the Champion’s League, Arsenal, may lose its place to Everton if it continues to slide. With United and potentially Arsenal being on the outside, Everton may start to use its funds to become a fringe competitor in the league once again.
Despite the struggle it could put on them next season, Wayne Rooney has already said that the club wants to play in the lower-tier Europa League. This again will take a miracle, as United will likely need to leap ahead of Tottenham to achieve this goal.
Inability To Motivate Or Sign Players
One fact Moyes supporters hung on to all campaign was the the manager didn’t have his squad in place. While Sir Alex handpicked Moyes to be his successor, it is obvious that any manager needs time to tweak the squad to their desired style. Moyes could never do that, regardless of whether it was his fault or not. During the first transfer window under his watch, United failed to secure its top targets. This sometimes seemed to take a back seat to the club’s involvement in rebuffing Chelsea offers for Wayne Rooney.
While the club did bring in Moyes’ former Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, he has failed to live up to expectations. As the train wreck campaign careened on United was able to secure Chelsea’s former star-turned-cast-off Juan Mata for little over $62 million. Mata has shown promise, but not as much as he had for Chelsea. United has already guaranteed that its next manager will have hefty funds to work with in the transfer window. After the first two attempts, Moyes was not trusted as the man to secure top talent at Old Trafford.
Regardless if the players were new or returning to the club, Moyes couldn’t motivate. Many commentators mentioned on several occasions a disconnect between players and manager on the pitch during matches. A lack of the usual United enthusiasm and desire were main criticisms of Moyes’ style.
Players haven’t escaped the blame either. Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand were cited for phoning it in at points during the campaign. Injuries to the squad didn’t help Moyes, but that excuse rarely helps keep a manager’s job. The remaining Moyes supporters cling to this claim even as the club now moves forward in its second managerial search in less than a year.