Manchester United watch: Moyes’ paranoia, Liverpool relived and rejecting Ferguson’s winners
MANCHESTER United lose at home to West Bromwich Albion. Some shock. But what did David Moyes say at the start of the season:
“I think it’s the hardest start for 20 years that Manchester United have had. I hope it’s not because Manchester United won the league quite comfortably last year the fixtures have been made much more difficult. I find it hard to believe that’s the way the balls came out of the bag, that’s for sure. But if it is a hard start for Manchester United, it is a hard start for everyone else because they have to play us.”
Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea in the first five matches is tough. But United earned one point from those three matches. They’re not that hard to beat.
He then added:
“To win the Champions League, you need five or six world-class players. Look at Bayern Munich, they have it. Look at Barcelona, who had it in the past and Real Madrid, who have maybe got it now. That’s the level you have to be at to win it. We’ve not got that yet.”
Isn’t that an admittance of his own failure? It was Moyes who said over the summer transfer season:
“Isn’t it great that the club says, ‘There’s no budget here, you go get who you want to get, just go and do it’.”
Isn’t it weak when a top manager says, “I’ll give it while and see what I’ve got”?
Alan Hansen hears bells in the Daily Telegraph.
“…alarm bells are ringing and there are clear similarities between the United of 2013 and the last Liverpool team to win the title back in 1990. I played in that Liverpool team 23 years ago and it was in the bottom three of the eight title-winning sides I played in at Anfield. It was an ageing team, one which Kenny Dalglish was looking to break up and build again with new players. In the past the club had successfully combined winning and rebuilding, but this time was different… United have more depth and quality than the 1990 Liverpool side, but I would say that the two first teams are comparable in terms of the issues they faced. Both could be described as ageing teams that needed breaking up, but with issues over those brought in as younger replacements.”
Younger? One year ago, David McDonnell wrote in the Mirror:
“De Gea, Jones, the Da Silva twins, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Young and Tom Cleverley, not to mention Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia, Nani, Javier Hernandez, all of whom are 26 or under, United have the nucleus of a formidable squad that is surely only going to improve.”
David Moyes doesn’t know what his strongest first XI is yet so is chopping and changing every week, so that is going to have some impact on our performances, but there’s no explaining away yesterday’s result. Whatever the excuse, we should have done better, and it really is terrible for Moyes.
One other problem is that Moyes has not kept many of Alex Ferguson’s staff on.
Manchester United boss David Moyes rejected advice from Sir Alex Ferguson on who to hire and fire at Old Trafford, according to axed goalkeeping coach Eric Steele. Steele was let go along with assistant manager Mike Phelan and first-team coach Rene Meulensteen at the end of the season as Moyes made the decision to install his own men…
And Steele, who is credited for David De Gea’s vast improvement at Old Trafford, has now revealed how Ferguson offered his own guidance before Moyes decided to forge his own path.
Speaking to the United We Stand fanzine he said: “He spoke to me, Mick and Rene. I told him I thought it was a brave decision. He listened to the manager’s advice, but he wanted to be his own man….I don’t blame him for doing what he did. I’ve been in the game long enough to know how it is. But it’s ironic, isn’t it? You’ve just been part of a team that has had a great season and won the league. David De Gea’s had his best season. Does it make sense that you’re not retained to continue the good work? Sadly, that’s out of my hands.”
No gloating there. No, None whatsoever.
Ferguson’s departure was not the only major upheaval at Old Trafford at the end of the 2013 season. The retirements of David Gill as chief executive and Paul Scholes – for a second and final time – have been felt keenly in the board room and the dressing room.
While Meulensteen left for an abortive spell in charge of Anzhi Makhachkala and Phelan has made a number of media appearances, Steele has gone from United’s Carrington training ground to helping out old friend Graham Turner at Shrewsbury.
Life after United is tough…