Pep Guardiola has warned David Moyes that failure to win at a big club is intolerable and that managers must deal with the pressure that comes with managing a club like Manchester United and deliver trophies, or else they risk losing their job even if they’ve only been in charge for a year.
The difference between United and Bayern Munich couldn’t be more evident. The former have endured a tumultuous season after Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson and the Champions League is virtually the only thing they’ve got left to play for, while the latter have already clinched the Bundesliga title and aim to become the first club to retain the Champions League under the tutelage of the former Barca manager, who replaced Jupp Heynckes last summer.
Ryan Giggs has denied any rift with David Moyes, but has admitted he could leave the club at the end of the season, after admitting that he’ll have to consider his options when the current campaign comes to an end.
Rumours of Giggs growing increasingly disillusioned with Moyes’ methods and approach to training have been widely reported over the last couple of weeks, with the Welshman so unimpressed by his manager’s tactics and training drills that he has, allegedly, stopped attending coaches meeting as “Moyes doesn’t f*****g listen anyway”.
Alex Buttner has claimed he can’t wait to face Bayern Munich to come up against Arjen Robben in what will be the biggest game of his – Buttner’s not Robben’s – career. Unlike the majority of Reds who are absolutely terrified by the thought of Buttner taking on one of the best wingers in the world, the 25-year-old Dutchman was a man full of confidence as he spoke ahead of tomorrow’s night game.
Buttner was handed rare starts against West Ham and Aston Villa, as David Moyes opted to give the Dutchman some much needed time on the pitch ahead of Bayern’s visit and the former Vitesse defender claims he’s reaped the benefits of playing more regularly and he’s now ready to face Robben.
Rio Ferdinand has admitted that he’s scared of leaving the house and running the risk of having to confront disgruntled United fans and the 35-year-old centre-back has described the club’s current season as “embarrassing”.
A protest, planned by a group of fans ahead of tomorrow’s game against Aston Villa, will see a small aircraft carrying a banner reading “Wrong One – Moyes Out” flying above Old Trafford before kick-off tomorrow, while Ferdinand is the first senior figure to speak out about United’s dismal campaign.
David Moyes might still have the backing of the Manchester United board, with neither the Glazers, nor Ed Woodward or Fergie and Sir Bobby seemingly ready to pull the plug on Moyes’ dismal tenure at Old Trafford, but the United manager is losing support among two other crucial parties.
The first, as was widely reported after Tuesday’s shambolic defeat, are the fans. Having stood behind Moyes for eight months, showing a remarkable amount of patience given the awful football we’ve been treated to, many Reds seem to have finally lost patience and some – the man in the South Stand being the prime example – decided to make their feelings known to the manager.
As if being humiliated at home by one of our bitter rivals for the second time in two weeks wasn’t enough, David Moyes has managed to heap even more misery on United, by claiming that the club should “aspire to be like City”.Nevermind that United are still the Champions of England, nevermind that United’s history and support dwarf City’s and that players outside England even ignored City’s existence until a couple of years ago, Moyes wants us to look up at them.
It’s a new low in defeatism and shows just how abysmally distant Moyes is from grasping what it means to be the manager of Manchester United, a job which he’s likely to keep for the foreseeable future courtesy of momentous wins against football giants of the calibre of Olympiakos and West Ham.
Eight months ago Wayne Rooney looked set to leave Old Trafford behind and join Chelsea. On Saturday he captained the team – not for the first time this season – scored one the best goals the club has ever seen and moved up to third in United’s all-time goalscoring list.
In what has been a dismal inaugural campaign, David Moyes’ handling of Rooney has been one of the few positives of United’s season and Saturday confirmed how pivotal the striker is to United’s future, particularly when he enjoys this sort of form, something that had somewhat gone missing over the last 18 months.
Manchester United will face Bayern Munich in the quarter finals of the Champions League, after the Reds were handed arguably the hardest possible draw in today’s draw, with the first leg to be played at Old Trafford on April 1st, while the return leg at the Allianz Arena eight days later.
Bayern qualified for the quarter finals by knocking Arsenal out 3-1 on aggregate, winning 2-0 at the Emirates, before drawing 1-1 at home at the Allianz Arena and will enter the clash against United as overwhelming favourites, as they bid to become the first side ever to retain the Champions League.