Moyes risks losing the dressing room

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailIf cars ran on bad news, Manchester United could just about supply every petrol head in the country, for the first nine days of 2014 have brought nothing but disappointment and, judging by the latest rumours concerning the club and David Moyes, things could get a lot worse before they get better.

Different newspapers today report that some of the senior players at United could soon start to question David Moyes as they’re unimpressed by his lack of credentials and, crucially, unconvinced that the Scotsman neither the right man for the club nor he has what he takes to steady a sinking ship after three defeats in a row.

So far, Moyes has been granted unconditional support by the club and by the majority of the fans, but the revelation that his players are prepared to question him could put the board in a very complicated position.

The Guardian reports that “some within the dressing room are unsure of Moyes’s ability to reverse a sequence that includes a league defeat by Tottenham Hotspur, being knocked out of the FA Cup by Swansea City, and Tuesday’s 2-1 loss at Sunderland in the League Cup semi-final, first leg.”

Furthermore, continues the newspaper Moyes’ decision to replace René Meulensteen, Mike Phelan and Eric Steele with his own coaching staff is being privately questioned by some within the squad who were happy working with a group that had helped Ferguson oversee part of the most successful period in United’s history. According to well-placed sources, there is a bemusement among a number of players, with a strong sense forming that as United won the title by 11 points last term there was little need for Moyes to undergo a complete revamp of a set-up that had a proven winning structure.

With Nemanja Vidic not keen on extending his contract and Patrice Evra left quite upset by Moyes’ public pursuit of Leighton Baines, these rumours won’t do any good to the United camp, particularly given their current, desperate, situation. On the other hand, were the players to turn against Moyes, the manager’s destiny would be sealed, for in this day and age players’ power is the only force even the most stubborn of clubs dare not to take on.

Danny Welbeck, arguably one of United’s few positives this season, said the prospect of missing out on Champions League football is as concerning for the players as it is for the fans.

“I can understand why fans are concerned. We are not around the Champions League spots at the moment. We need to get our form back and just win the next matches.”

Welbeck, however, is unsure as to why United have fallen so far behind this season after lifting the title in May. “I cannot pinpoint one thing why this is happening. We were champions last season and we know that the consistency in our game has not been good enough,” he said “It is a new experience for us all but the main thing we have to do is look at the next game.”

The United striker, though, insisted the players are determined to turn things around stating “It’s over 10 years since United lost three games in a row so we know we have to turn it round and win the next match”.

“The manager is very upbeat. He lets the players know he wants to do really well and the players also want to win games for United,” said Welbeck.

“Losing three on the bounce is really not good enough and we want to put that right.”




  1. A manager that has won nothing. An assistant in Steve Round that looks so down and out of his depth and won nothing a 66 year Old coach in Jimmy Lumsdum, who can only just walk onto the training pitch un aided and a GK coaching Chris Woods, who has only just done his full badges and has been out most of the season with a dodgy knee, and then Phil Neville, who just seems to be a go-fo! Hardly a winning formula to inspire a team to win trophies after the set up we had. This team need people that have been there and done it and got the medals.
    When teams like Real Madrid or Barca or Munich change the manager they don’t seem to have such a bad “transitional period”
    I understand that we may not be gong for the title straight away or the Champions league but we should not be playing this bad.
    The board need to make a choice now, because players who may come to the club will question if the manager will be here that long and decide not to.
    Massive investment and structural changes are needed now OR we are going to follow the Liverpool model of the 90’s 😈

    • @Mace: So true.

      What world class player in his right mind would want to come and play for David Moyes.

  2. Oh really Danny?

    You can’t put your finger on it?

    Just no way of explaining why this is happening ey?

    The dummed down run harder training tactics don’t give you a clue?

    The new faces in the coaching staff with zero medals or trophies behind them don’t set off any alarm bells?

    The constantly dithering manager who was picked because of his nationality rather than his credentials doesn’t make you wonder?

  3. I would say that is not so much a danger as an absolute certainty. I would guess the mood of United players is somewhere on a spectrum from ‘watched parents be murdered by clowns’ and ‘violent medieval rabble bent on revenge’.

