A group of journalists discussed David Moyes and Manchester United on Sky Sports on Sunday morning, with interesting results.
Manchester United may not have played this weekend but they still found themselves occupying plenty of column-inches, in part due to the continuing transfer rumours surrounding the club, but also due to Saturday’s reports that Louis van Gaal had met with Old Trafford officials to discuss the possibility of taking over from David Moyes.
United have since dismissed the van Gaal story, but a trio of sports journalists discussed them on Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement, leading to some very interesting analysis on the goings-on at United and what the future could hold for Moyes.
Steve Bates of the People believed there was what he called a “split school of thought” among United fans, with some believing Moyes is not the right man for the job and others prepared to give him time.
“It’s my understanding still that they are behind David Moyes,” he said, before adding the following caveat:
“I suspect that they had five very poor results between now and the end of the season that situation could change.”
Moyes would have known the pressure cooker he was walking into when he took over from Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of the previous campaign. And yet he would not have imagined his debut season would have gone as it has, with Champions League football almost certainly out of the question next year after a trophy-less campaign.
But Bates went on to say, “I think he will probably be given the time. I would certainly give him another transfer window at least.
“He has made a couple of signings. The Fellaini signing has not been a great success, Mata has been a success.
“But you have a problem then, United have three number 10s: Kagawa, Mata and Rooney. You don’t need three number 10s so he is going to have to manage that situation.”
Rob Draper of the Mail on Sunday then added a very interesting opinion that will have some United fans fearful and others excited.
“I think that Manchester United will change over the next few years,” Draper said. “I suspect that over the next 10 years we’ll probably see three or four United managers.
“It seems unlikely Moyes will be there for two or three years. I suspect that when the next man comes in that will be seen as a two or three year fix. And that’s how most major clubs are run now.”
But surely that is the complete opposite of what Ferguson was preaching in his final address to the Old Trafford faithful.
Here was a club who had shown what patience brings; the glorious benefits of putting your faith and time in a manager who has the potential if not yet the experience to continue the success enjoyed under the previous boss.
And Jason Burt of the Sunday Telegraph appeared to agree.
“You don’t employ David Moyes for a quick fix,” Burt said. “It was always going to be a two-year project to turn things around. He’s not got time now. He’s had time. You talk to people at United and they say he’s done a huge amount of work behind the scenes sorting stuff out.
That said, he later added, “If they don’t hit the ground running though I think he’s in real difficulties and United may make a change, but I think it will be with a heavy heart.”
Moyes will surely know that, which makes the upcoming transfer window and the following season the most important in his career to date.