The English Premier League is only three months old and 15 games in, and the manager movement has been unrelenting. Some were certainly expected while others were very strange to say the least.
It has been seven months and only 14 games since Sir Alex Ferguson stood on the Old Trafford turf and told the fans to give the new man time. Applause rang out among the masses and yet recently, I have been seeing quite a few posts on social media calling David Moyes out.
Let’s tackle the issue of where exactly Manchester United find themselves in this particular time in their history and try to shed light on what is wrong, if anything, at Old Trafford.
It is true that the League season hasn’t gone the way it was expected. Only 22 points at four games away from the half way point isn’t good enough for Manchester United and even though they have recently qualified at the top of the Group in the Champions League, the negativity continues.
I have heard fans say that Moyes is the wrong man for the job, with one person even stating that Moyes wasn’t in his top-15 manager shortlist because ‘He never won a trophy or qualified them for any European tournament’. This is just completely untrue. He qualified his team for the 2005-06 Champions League qualifying stage after finishing fourth, but were eliminated in the second qualifying round against Villarreal.
He also got them to the Europa League knockout stages in 2007-08, but were knocked out right before the quarterfinals and was then knocked out in the first round in the 2008-09 season. He did also make the 2009 FA Cup Final, beating United in the semifinal before being defeated by Chelsea. So far he has won every trophy available to United — the Charity Shield.
The plain truth is that just with players stepping up to a club with bigger expectations, sometimes it takes a while to adjust. Manchester United are in a transition period, and Moyes should be given time. It must be remembered that Ferguson also took some time to get going — a lot more time than Moyes has had.
In fact if you were to take Sir Alex Ferguson’s first 15 League games, he would only have two more points than Moyes. Now, that was after he took charge in November in 1986, so what was his record after we forget about that first season and look at the start to his first full season? The answer is three points better than Moyes — and that is better than the third season with Ferguson, who had a point less than Moyes after the same amount of games.
Unfortunately, I think that Ferguson was at United so long and was so successful that anyone in their early-30s and younger do not remember a time when United were not dominant. It is a shock to the system for them to be ninth right now, but I am sure the real supporters will stay the course and understand that nothing is won if you keep changing the head coach.
However I do expect the glory supporters to migrate away from United the longer this transition period continues.
In part two, I will look at the history of Manchester United and what David Moyes has walked into, followed by part three where I will focus on Alex Ferguson. Finally in part 4, I will talk more about Moyes, where he is now and where he needs to be.