    The sheer amount of stress Moyes must be under is incredible. If he somehow weathers this and comes good, I will start to wonder if Moyes has people chained in his basement and has long experience hiding the demons from a judgmental public. Also, I call dibs on ‘Milquetoast Murderer’ for Moysey should that be true.

  4. while i agree moyes was a negative lazy choice it was just one of some rather shocking decisions that have turned our club into decline since ronaldo left…..ronaldo leaves we buy an hard working but limited wigan winger to replace a ballon dor winner….the year after fergie lets all the fans down by buying nobody……then a multitude of uninspiring signings young smalling etc who arnt anywhere near good enough and the cracks just kept getting papered over…..over hyping cleverly and welbeck because fergie had lost his mojo in the transfer market and our scouting staff are rubbish……i agree moyes couldnt have done a worse job since starting…and just like with nani and anderson he will be given plenty of time to fail and be handsomely rewarded for it also… sum it up our club which have lost out on major talents in recent years over a few million have spent 58 million on moyes contract and fellaini combined…the fans must stand up against this……yes moyes is partially to blame but the blame runs much deeper

    • @danny: Of course the blame runs much deeper and has done so for the last eight years but, unfortunately, a large number of people continue to believe every lies the Glazers perpetuate. Moyes looks out of his depth, there’s no disputing that, but the fact we hadn’t signed a midfielder in six years before Fellaini – an ill-advised choice, at that – and that we have spent less than Sunderland, Villa and Stoke in the last eight years while waving goodbye to £600m aren’t his faults, are they? Until the Glazers pack it in or we start spending some serious money, we could have anybody in charge but things wouldn’t be much different.

      • the glazers hold the largest share of the blame yes….however fergie backed em up because they never questioned him….and lets not forget since 2008 that united have spent on anderson nani fellaini berbatov kagawa valencia young smalling roughly a hundred and sixty million……..thats the fault of the management…..and none are what u would call united legends…in fact anderson is for me the worst bit of business ever done…and yet he is still there…the glazers are largely to blame but so is fergie…and unfortunately the cheap wallpaper over the large cracks is well and truly peeling off….. 😥

        • I completely agree, but Moyes can’t be held accountable for those errors, can he? That’s what I don’t understand about some of our fans this season: criticising Moyes for being out of his depth and adopting outdated tactics is all well and good, blaming him for faults he inherited is ridiculous.

          On another note, Fergie spent £160m since 2008 but consider that half of that was recouped with the sale of Ronaldo, not to mention that with the revenues the club generates year in year out, we should be able to compete with every other club in the world in the transfer market. Instead we shop at Aldi and, if things continue in the same fashion, we could be soon be shopping at Primark.

        • @Dan, I think the point that danny is trying to make is that regardless of where we shop and which types of bargain buys we fancy, the fact is we were given 160m to spend. It was the manager’s decision to buy whom he did and not to replace Keane properly. I’m pretty sure the 30-35m he spent on Berbatov (whom we did not need at the time) could have bought a pretty good “worldclass” midfielder (whom we actually needed). Unfortunately, the Glaziers had nothing to do with that.

        • First and foremost we were NOT given £160m to spend. United’s net spend including Fellaini since the Glazers took over is £131m which means that, if we factor in Ronaldo’s sale, we spent barely more than £50 over eight years, which is roughly between £6-7m per season.

          Secondly, I have never suggested that Fergie isn’t to blame for not strengthening the squad adequately or spending £30m on Berbatov but, and here’s where the penny drops, suggesting that he could have spent as much money as he’d have liked is ludicrous.

        • No. Not suggesting he speny as much as he likes…suggesting he spent as much as he did.

          160…130… who cares. You say it as if 130m “Net spend” is what we give our children for sweets money? That’a not the point. The point is… nevermind.

          Let’s say. Some believe it is the Glaziers, some believe it is Fergie. Regardless it does not change the fact that we are fucked forbtye next 5-6 yeas unless something drastic happen to change our fortunes (I’m afraid 1 or 2 new signings is not drastic enough by no means)

        • No. Not suggesting he spent as much as he likes…suggesting he spent as much as he did.

