Former United coach Rene Meulensteen has revealed that David Moyes repeatedly “ignored advices” of the coaching staff and made a series of fundamental mistakes that ultimately led to his demise and to him losing his job barely 10 months into his Old Trafford career.
Along with Mike Phelan, Meulensteen was one of the members of Sir Alex Ferguson’s coaching staff that in July were deemed surplus to requirements by Moyes, who opted to bring in his Everton lieutenants Jimmy Lumsden, Steve Round, Chris Woods and Phil Neville and the Dutchman claimed that Moyes only has himself to blame for his failure.
Meulensteen insisted that Moyes had “underestimated” the task facing him, despite warning that the leap from Everton to United was like going from “a yacht to a cruise liner” and claimed Moyes tried to change everything too quickly.
“You have to look at Manchester United and the job that David Moyes took on,” said Meulensteen. “United were a very successful team, with many successful years behind them. The strategies in place worked. But David ignored the advice that was given to him by many of the staff in place at the time.
“He opted to put his own plans in place, which he was perfectly entitled to do, but I think it backfired on him. I always strongly believe the performances and the results are a reflection of what is actually happening behind the door and that wasn’t good enough, as simple as that.
“Don’t forget David was a respected manager in the Premier League who worked for 11 years at Everton in a very good way. But I did warn him: ‘Do you realise, after everything at Everton, you’re going from a yacht to a cruise liner? That’s how big the difference will be.’ It’s not just necessarily the work on the pitch. It’s everything that surrounds Manchester United, the players, the performances, the pressure, the style, the identity. And I think he underestimated that. It’s always easy in hindsight but unfortunately it’s cost him his position.”
“It became very evident to me after a few meetings with David Moyes that he wanted to bring in his own people and do it his own way,” he continued. “I felt very strongly that things would change dramatically for myself and the position I held so I didn’t feel there was a good foundation to carry on,” said the former United coach.
“It’s too crazy for words. I’ve been part of Manchester United’s backroom staff for the last five years for Sir Alex Ferguson and the last five years have been proven to be the most successful in the history of Manchester United. Now they’ve had a poor season, they have dropped to seventh, out of the Champions League and suddenly, after so many years of constant success, we’re now asking whether Manchester United are good enough to get in the top four.
“To me, there should be nothing else and that’s probably why the decision has been made because they want to be back [in the Champions League] and next year they want to be challenging for the league title.”
Meulensteen also believes that United are facing an uphill task this summer, given the squad is in desperate need of a massive overhaul: “Five, six, seven players [have to be changed] and that’s too much … that is the challenge the club are facing in the summer but I still think United have a fantastic squad and with the right additions can be a force very quickly.”