The calls for his sacking grow by the defeat – and that’s now a regular event. Taking over from Sir Alex was always going to be difficult but this has been nothing short of embarrassing for the once biggest club in the world. Losing today to Swansea puts them out of the FA Cup, they trail leaders Arsenal in the league by eleven points and few would put money on a turn around and apart from a reasonably favourable draw in the Champion’s League it’s fair to say that Man Utd’s season could already be over.
Who’s to blame? The question on everyone’s lips is where to place the blame – is it Moyes or was it one of those seasons where even Fergie would have struggled? It’s always good to remember that Fergie never finished outside the top three of the Premier league since it’s conception in the early nineties, but from ’86 until then they struggled – will Moyes get the time, support and money to turn this terrible season around ready to attack it next year, or even salvage some pride from this one? It was different for Sir Alex to come into Old Trafford in the mid eighties because expectations were a lot lower than they are now – of course the club and fans wanted to win but it was a long way off at that point. Moyes enters the fray in a completely different set of circumstances and maybe we should just admit he’s out of his depth.
I would argue that there was a case to go for a bigger and proven manager first before Moyes. If they had been successful then they’d have lost nothing, if not then Moyes coming in from a much lesser background and a track record that didn’t have big trophies in the cabinet fans and the board may have given him more time. I’m personally not calling for his head but his ability to attract the best players in the transfer window does show a couple of things: one, he doesn’t have the draw of Fergie; two, he went public too quickly with some of the names; and three, he underestimated the need to players in key positions. Up front they are still a formidable side but as you move back through the team Scholes has never been replaced and the back line is aging.
So what will happen? I don’t see him going before the end of the season at the earliest and that will depend on results, league finish and how far he makes it in the Champion’s League. He knew it was a tough act to follow and perhaps the players are still not fully committed to Moyes as they were to his predecessor but I can’t see him surviving beyond the end of this season if he doesn’t get into Europe or do well in the current campaign, and next season if they don’t pick up some silverware he will be gone.