          160…130… who cares. You say it as if 130m “Net spend” is what we give our children for sweets money? That’s not the point. The point is… nevermind.

          Let’s say. Some believe it is the Glaziers, some believe it is Fergie. Regardless it does not change the fact that we are fucked for the next 5-6 yeas unless something drastic happen to change our fortunes (I’m afraid 1 or 2 new signings is not drastic enough by any means)

        • “We are fucked for the next 5-6 yeas unless something drastic happen to change our fortunes”. On that, I wholeheartedly agree. 😉

  5. I feel a bit inspired to riff a little:

    Pedophile scout leaders inspire less dread in those they lead

    The only way Moyes could be more of a Marie Antoinette figure is if Old Trafford started having free cake days

    If Moyes inspired any less confidence in this squad, it would create a hyper dense singularity of doubt which would swallow Old Trafford like the House of Usher

    Moyes should get a song sung for him, and it should be ‘It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to’

    Taft stuck in a tub casts a less forlorn figure than Moyes

    Moyes coaches United with the grace and subtlety of a raccoon stealing garbage.

    If Moyes does any worse, three ghosts will visit him and convince him to follow his dream of becoming an interpretive dancer

    I’ve seen lost children at the mall more confident in their surroundings

  6. Sorry for being off-topic. Its articles galore on Man Utd’s doom in pretty much every sporting website. They all mention Fellaini as the only signing. But din’t Moyes sign some Varela dude (i know he is a full back not sure left or right)? When we have so many injuries/inconsistency in both left and right back, why is he not given a chance? And why is he not even mentioned in any article or news? Is he on loan? Its like he has been abducted by some aliens and nobody wants to talk about it. Wonder whatever happened to him!!

  7. Sacking the entire backroom staff and trying too hard to impose his own methods on the club is what is costing Moyes the most. It is arrogance to the extreme to believe that he can improve on a winning formula and reeks of insecurity to bring in his entire backroom staff (who incidentally Everton do not seem to be missing one bit)

    He has tried to turn thoroughbreds into workhorses. The result is a sorry collection of over trained, unhappy players who have completely lost their mojo.

    While a world class manager would have been nice the next best thing would have been a young enthusiastic manager who can make football fun and is brave enough to use expansive attacking tactics. Moyes is simply a dinosaur.

    Just as AVB’s arrogance and unwillingness to adapt to the realities of Premier League football and the technical and tactical limitations of the Tottenham and Chelsea squads cost him his job, so too will Moyes’ arrogance cost him his job.

  8. @Ben

    Sorry to take you back but I thought I should respond to your comments concerning hard work. Maybe you missed it but I said it’s not about putting as much effort as you can but it’s about putting as much effort as you can in the right,smart and most efficient thing. That’s where effort becomes an advantage. You say in athletics the principle of smart work vs hard work doesn’t apply. But it’s a general principle and cuts across every aspect of life. Wisdom trumps effort everytime. It doesn’t mean working smart is equivalent to being lazy and slothful. It means having an understanding of what you are doing and applying thought and reason well before applying effort.An example of the disasters of effort before reason is Fabio’s red card. Without thinking he just dived in dangerously and bang he is off. This is why the Roy Keane species is exctinct in world class football. Nowadays you need players that have higher football IQs. Players that think,analyse and invent before they act. Similarly,and more importantly,you need coaches with a high football intelligence. Coaches that can study things,that can be creative and be inventive. Not coaches that just do the obvious. Pass to Valencia,Rooney rush into the box,Cleverley stand by. I think those are pretty much Moyes’ touchline instructions. Also I actually believe United players are the hardest working in the league this season. I don’t have stats but I won’t be surprised if United players are covering the most ground,attempting the most tackles and interceptions,crossing the most,passing the most and more revealing,shooting the least and scoring the least.Somewhere there. So I don’t think it’s true that the players are not putting enough effort. I think they are wasting a lot of energy achieving very little and in turn that can be very demoralising. But I still stand by the principle of smart work is infinitely better than hard work

    • @Jay Wire: Do you know that I hate you? Deep down inside…in a good way I guess.
      I’m sure I told you before…I admire the way you express yourself. You are very analytical, you bring your point(s) accross very well, lots of “facts”, little emotion.
      I’m jealous.

