Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0
The David Moyes era at Manchester United was shortened from a potential six years to less than a full season, and one of the more glaring aspects of his failures on and off the pitch had to do with his inability to look credible, reliable or stir any sense of confidence or hope among players and fans with his performances in front of the media.
What you say to the media, as long as it isn’t something too controversial (racist or against company lines obviously) shouldn’t actually have any effect on your job security or the way players look at you. Many times managers use the media for some psychological warfare, while their players know what they’re “really” thinking.
Defiance might be the best word to describe Moyes’ handling of the situation. If early on his talk about trying to be better, working hard and believing that his team actually played well during losses was somewhat acceptable, the broken record routine got old midway through the season, when it became clear that all of his talk of being in the championship race, and then hoping to finish in a place that leads to the Champions League. There’s not even going to be Europe next season more than likely.
I wonder if Moyes knew he was going to get fired after the 2-0 loss to Everton. He did spew out his usual range of BS about playing well when the team clearly didn’t, but there was also a rare acceptance in his behavior that included admitting with a big smile on his face to the Phil Jones handball, something I doubt he would have done earlier in the season. Speculative, probably, but still, the change was evident.
A man who seemed to age five years in the span of 11 months. That is what moving on to a job that’s too big for your own managerial skills does to you. Not just the incompetence to handle the expectations and egos, but the pressure slowly wearing someone out. It’s not a happy day to see a manager who was treated as a very talented one only one year ago become an absolute joke in the eyes of everyone, but it was hard finding any reason not to let him go considering how badly he did, missing out on every goal set before him during the season.