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Top 5: David Moyes mistakes

As we hurtle ever quicker to a world in which Liverpool and their favourite racist, Luis Suarez, become Premier League champions for the first time ever, there are several things that you might wish to consider. The first, most obvious one, is suicide – if you’re dead, you can’t hear You’ll Never Walk Alone, for instance. The second is to book a holiday – North Korea is probably the best place to avoid the media coverage of the fallout. The third is to sit tight, grin and bear it, and hope against hope that David Moyes is kicked out of the club soon enough, and an able adult is given the chance to take over, and make sure that at least next season isn’t as horrific.

It’s all gone wrong. Everything, as Tony Soprano says, turns to shit. It all, as Livia Soprano says, is a big nothing. Let’s embrace this misery, as a way to learn from it to ensure that never again do United put up such a miserable fight against Liverpool again. Let’s have a look at David Moyes’ top five mistakes, and hope they don’t happen again.

1) Taking the job

If David Moyes was anyone else, he would have been accused of hubris. If he were as cocky as Tim Sherwood, or as deluded as Tim Sherwood, or as arrogant as Tim Sherwood, then it would look like he took on the job by believing he definitely was the man for this job, and indeed any job. But the way Moyes tells it, being offered the job out of the blue by Alex Ferguson, while he was in jeans, suggests that he was too shocked to do anything but take it, and couldn’t say no to Ferguson. It’s also fair enough – it’s one thing to think you’re good enough for the job, and another to simply want to find out if you’re good enough, and then quite quickly realise you’re out of your depth.

That’s what happened to Moyes. The look on his face betrays that he realises what a mess he’s in, and so does everything he says and does. Nobody could know for certain that Moyes wouldn’t be able to do the job – there’s no way anyone could know that anybody could follow Ferguson successfully – but there was plenty of evidence to make an educated guess. He’s never won anything, he had no success with any of his more expensive signings, he was not loved by the fans, his style of football was largely unimaginative, and the only truly excellent player he worked with, Wayne Rooney, libelled him in his autobiography. There is nothing to say that he would be a sensible appointment. By taking the job, United took a risk, and so did Moyes. It didn’t pay off, and with hindsight it’s easy to make the case it should never happened. The problem is there were plenty of people who were making that case at the time it happened, too.

2) Keeping Wayne Rooney at the club

He even made a mess of this, too, when he said that Rooney would be handy should Robin van Persie ever get injured, thereby insulting the very player he would persuade to sign a new contract.

It’s been a disaster. Ferguson should have binned Rooney long ago, and he tried to fix that mistake in his final weeks, inventing or exaggerating a transfer request in order to take Rooney to the edge of the cliff at United. All Moyes needed to do was poke him in the sizeable arse and see him tumble out of the club. If he had, Chelsea would have won the league by now, not Liverpool. As well as that, United wouldn’t have been hamstrung by Rooney’s presence and diabolically tied to him for the next four years, too.

Again, it’s been a disaster. Rooney is finished, and all he does is act as a bed-blocker, in terms of long-term planning and on the pitch. His first touch is utterly shot (see Bastian Schweinsteiger getting sent off against United recently. It only happened because Rooney’s absurdly heavy touches led to him almost losing the ball outside the area) and his decision-making is foul (see the return leg against Bayern Munich where he could have passed left to a striker in space, or had a shot himself, instead he dithered and the whole thing fell apart). He runs a lot where once instead he was a savant, able to take on any player in the world and make him look like a wage thief, not the other way around.

As Danny Welbeck proved against Bayern Munich, he is a more effective player. Despite being a less clinical finisher, he is capable of creating chances, running at a top speed over over seven miles an hour, can trap the ball and pass to others. As a starting striker, too, he has scored five goals in seven starts, which is as good as Rooney’s record. Welbeck is now 23, and a better player than Rooney. Rooney’s presence prevents a Manchester-born player from developing and scoring goals for Manchester United. That’s not Rooney’s fault – it’s David Moyes’.