      You should consider writing a letter to Moyes. I don’t think he’s realised the shit he’s caused and the shit he’s in. It therefore goes to reason that he won’t know how to get on top of it. You might help. I’m being serious. Desperate perhaps, but serious nevertheless.

      • @Karl: Flattered really. But I think it’s all about divorcing your emotions from your though process. Or at least as much emotion as you can divorce. Nothing special beyond that I think. As far as writing Moyes a letter,my option would be the insensible wrathful posters. Better effect

    • I know you like that phrase very much. You feel you have hit on something very profound. I don’t. I understand what you’re saying, I still don’t agree.

      You’re not hearing what I’m saying. You’re misrepresenting what I’m saying.

      Here’s the problem with that saying, it’s a pablum. It’s…. well, it’s devoid of actual meaning.
      In a narrow sense, a very narrow sense, it does have meaning. But the whole point of work smart, and not hard, is that someone is using smart as a synonym for ‘successful’. So in essence you are saying, do what succeeds more than hard work by itself. And you can’t really argue that, but it doesn’t actually tell you anything.

      If I told you, whatever your job was, if I just walked in, and said, ‘hey Bob, I need you to work… smarter.’ That actually doesn’t tell you anything at all. What does that mean, applied to this specific job boss? If you don’t know what the smarter way is, and you may very well not, maybe your boss has been doing it for 20 years, and this is your first day, and he just winks at you and says again, ‘you know…. smarter’. No, you don’t know. Smarter is a relative judgment. You understand that right? So that if some is looking at what you’re doing, and just says, ‘do it smarter’, he is imparting absolutely no information, just telling you to do it better. It feels like a very meaningful statement, but it boils down to ‘do better’. The not harder isn’t even meaningful in the phrase. Work smarter by itself imparts all the value of the phrase. And sure, who wouldn’t believe in working smarter.

      Then, you have a comment on work rate. There are objective figures you can point at for work rate. Ground covered in a match, passes, dribbles, shots, etc, work rate is something that is actually quantifiable. So that if you boss comes to you, and tells you ,’I need you to do 5 more units of work’, whatever that means, if it’s making watches, printing books, lifting bricks, there is absolutely no mystery. You know exactly what it is you need to do. And on a very basic level you can understand why it would be valuable for you to do more work, in the same amount of time, and why your boss would consider that an improvement.

      So yes, I hear what you say, and I know you feel it’s incredibly meaningful. I do not agree.

  9. Personally, I’m not surprised at these rumours. Not sure how true it is, but not surprised. I am of the opinion that the dressing room started to split after the booing incident of Nani. The manner in which the club (and Moyes in particular) handled the incident must surely have left a sour taste in the mouths of players who experienced Fergie’s public sheltering for a long long time.

