This season in the Premier League, we hear every week how David Moyes is to blame for Manchester United's poor season, but is he really the cause or is there more to the story?
When Sir Alex Ferguson left the club last season after 27 years in charge, fans were expecting David Moyes, 'The Chosen One', to step in and continue their long run of success. This season, however, United have been incredibly poor by their standards and Champions League football is a very serious doubt. Much of the blame has been directed towards their new manager and a group of furious fans even paid £840 to fly a banner toting plane over Old Trafford last weekend, highlighting their discontent.
It seems incredibly harsh to place all of the blame on Moyes considering the state of the club when Ferguson departed, primarily in terms of their squad. Manchester United possess a wealth of talent, however, the main problem is that their young players are still not at the level required for Premier League glory and their more experienced men are past their peak. The likes of Giggs, Carrick, Ferdinand and van Persie are in or nearing the twilight of their careers and their younger players, Smalling, Evans, Rafael, Januzaj, Buttner and Welbeck, are no where near what's needed to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea. Moyes has done well to bring in Juan Mata from Chelsea, but they need more players who are at the peak of their career at this very moment if they are to satisfy the unhappy fans.
Furthermore, one of the main reasons for the strong dislike of David Moyes is the fact that United fans, particularly the younger ones, have only ever known success and one season of readjustment is incomprehensible to them. The fans expected far too much after becoming so used to being on top, but the reality of the matter is that a change as big as this requires time. The worst possible thing for the club to do at this point is to sack David Moyes, as any manager in world football would be in his position right now. His mismatched squad is the main problem, but with some heavy summer investment, next season could be far more successful. Therefore, the owners are just as important as the manager at this stage.
The fans certainly have a point when they say 'We won the league with this squad under Ferguson,' but the way that the other teams around them have strengthened since then means that United were left behind. Moyes tried to sign a host of big names in the summer, but without the right amount of money, no player was going to choose United over City or Chelsea. It has been reported that David Moyes has over £100million to spend this summer and if he invests it wisely after releasing some of the older players and the youngsters who aren't bursting with potential, then they may be able to construct a side that can compete next season.
Brendan Rodgers is a prime example of a manager who had a terrible first season at a club that were expecting to progress too quickly, but with time to build a solid and balanced squad, they are now looking like real title contenders, something Manchester United can be in a year or two.
Regardless of who was brought in to succeed Fergie, United were destined to have a poor season. Sir Alex's man management was the best we are every likely to see in the beautiful game and to be honest, it is a miracle that he won the league with the side David Moyes has inherited. That being said, a year is a long time in football and that side simply isn't good enough anymore. There's only so much a manager can do with limited resources.
It's time the fans got behind David Moyes, understood the situation and showed their commitment. If they don't and Moyes does depart, then the once great Manchester United could be stuck in this predicament for many years to come.
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