In the last few weeks, David Moyes has hit upon a formation that makes something of the talents of Adnan Januzaj, Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa, and you should suspect it is through luck not judgement, because David Moyes is yet to show any intelligent judgement anywhere else. With those three on the pitch, they can make the most of their creativity, short passing, first touch and speed-of-thought. Moyes, will ruin that all because he has made Rooney undroppable. To put him as the striker ahead of those three will offer the opposite of creativity (gone), short passing (gone), speed-of-thought (gone) and first touch (as mentioned, gone). Rooney will put a lid on these talents, make play slower, and waste opportunities and chances to exploit, as he has done for the whole season. Robin van Persie, though not hugely mobile, has been isolated to the point we can expect him to leave if Moyes doesn’t, is clever enough to encourage these talents, and is a more clinical striker. Thanks to Moyes we may never see the four play together next season. Danny Welbeck has the youthful verve to complement the trio in place of Van Persie, but Moyes has publicly criticised his striking ability anyway, so that will never happen. Rooney’s there, in the way, on his five year contract.

If Van Persie leaves (and thanks for that, if it does come off, David. Van Persie is unhappy and Rooney couldn’t be more content. It’s what United fans over the world really dreamed of when you took over), United buy another striker – Edinson Cavani has been mentioned too often for there to be nothing in the rumour, even if it probably won’t happen – but Rooney is, as we know, never going to be out of the side. That means one of two things. One, Mata is shunted out, pointlessly, to the wing, and Rooney will be the number 10, ruining every move with his brain and body, and Shinji Kagawa will take his talent back to Dortmund, where he actually wins things. David Moyes though, will be there, patting Rooney on the back. The other option is that Moyes continues to embrace 4-4-2, with Rooney and a new striker, with Antonio Valencia, scared of the number seven, whacking crosses in. And how depressing is that? Not only has Moyes managed to get Rooney to stand in the way of everything now, but in the way of everything that might theoretically happen in future, too.

3) Transfers

David Moyes made a big deal about starting on 1 July 2013. All well and good, but it actually looks like that not only did he genuinely only start work on 1 July, but he hadn’t given the job – the biggest and most daunting job in all of football, possibly ever – a single thought. His compartmentalisation should be praised, but his choice to do so is absolutely wretched. Still, he hit the ground running, strong and decisive on bringing players in. Thiago Alcantara, one of the best young players around was ignored by Moyes for so long that Bayern Munich and Pep Guardiola signed him in a few days when they decided to. Cesc Fabregas was pursued at the expense of any other midfielder who might want to join. He expected Manchester United to bring in Gareth Bale, despite it being fairly obvious how that particular dance was going to end.

He did find time to bring in Marouane Fellaini, an act of desperation. The transfer, not Fellaini himself, is the act of desperation, though you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise given his performances so far. Only Moyes teamed with Edward Woodward could have £27 million pounds to spend on a midfielder and end up with Fellaini.

In the winter, obviously, he would have time to lay the groundwork for transfers. Chelsea, for instance, made light work on the return of Nemanja Matic. Moyes and his teams to identify targets that would give him the chance of fourth place, and possibly keep him in a job. Nah! He had found nobody United could buy, and only the ‘opportunity buy’ of Juan Mata arrived, utterly devoid of Moyes’ endorsement. He’s not clever enough to know how to use him or understand him. At least he’ll be good enough for the next manager, you would hope.

It is true, yes, that Moyes can lay some of the blame on Woodward’s incompetence, such as the phantom lawyers who turned up for Ander Herrera, but managers like Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola would not so meekly accept such failure. By Moyes’ virtue of being Moyes, he allowed the miserable performance to go on, and then added his own flourishes to the misses and mistakes.

Like desperately trying for Leighton Baines. The undignified pursuit ended with Baines signing a new contract with Everton a few months later, but it also insulted Patrice Evra, one of the most important dressing room figures and most popular player with the fans, Of course, Moyes didn’t care, and tried to replace him as soon as possible. Still, Moyes wouldn’t make such a stupid mistake more than once, would he?

4) Making Rafael unhappy

Rafael goes over my dead body. Rafael is the only player in the team who played like he wasn’t intimidated by Liverpool, and every other player was gripped by The Fear. He might have been tactically undisciplined, but he put in the best performance despite that. He is the only player to conspicuously celebrate against Liverpool in the post-Suarez-is-a-racist match a few years back. He offers an attacking threat that few other right backs do, and is still young enough to improve. He gets United and he wants to stay. If Moyes wants to get rid of him, it’s an admission that he cannot coach Rafael into being a better defender, and that’s a weakness of Moyes, because no other manager would be so fucking stupid.

