Is this really happening? Is Moyes really under any kind of pressure so soon? This pressure includes #Moyesout campaigns and hostile newspaper articles.
Now I write as an Arsenal fan, so I don’t really care what happens to Manchester United. In fact it would make me happy for them to slip out of contention for the title for a bit. Not only would it help us to win the League, but I feel that after thirteen titles since 1993 it is time for United to face a barren period.
However, I still feel the need to defend Moyes from any pressure he may face as I feel it is grossly unfair. The first point is it is far too early to start putting pressure on Moyes.
We are still very early into the season after only nine games. United have already faced trips to Manchester City and Liverpool as well as a home game against Chelsea. Any new manager can expect to take a while to find his best eleven as well as to get the team playing the way he would like.
Remember, Alex Ferguson become Manchester United manager in 1986 and didn’t win his first trophy until 1990 and his first title until 1993. Between 86 and 90 there were famously calls from the fans for him to be sacked. However the United board stood their ground and were eventually vindicated.
This shows how these things take time. So it is unfair to put pressure on Moyes until at least twenty games have been played.
Secondly, almost anyone would struggle to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor. The people putting pressure on Moyes seem almost to forget how much of a totemic figure Ferguson was, dominating every part of the football club and achieving unprecedented success.
We can look at Brian Clough’s 44 day spell at Leeds United, where he came after the legendary Don Revie. He couldn’t cope, despite his massive ego and narcissistic streak. Even someone like Jose Mourinho might have found it difficult to succeed Ferguson.
Also, there is no real alternative to Moyes. He fits what Manchester United are after. Pep Guardiola had already agreed to go to Bayern Munich, Jose Mourinho had an attachment to Chelsea but was also obviously unsuited to United and Jurgen Klopp has made clear his desire to stay in Germany for the time being.
So United really didn’t and don’t have anyone else to go for. Anyway, Ferguson endorsed Moyes, so it is unlikely after so long in management he would pick someone not up to the job.
Finally, after a manager like Ferguson, a one-off who had such a long career at the club, a period of transition is inevitable.
image: © Jason Gulledge