All through this very disappointing season, it seemed the only Manchester United faction completely behind keeping David Moyes were the members of the board, including the man who chose him for the job, Alex Ferguson. But there are growing concerns within the club that the implications of this continuing failure will have long term reprecussions, which means the manager’s job might become available in the next few weeks if results don’t get better.
It seemed that after so many bad results over this season, the 3-0 home loss to Liverpool was the last finger holding the dam. There’s been talk about some players unhappy about Moyes’ training and football philosophy. Talk of his coaching staff, especially Ryan Giggs and possibly Phil Neville as well turning against him, as they feel he isn’t listening to anyone with connection to the club’s glorious past. Now there’s a chance the board , for various reasons, has grown tired of his act.
Moyes has won just one match against the top 9 clubs, as Manchester United find themselves in 7th place: three points behind a spot for the Europa League, but more disappointing is their huge distance from a potential Champions League spot, falling 12 points behind Manchester City, who have two less matches played compared to their Manchester rivals.
And the Champions League is where the final test might begin for Moyes. After losing 2-0 at Olympiakos, it seems like somehow overturning that result will change the whole perception of his work this season. Failing to do so, will give Moyes two matches to turn the tide in his favor: A visit to West Ham, followed with a home derby, which now seems like something everyone wants to avoid after another awful performance against one of the top sides in the Premier League.
Alex Ferguson seems to be no longer backing Moyes in the board meetings, while Bobby Charlton is his most vocal backer, insisting on patience and giving Moyes a full offseason to change the team, but now it means spending even more money on new players considering how bad the squad seems. Moyes has spent over £60 million on new players since taking the job, but having money doesn’t mean he knows how to spend it, or what to do with the players he has – Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini haven’t been exactly successful under him at Old Trafford.
Financial reasons might be another reason for concern for the Glazers. Not just missing out on Champions League money – one season is something they’ll live with. However, sponsors are concerned that they’re connected themselves with a brand that’s no longer synonymous with success. Too many negative records seem to have been broken under Moyes, and the bad impression he gives out in interviews and press conferences, repeating the same cliches and answers without showing any indication on the pitch that he’s willing to change his tactical ways, hasn’t been helping him out.
Manchester United are known for patience, but that’s a bit misleading. They had the same manager for 27 years, with the threat of the axe only coming once during his early years. Life after him was going to be very difficult, but no one expected Moyes to be so overwhelmed at the position and do such a bad job at it.