Manager Watch: Is Moyes really in danger of losing his job?

David Moyes

David Moyes has endured a poor start at Manchester United - but how long until the former Everton boss is truly under threat?

This weekend generally proved a good one for managers - unless you are David Moyes.

Under-pressure Norwich boss Chris Hughton achieved a rare away win at West Brom, Andre Villas-Boas won at Sunderland and Mark Hughes - miraculously - triumphed over Chelsea.

The odd men out were West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, Cardiff boss Malky Mackay and Manchester United boss Moyes.

The Scot suffered his second back-to-back defeat at Old Trafford, as Newcastle won their first game at the Theatre of Dreams since 1972, leaving United seven points off the Champions League places - and an astonishing 13 off leaders Arsenal - after just 15 games.

Questions about his future are now genuinely being asked.

David Moyes

Manchester United in ninth place in the Premier League: unthinkable under Sir Alex Ferguson; reality under Moyes.

Five league defeats so far this term have brought the 50-year-old back down to earth with a thud after the euphoria of becoming United boss in the summer, with two of those coming in his last two games.

Three home defeats, meanwhile, is as many as Ferguson suffered during the whole of last season.

Overall, the picture looks bleak. The Scot's tactics look uncertain, his demeanour complacent. And a look over at former club Everton makes things all the more worrying, with the Toffees playing their best football in years under Roberto Martinez.

Could Moyes simply have been made to look good by being at a club that was already well endowed? Could the 50-year-old have even been holding them back?

Either way, those calling for Moyes to be given time should consider this: the Scot will not change hugely with regards to the long term; this is him at his peak, there is nothing more he can offer.

Whether the United board give him the time to outlast this barren spell is another matter, however. The Premier League champions are known for their patience and loyalty - just look at Ferguson's reign.

But how many more goalless displays and home defeats are they willing to take?

There are currently three camps. Those that think Moyes will go if the current rut continues; those that think Moyes will go if Manchester United fail to make the top four this season; and those that think the Scot will be allowed to stay regardless.

If records keep tumbling for all the wrong reasons, we may find the answer out sooner rather than later.

Sam Allardyce

A short note, too, must go out to West Ham boss Allardyce. Last week, the bookmakers made Norwich manager Hughton their favourite to be sacked next. This week, Allardyce's odds have shortened considerably.

It is, however, Cardiff boss Mackay who is the new favourite to be the next to go. But a look at the respective fixture lists suggests Allardyce may be in greater danger.

West Ham have both Manchester United and Arsenal to come this December and, with just one win in their last eight league games, that spells trouble.

image: © Jason Gulledge

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