5) Tactics, plus everything he’s ever done while he’s done at United

He’s made terrible decisions with tactics, and probably thinks that Chris Smalling is a superior right-back to Rafael. His assistants just look thick, and one of them has the nickname ‘Fuck Off’ because his advice is so useless. He bought Marouane Fellaini. He talks about trying, and making things hard, and calling Liverpool favourites. These are just a select few errors in a select top five. The list is almost endless. And now he’s ruining next season, where we can only hope won’t he won’t be there. He’s saying signings will be difficult, and they might not be here in time for pre-season. He is a man who cultivates, encourages and accepts failure. He is a specialist in disappoint. He is useless, and these have been his top five mistakes. I hope they have been fun to read, one after another. There will be more to come, no doubt.



  1. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:


    Where did Rooney’s great performances get us? Oh yeah no higher than SIXTH place with the added bonus of probably irritating half the team with the constant babying of him by Moyes. Everybody says that Van Persie’s performances covered up for an average side last season. Well at least Van Persie on form got us the title with four games to spare and not on a 300,000 pounds a week contract. Rooney on form got us to SIXTH, then Mr. Rooney decided to take a vacation from Old Trafford for 3 months before showing up in a meaningless game against Aston Villa.

    Not everything this season is on David Moyes but most of it is and the one that especially stands out is the excessive babying of Wayne Rooney. The man is scared shitless of taking Wayne Rooney out of the line-up. Rooney played 90 minutes yesterday despite being by far the worst player on the pitch. Try and explain that one to me.

  2. Fletch™ says:

    Sparkz, Well said mate. Moyes a decent fellow, not the right guy.
    Sort of a Bebe -esque experiment? Time to move on quickly.

    Shocked if that’s true about David May, credit to him if he stuck to his principles.

  3. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    dannysoya – I think this may have seriously damaged Moyes CV getting another lesser manager job, if he is struggling with a collection of so called top players, what club that is lesser than united, want to even consider appointing Moyes. He better prey his everton CV gets him a new job, but the reality is, he took over a squad with 2 key area’s not up to standards of what united need to compete. It is hard to get away with it, when your backbone of the team in ferdinand vidic evra carrick and fletcher are not quiet the players they once were, and our backups are either injury prone, or not good enough, it was a perfect storm that really destroyed us this season

  4. Gary Mitrovic says:

    Surely MUTV haven’t suspended David May for saying that? I can understand why they would edit it (even though I don’t agree with it) but to suspend him? Disgraceful behaviour if true.

  5. Fletch™ says:

    Here it is, credit Sparkz

    MUTV suspend David May over Moyes criticism

    Mr May Ladies and gents!
    Premier League (2): 1995–96, 1996–97
    FA Cup (2): 1995–96, 1998–99
    FA Community Shield (2): 1994, 1996
    UEFA Champions League (1): 1998–99

  6. OpikBidin says:

    dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT

    Don’t forget
    1. CB at RB
    2. Rooney-RVP
    3. Giggs playing ahead of kagawa
    4. Carrick at CM
    5. persisting 442 all time
    6. Valencia-Young combo
    7. Putting no.10s at the wing (Kagawa and Mata)

    Where did Moyes learn that?

    Hey, it’s not only about Rooney, wasn’t Moyes scared to take RVP off?

    We’re stuck not with the Moyes, but with SAF’s methods and principles, We need to move on from SAF

  7. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    Fletch – may was still a managers dream, he added depth to the squad, and when ever he did come in, he was always a safe pair of hands. Much safer than some of the current defenders we have at the minute, the likes of jones evans and smallen can only dream of defending with discipline like may would do during his time at united

  8. OpikBidin says:

    At defence, Rio, Vidic, Evra are past it
    At CM, Carrick, Fletcher and Giggs are already past it
    and then we have Rooney-RVP, so they must play, making the midfield area weaker because we play 2 strikers instead of an extra body in midfield.

    and then our wingers are Young-Valencia (from SAF’s era)

    that’s it, its a perfect recipe for disaster. SAF’s magic worked wonders so the team with a backbone like this can win the 20th title

  9. Pav Pandher says:

    OpikBidin, please stop talking rubbish.

    The blame lies with moyes and the players. But alas you cant sack the whole squad, and moyes has failed to motivate them.

