David Moyes has urged his team not get carried away after last night’s memorable comeback against Olympiakos that has earned them a place in the quarter finals of the Champions League, but he also believes United are now the dark horses ahead of Friday’s draw and could cause a major shock by winning the competition.
After a season characterised by slow, sluggish and uninspiring football United were closer to their normal selves last night, as they took the game to the Greek outfit from the start, roared on by a raucous Old Trafford and managed to overturn a 2-0 deficit in an European competition for only the second time in the club’s history since they beat Barcelona 3-0 in 1984.
It might not be the turning point David Moyes needed to save his United career, it’ll probably not change the way this season will be considered, but tonight’s performance showed that United can still turn up and give their fans something to shout about.
Evoking the spirit of ’84 might be a step too far, but United proved that they still have enough quality to perform on the big stage and the fans responded admirably, dragging their side through 90 emotional minutes.
The final nail in the coffin? Some desperately needed positives or just another routine disappointment followed by the usual post-match interview filled with regrets and coated in mild disappointment? Nobody quite knows what we can expect from tonight, although the chances of United bidding farewell to the Champions League are far greater than to see progress to the quarter finals.
It could, in many ways, be an emotional night at Old Trafford: probably United’s last Champions League appearance after 19 consecutive years and one which could determine David Moyes’ future and therefore the club’s future, the immediate one as well as the long-term one.
David Moyes has insisted that he doesn’t fear for his job, despite yet another horrendous defeat on Sunday and the prospect of bidding farewell to the Champions League tonight, if United fail to overturn the 2-0 deficit they carry into tonight’s game against Olympiakos.
In yesterday’s press conference Moyes reiterated that he doesn’t consider himself or his job at risk and that the club’s hierarchy shares his view for the club’s long-term future.
If the drubbing against City was a warning sign that was completely ignored and the capitulations against Sunderland and Olympiacos resembled a new low, then Sunday’s humiliation was as much an end as it was a beginning.
A beginning of the end, hopefully, of David Moyes’ era in charge of Manchester United Football Club.
News has leaked from within Manchester United today sparking rumours David Moyes’ future is perhaps not as cut and dry as his 6yr contract suggests.
Recent results and, more worryingly, performances have been unacceptable but many onlookers still believe Moyes maintains the clubs backing. However, the latest news would, in most cases, make Moyes position untenable.
Forget about finishing seventh and having to make do with the Europa League next season, forget about relinquishing any chances of defending the title as early as in December, forget even about the utterly dire football we have witnessed over the last eight months: Sunday’s is the game David Moyes simply can’t afford to lose.
He can’t afford to lose it because patience is wearing thin after a dismal campaign, he can’t afford to lose it because it’d represent another set-back ahead of Wednesday’s already desperate task of overturning a 2-0 deficit in the Champions League and, first and foremost, he can’t afford to lose it because it’s Liverpool.
The importance of the match for both David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers – albeit for very different reasons – and the nature of the rivalry between their respective clubs may mean that Sunday’s encounter between Manchester United and Liverpool is more of a battle of stealth than strategy. However, here’s a quick look at how the sides, if they continue with the game-plans that have brought them success in recent weeks, may approach the game.
David Moyes has, rather staggeringly, failed to name the same starting eleven in two consecutive matches since the start of his Manchester United tenure. Nevertheless, a desire to examine the credentials of young defenders, ahead of a summer of upheaval, and some promising away performances from his front six may convince the Scot to redeploy the side that secured victory in United’s most recent match, at the Hawthorns.