Yesterday spurred some fraught commentary on the future of David Moyes at Man United, particularly as Man United fanzine adjunct Red Issue Forum released some details of a senior player berating Moyes in the dressing room shortly after the final whistle this past Sunday. Consensus is that we’ve nearly reached the end of the road with Moyes, and names like Louis van Gaal and Juergen Klopp are already being floated as possible replacements within a time period as short as the next ten days.
Meanwhile Honigstein had this to say:
From what I've been told, Moyes' biggest problem is not tactics, but lacking necessary people skills."Can't lift anybody", "indecisive".
— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) March 17, 2014
Which is obviously difficult to overcome. If players try something and it clearly isn’t working, it leaves them feeling exposed, frustrated. Once you’ve lost the dressing room, it becomes even more difficult to inspire faith in your approach now matter how effective it may or may not be.
Amid all the comparisons to Sir Alex Ferguson and the importance of waiting things out, he can’t really be compared to Moyes. When he first arrived in 1986 to replace Ron Atkinson, SAF had already won several trophies with Aberdeen, which is more than Moyes managed to accomplish in his long tenure at Everton.
But, far more importantly, Ferguson moved United from 11th to 2nd in his first full season in charge. Meaning there were clear signs of improvement. A reason to keep the faith. Then an FA Cup win in 1989-90. Ferguson’s first six years in charge were not as bleak as some would have you believe, despite the “one game away from getting sacked” story.
Some Man United supporters believe that Faith in the Manager is part of the United Way. And indeed, Ferguson was there 26 years, Matt Busby 24. It is incredible that both lasted as long as they did in their respective positions, but there was a simple reason. Like Ferguson, Busby brought United to second in his first full season, won an FA Cup within three, and won a first division title in his first six. Some of that involved the faith of the team, but some involved the recognition that beneath the year by year variation, there was a sincere talent at work.
That wasn’t apparent under Wilf McGuinness, and it isn’t so clear under Moyes. It’s only a matter of time before the board realizes it, too.