  10. @Dan

    Let’s talk a bit of flesh here. I know for a certainty it’s not true what you say about people believing the “lies” of the Glazers. I’m pretty sure you can only count on one human hand the number of people who would associate the word “believe” with the name Glazer. They have to be the easiest traditional scapegoat for every United failure and perceived failure. I personally struggle to understand how the transfer policy that has been going on for years before even Ferguson came is now the Glazers fault. Money is money. Let’s not pretend that you need to acquire Euros from the planet Mars if you want to get Messi or Javi Martinez. It’s the same currency. My point here is,since 2005 we have spent X amount of money in getting players XYZ. Anderson and Nani were quite costly at that time and for their unproven and unknown talents. Same amount could have simply bought us an established winger with very little risk factor. Hargreaves,Carrick,Scholes in all honesty was a good deal. Adding Tevez as firepower to a line up consisting of the rising talents of Rooney and Ronaldo doesn’t seem like bad business too. Vidic and Evra were unknown and they turned out well. Van De Sar was cheap but his talents were not. Would you have been satisfied if we had bought these players for £50m each? The next major buy came after two seasons. A complete luxury if you ask me. Dimitar Berbatov came at a British record and like RVP we had to fend off City. Now the attack consisted of Berbatov,Ronaldo,Tevez,Rooney,Chicharito. Very top heavy. The midfield I thought at that time would have been the more sensible area of investment given Hargreaves’ health issues. But Ferguson,not the Glazers,decided to spend £30m on another forward instead. The same £30m and not the one sourced on Mars,was at the time more than enough to buy Yaya Toure or Deco or Pirlo ir pretty much most non-Iniesta-Xavi midfielder out there. The options were there. Fine,even after we sold Ronaldo,there was enough room to buy a midfielder or two. Mind you Ferguson did bid about €70m for Ribery and the bid was wisely rejected by Munich. And before you throw the traditional “it was a gimmick bid”,it was the highest bid by far ahead of the two other bidding parties Real and Barca. In the post Ronaldo era we have seen useless acquisitions like Ashley Young,non-essential buys like Jones and Bebe. Are you telling me for the same amount we got Young,we could not have found even a better non-English alternative? It’s about the same amount we got the Bundesliga’s MVP two years later. So is it the Glazers fault that Ferguson had poor taste in his latter years? Players like Prince Boateng could pretty much walk into the midfield any day. Vidal would not have touched £25m before he moved to Italy. How on earth can people up to now keep blaming the Glazers for Ferguson’s misuse of transfer funds? I’m not trying to say like them,but the Ferguson worship is now ridiculous. As far as transfers are concerned,Ferguson is 100% to blame before Moyes came. As far as hiring Moyes is concerned,obviously he takes the biggest blame too but this is where my beef with the Glazers begins. They were not prudent enough to conduct internal and external research concerning the status of the club vs other clubs. They did not investigate for themselves what Ferguson’s retirement would mean and the possible effects it could have. They should have been busy educating themselves about the best way to take their investment further. Instead they just lazily left everything to Ferguson in a rude show of carelessness and foolishness. Thatvwas a fatal and unforgivable mistake.

    • Jay, there are a lot more people believing everything that comes out from the Glazers’ mouths and defending them than you’d think, believe me on that, but I understand your points.

      However, I do not agree with some of them.

      You wonder “how the transfer policy that has been going on for years before even Ferguson came is now the Glazers fault.” That, I’m afraid, is wrong. Until 2005 United shopped at the very high end of the market. In 2001 Fergie signed Veron and Van Nistelrooy for £28.1m and £19m respectively, making Veron the most expensive player in British football at the time. 12 months later we signed Rio Ferdinand, making him the most expensive players in British football as well as the world’s most expensive defender and that’s without going as far the days when Keano became Britain’s most expensive player – football, admittedly, was a different sport back then.
      On top of that, Fergie had enough money available to sign a World Cup winning goalkeeper – Barthez – a World Cup winning midfielder – Kleberson, which turned out to be a massive mistake – as well as the likes of Saha and Ronaldo – £12m on a 18-year-old Portuguese were considered to be a huge gamble back then – so the “we never spent money” theory is flawed.

      I’m completely with you when you say that Fergie should have strengthened the squad and failed to do so and should have invested the money he spent on Nani, Anderson and Berbatov a lot better, nor did he need to spend money on Ashley Young.

      Finally, I’ve never said that spending money equals signing quality players, but the truth is that in this day and age investments are required is sustained success is to be achieved, just look at the likes of other European clubs and you can’t deny that the £600 that have been syphoned out of the club would have been helpful in the process.

      Mis-investing funds is bad enough, been deprived of those funds for someone’s personal greed is infinitely worse.

    • @Jay Wire: When Boateng was at Portsmouth, I called for him to join United… I was laughed out of the comment section, to say the least 😀

  11. Personally I think a good explanation for some of the malaise is that our players are over trained, especially our older players who have been very disappointing this season. Only a few players such as Jones and Rooney thrive on that sort of training.

    I agree Ferguson is to blame for the shape of the current squad even allowing for limits imposed in terms of funds.

