Tony Pulis would have done a better job than David Moyes

Tony Pulis Interview - 23/02/2014

While David Moyes has taken the champions backwards spending over £64 million on transfers, Tony Pulis has saved Crystal Palace against all odds.

It's time the former Stoke City boss was given a job worthy of his talents. After all, it's not just how he's beaten expectations with the Eagles that's set him apart from the glorified caretaker currently in the Manchester United hot seat.

Just like his Stoke City side, Pulis has remade Palace in his own image and since his arrival they haven't lacked identity or drive to do what must be done to keep the club safe and in the Premier League for another season. The fact he only arrived in November makes his achievements turning his latest team around even more impressive. Meanwhile, Moyes' apologists maintain he needs "time", "patience" and "another season".

Pulis was never given such privileges or luxuries. Instead, he was written off before he even started, and yet within weeks of coming in to fix the mess left by Ian Holloway he had one of the league's worst sides playing to a solid, working game plan.

They have since played with not only a renewed sense of purpose and power, but also far more precision and talent than they are often given credit for. Yannick Bolasie and Marouane Chamakh aren't limited footballers by any means, and Pulis' own frugal January transfers have added quality as well as numbers. Tom Ince is an exciting, skillful attacker. Jason Puncheon has been a smart and snappy revelation up front. Even the likes of Joe Ledley—brought in for just £700k—offer far more than just brute force.

What a wonderful kind of excuse it must be to be able to blame all your ills on a £27.5 million Belgian who doesn't quite match the brief. The baseball-capped Welshman wouldn't have dared dream of such a budget, or allowing a player with the price tag to contribute so little to his season.

By contrast, Moyes piled yet more on his plate with Juan Mata in January for a club record fee of £37.1 million, and took until March to figure out how to use him. Again, such incompetence and wastefulness isn't even an option in Pulis' world.

Stick him in the Scot's position at Old Trafford and it's hard to see how United would remain so bland and weak-willed. He might not bring in the type of football their fans would demand, but all this talk of players lacking focus or confidence would be laughed out of his press conferences and the dressing room. Bench Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie for being lazy, moody or damaging to the team's balance? He wouldn't bottle it like Moyes.

If a Pulis side were to spam the 80-plus crosses United did against Fulham, they would do so with the conviction to make them count rather than fling them at the box with a sulk, a strop and a whimper. He'd make the most of what he's got—as he has at both Stoke and Palace—rather than struggle to make anything convincing out of a squad of such riches as United's.

Compare his record in crunch fixtures this season to Moyes' list of result. He has beaten Everton 3-2, Cardiff City 3-0 and Chelsea 1-0 over the last few weeks alone to ensure Palace were able to heave themselves to 40 points. United may be the best away side in the league but their games against their supposed rivals have almost been crushing and embarrassing defeats, especially against Liverpool and Manchester City.

Of course, had he headed to Old Trafford rather than Selhurst Park it's unlikely the red side of Manchester would be any happier but at least it'd be due to style issues rather than poor results and a manager unable to make his own mind up over what to do with his team.

Yet it's hard not to think that Tony Pulis—arguably the best pound-for-pound manager in the country—would have got more out of the reigning champions than dull, dithering David Moyes.

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