  10. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    LOL Sir Alex did not force ANYTHING on Moyes. Moyes came in and and completely turned around the backroom staff. That was as clear a sign as ANY that he was going to manage Manchester United HIS WAY.

    Also for most of last year we played a 4-5-1 not a 4-4-2 so I don’t know where you’re getting that from. Van Persie was the lone striker with rooney playing as an attacking midfielder. It’s one of the reasons Rooney was not happy with having to be played slightly out of position. Fergie tried to make up for not improving the midfield by packing it with as many people as possible to try and outnumber better midfields like City, Chelsea, Arsenal and co.

  11. Gary Mitrovic says:

    I just remember David May for being the player at the front of all the photos on the night we won the champions league despite the fact he didn’t get on the pitch he seemed to lead the celebrations!

    Of course I remember him for his goals against Boro 96 and Porto 97! May was a very good servant for United.

  12. warrored says:

    Paddy Crerand…….you don’t believe everything you hear.

    David May has not been suspended. False rumour.

  13. OpikBidin says:

    451 with Rooney is essentially 442.

    seems right, we will be stuck with Giggs, Carrick, Fletcher, Evra, Rio, Rooney and RVP for a while, yeah, you can’t sack the squad.

    What we will see is Smalling, Welbeck, Chicha, Kagawa, Nani, Cleverley leaving, Maybe Mata too at the end of next season. add to that Wilson, Bebe, Angelo Henriquez taht we should kept becaus ethere is no way they will play with the Rooney-RVP conondrum.

    hey, Valencia and Young will stay and still be our main wingers, yeah let’s pick the CMs from Giggs, Carrick and Fletcher to do the job, the new guy at CM will just be used to cover the shortcomings of these old players. and then Rooney as our no.10 because our weak midfield, with his trademark bad first touch and crossfield pass to RW

    Great, let’s stick to the tradition.

  14. warrored says:

    Maysie is on now live saying it was bollocks

  15. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    Gary – if I was May I would have done the same, look at the american football roster, a punter gets paid millions to come on the pitch for 15 seconds a go, kick the ball and does nothing else, they do not get involved in the thick of the game. May is a very smart football guy, and unlike many former united players who bore me, he actually knows what he is talking about like scholes, gingers know their shit

  16. Gary Mitrovic says:

    Warrored, what a bloody day of rumours! I thought that had to be bollocks. Play hardly said anything offensive or over the top so to suspend him for that would have been disgraceful. I’m glad that’s not true.

  17. warrored says:

    @Gary….me too mate.

  18. Zana says:

    Seeing Liverpool winning the premier league and specially after one season of Fergie’s retirement is kinda giving me all sort of sickness, it’s mind boggling for me to see the likes of spurs, Liverpool, City, Everton doing the double on us in one finish 7th in the premier league with the same crops of players we had last season crowned champions.its equally disastrous to see us losing the cup games that easily without consuming the power of our reserve players. We did good in champions league but Moyes lack of tactical veracity has costs us dearly.logically Moyes was not united class, no philosophy, no passion of handling the pressure of the big games, no mind games and reading of the opponents and finally a mediocre coaching staff that were totally clueless.this should stop, lesson learned for the future.its time to build up.oh, and one more thing anyone who says that Moyes have not been given much time is total bullshit, one season is long enough for anyone to prove his worth.
    Moyes has been tested, and his true color has been please go home and enjoy with your family before even thinking about who should you mange.

  19. warrored says:

    What if the new manager decides he needs to keep the current squad intact next season before making any changes lolol

  20. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    Turns out David May was not suspended. Good news that it was not true. Was very disappointed in MUTV when I first heard the news. Never known MUTV to stoop that low. Good on them for allowing variance of opinion.

  21. Jorge Curioso II says:

    >> “The Glazers have been quite good executives”……Really?

    Yes, absolutely. United had their best run ever, both on and off the pitch, under the Glazers. Ferguson repeatedly stated that he liked working with them, they left him alone and gave him all the funds he needed.

    The plastic bubble has been popped by Moyes. Let’s deal in reality about other club issues, too.

  22. aashish thapa says:

    I think rooney will do better,he is good stricker and is more versatile than rvp.

  23. OpikBidin says:

    Just because RVP mainly plays as a FW, doesn’t mean he isn’t versatile, He has played LW, RW and AM before at Arsenal, Holland and AM at us


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