    For example Smalling and Jones are clearly not up to stepping into Vidic and Rio’s shoes and our defence has gone from best in the world from 2008-2010 to average at best.

    In fact that is a huge part of the problem. In the old days players would get the chance to mature at smaller clubs until they were ready to make the step up. These days after half a good season youngsters get snapped up by big clubs and their development stalls. You saw it with Bale. Tottenham nearly gave up on him as he was so raw when he joined them but they were able to afford to give him time to come good. Maybe that will happen with Smalling and Jones in a few seasons time but in the meantime our defence will continue to be a huge problem.

    The £26M we lost on Berbatov was a fiasco. Clearly he was bought as a Tevez replacement as I do not think Ferguson ever intended to sign Tevez on a permanent deal. But he was a bad fit for the team and as Jay Wire pointed out at that time quite a few good midfielders were available. But then again Van Persie was worth every penny and it is not Ferguson’s fault that Moyes has managed to end his two year injury free run.

    De Gea was a great signing and Ferguson must be commended for that. Valencia for the money paid has actually had a few good seasons for us. Clearly Young was a terrible signing. Hernandez was a good signing making up for a long string of disastrous bargain buys such as Manucho, Diouf, Bebe etc. Kagawa I think we’ve been unlucky.

    But by all accounts Ferguson had lined up Garay and Thiago only for Moyes to pull the plug.

    So all in all Ferguson’s record wasn’t that bad. Remember that clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona spend twice as much as we do and just like Ferguson for every player they sign who is a success the next one is a flop.

    The long and short of it is we simply did not make that many big signings since 2007. And this during a period when Scholes and Giggs were heading for retirement, Rio and Vidic and Evra were fading, and it was clear that the business of 2007 of Anderson, Hargreaves and Nani was ill judged. So not surprisingly our squad weakened.

    If we want to get back on top we need to sign two big players a season in the £20-£30M range. Do that over the next five seasons and even if half of them are flops we will get back into the top four (of course assuming a good manager is found to replace Moyes)

    • De Gea was a great signing, as were Evra and Vidic and Fergie deserves credit for that. Anderson and Nani were ill-judged and I strongly suspect we have never been told the full story there, for they were obviously purchased based on potential as well as to please some agent – same goes with Bebe and Manucho.

      Hargreaves is a difficult one, on one hand he was superb when we won the Double in 2007-08, but would you justify investing that amount of money on a player who had a rotten injury record? It’s either a gamble that paid off, or one that backfired catastrophically.

    • @colver:
      “[we need to sign] two big players a season in the £20-£30M range. Do that over the next five seasons…”
      — that’s crazy talk. If you sign someone for more than 20M they cannot be flops, unless you are awful at judging talents. TWO per year is crazy talk and would eviscerate the chance to sign “cheap” exciting youngsters.

      So, let’s compromise.
      Every season:
      ONE big player in 20-30M range
      Up to TWO young players in sub-10M range.

  12. Opti you need a reality check. Sub £10M signings got us the sorry bunch of Tosic, Mame Diouf, Manucho, Buttner, Varela, Henriquez and I forget the rest. The only time that strategy has paid off in the last five years is with Hernandez.

    £20-£30M is the going rate for promising young players. That is how much players such as Hazard, Oscar, Moura, David Luiz and so on went for. Even players as green as Smalling and Jones and Zaha cost at least £15M. If we do not accept the realities of the transfer market we will fall behind.


    Because I think it’s actually valuable to look for stats, and information as opposed to just stating aphorisms.

    It’s a very interesting article. Apparently, Messi is not a particularly hard working player by distance travelled. I would posit several reasons for this. If I had to guess, out and out strikers and center backs probably move around the least amount on the pitch. If Messi is winning you the ball, something has gone terribly wrong. But, it is interesting. It’s a beginning anyway. It’s actual data. Ronaldo covers more distance, but not dramatically more.

    I really want to find a good website that had some comprehensive game stats including distance covered. I would like to see hard data on united work rate. To me, they often seem to come out flat. Then they start losing, then they start to press, play dangerous, dribble more, make more runs. If anyone knows of such a site, thank you in advance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *