Recently, I happened to come across an article on Telegraph’s website titled ’31 reasons why David Moyes should leave Manchester United’. I have been a staunch supporter of David Moyes during his tumultuous first season at Old Trafford. I found the author’s points reasonable, but in the end it was an opinionated article substantiated with facts and number crunching. And as always, there are two sides to a coin.
A below-par season will not afford me the luxury of using solid facts and figures to substantiate my reasoning, but there are enough credible reasons nonetheless to advocate why David Moyes should stay at Manchester United.
THE MANCHESTER UNITED LEGACY
1) We are Manchester United, we give our new managers time to settle down
No United manager since Sir Matt Busby has been sacked with just one season of performance to show for. Even Wilf McGuiness and Frank Farrell (both of whom lasted in the hot seat for one and a half season) were given time to prove their worth after abysmal first seasons. Since 1945, the average period for which a manager has been in-charge at Old Trafford is seven and a half years.
2) Sir Alex too had a torrid start to his United career
Sir Alex’s first four seasons at Old Trafford:
League position: 11th, 2nd, 11th, 13th
First trophy- FA Cup 1989-90 (Fourth season)
And the reverberating chants of ‘3 YEARS OF EXCUSES AND IT’S STILL C**P – TA RA FERGIE’. We wonder what might have been if the board had heeded to the fans’ opinion. Thank God for Martin Edwards.
3) Success and failure are part and parcel of United’s history
From losing our entire squad in 1958 to winning the European Cup 10 years later, from getting relegated to the second division in ’74 to winning the FA Cup 3 years later, from one league title in 25 years (1967-1992) to 13 in the next 20, Manchester United has seen it all.
The relentless inflow of trophies and honors under Sir Alex’s stewardship has kept fans in persistent dreamland. Thus, this transitional period, a wholesale management change after 26 long years, has come as a rude shock to many. What fans need to understand is that United’s illustrious history is full of such instances and this club wouldn’t be standing where it is today if it hadn’t overcome those challenges.
4) Being the manager of Manchester United is a job like no other and Moyes must have realised that by now. With a fanbase estimated to be equal to the population of Europe and with a valuation which matches the GDP of Sierra Leone, Manchester United is arguably the biggest football club in the world. Managing a club of this stature has its own standards of public scrutiny.
And when you get to fill the boots left by Sir Alex Ferguson, the task gets all the more herculean. For David Moyes, coming from the humble surroundings of Goodison Park, it must have come as a rude culture shock. The fans have vociferously voiced their criticism and agony throughout the season which certainly hasn’t made his job any easier.
5) United finished 8 seasons without any silverware under Sir Alex Ferguson. Fergie didn’t get a taste of European football until his fifth season at Old Trafford.