Time for Manchester United to fire David Moyes?

David Moyes

At what point would the Manchester United hierarchy accept they have made a mistake?

Four home losses in the last six at Old Trafford does not make for pretty reading, and nor does the Red Devils' entire season.

Nobody expected it to be a simple transition for anybody taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson, but so far David Moyes is looking incompetent.

While chosen by his predecessor, he failed to possess obvious pre-requisites for such a post; experience of Champions League football, winning a trophy, even being in a title challenge.

Nonetheless the club and some supporters kidded themselves into believing Moyes was the man, but already those who continually expressed worry are being proved right.

The first hint of David Moyes not being up to the job came in the summer transfer window, but the amateurish transfer dealings were largely pinned on new chief executive Ed Woodward.

Perhaps rightly so, but the club's form on the pitch hints that the hesitancy behind the scenes displays a manager who was either over confident in the summer, or simply lost at a club too big for him.

United this evening were dumped out of the FA Cup at home to Swansea in the third round, while they sit 11 points behind league leaders Arsenal in the Premier League.

They remain in the Champions League, but on current form even a two legged tie against Olympiakos is unlikely to be the walkover it should be. A Capital One Cup win would surely do little to appease supporters.

There are of course several mitigating factors for the manager; Wayne Rooney's summer off-field charades, Robin van Persie's injuries, and a gaping hole in midfield - but the latter two it has been argued are in part down to him.

Sir Alex Ferguson clearly left United a squad which was flawed despite their position as reigning champions, but on the pitch the players look devoid of inspiration, low of confidence, predictable, and short on ideas.

With a failure to secure Champions League football a real possibility, the financial implications of that are dire, and could also see key players want out in the summer, and big names reticent to join.

Crisis is an over-used word in football, but United's season so far resembles one season long car crash. 

So what action will be taken? 

Firing David Moyes is the nuclear option for the United board, but fans have always hoped the club would not adopt a revolving door policy with regard to bosses, as Chelsea and Manchester City have taken in recent seasons.

Further afield however it has not harmed Bayern Munich, who have hired and fired along with the 'oil-rich' Premier League clubs over the past decade and currently stand as Champions League winners.

Moyes was hired on a six-year contract, and a public plea from Sir Alex Ferguson 'to give him time', but that patience is being put to the test after just six months. It's difficult to imagine him being sacked midway through the season, but in the summer is it really unthinkable?

If they did it now however then they could at least hope the bounce of a new face brought in, temporarily or permanently could revive their fortunes and rally to achieve a top four finish.

If Moyes can do this much damage in six months, what can he do in six years?

Well he could turn it around. He could turn United back into Premier League winners, and Old Trafford back into a fortress.

But what United fan who has watched performances this season has confidence that can happen? It no longer looks like a sure thing, and when the biggest gamble is to stay with Moyes, tough decisions and future planning may have to start being made.

image: © Jason Gulledge

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