Time for Manchester United fans to get behind and stay behind their manager?
Being used to success for 20 years means that for some fans, dealing with a transitional period is not an easy task.
However, football rarely works like that and when David Moyes was handed the reins to take over as Manchester United boss in the summer, many Reds fans were not prepared for their team to fall down the pecking order; even it is to be a temporary falter.
As United prepare to regain some ground in what has been a poor season, we look at 10 reasons why David Moyes should have the full support of the United faithful.
Patience:. A poor first half of the season doesn't mean that a future under Moyes is all doom and gloom. Let's not forget Fergie's poor start to his United career, where he didn’t win a trophy in his first 3 years. If United are sitting at the top of the Premier League this time next year then many will be forgetting their poor run this season.
Long term: The board could have easily just looked for a quick fix after Alex Ferguson left. The club had been spoilt for two decades and were never before faced with the task of replacing their manager – an ordeal which most clubs face every few years. When Fergie started at United it was a different era of football where managers were usually given more time to succeed. It is a very different world now where managers are so easily dispensable to clubs. Surely by sticking with Moyes this can continue to break the mould.
The plan: He needs time to build his own team and get a project up and running. There have been a few shining lights this year for United with Adnan Januzaj breaking into the first team and David De Gea looking more and more like the keeper they were supposed to have signed. These players will undoubtedly be a part of his long term plan.
Optimism: Big teams can have bad seasons, and that is not a reason to make a knee jerk decision. The season isn’t over and a top four finish is definitely not off the cards. The signing of Juan Mata will give them the boost that they need to work their way up the table.
Perspective: AC Milan – a side of equal stature to United in their respective country – are currently sitting 9th in Serie A, a massive 28 points behind Juventus in the top spot. In comparison, this makes Man Utd’s season look pretty good!
Youth: Moyes may look to the academy for long term - Fergie did this and that is something United fans pride themselves on. Moyes has proven to be good at giving youth players a chance (Barkley & Rooney) and could prime and develop some of United's young talent.
Experience: Moyes has been criticised for his negative team selections and tactics but he is experienced enough to get the team where they need to be.Getting to know the squad and their ability can mean a lot of trial and error, but Moyes knows what is necessary to work out the best foundation to build upon.
The players’ responsibility: Man Utd players must take a share of the blame for their poor season and this is especially true for the more senior players. They had a massive responsibility during this major change in the club's history and know that they need to step up to the plate if they are to save their season.
Loyalty: Moyes is a loyal manager and would probably dedicate the remainder of his managerial career to Man Utd. He was chosen to preserve the longevity and stability of the club and prevent them from catapulting into yet another team that goes through more managers than I have hot dinners.
Signings: The jury is not out on Marouane Fellaini. It looks like he is a long way off of being the dominant presence in midfield that Manchester United need but he has had an unlucky start to his United career. When he returns from injury he may go on to have a long and fruitful career with United. Moyes inherited Alex Ferguson's team who were subtly decaying in so many areas. He has had to try and revitalise the squad without overhauling it too quickly. Mata has been brought in to add the flair and creativity that was missing from the midfield, and he looks set to be a success.
image: © Jason Gulledge