How much of a factor did the players' discontent play in the sacking of Moyes?

Danny Welbeck

David Moyes suffered a disastrous season at Old Trafford both on and off the pitch but what was the biggest factor that led to his sacking?

Just a couple of days before the news broke about David Moyes receiving his marching orders from Manchester United, one of their brightest players spoke of perhaps leaving the club.

Danny Welbeck is adored by the United faithful having grown up in the Manchester area and come through the club's youth ranks. However he has been considering whether to leave the club in the summer with Tottenham Hotspur reportedly interested. Welbeck is a striker but has yet been used predominantly on the left wing by David Moyes. It is worth noting that he has been used there by Sir Alex Ferguson and Roy Hodgson as well, but he seems to have had enough of being played out of position despite performing admirably on the left-hand-side.

You only have to look at Daniel Sturridge to see how a change of club and position can revitalise someone's career. Sturridge was often played out wide at Chelsea before joining Liverpool. He is now showing exactly why he wanted to play down the middle, and has been wonderful this season. Sturridge will now go to the World Cup as one of England's key players.

The same could happen with Welbeck if he can materialise a move away from Old Trafford. He is a talented player and there would be many interested parties. Welbeck was not the first player this season to speak about not being completely happy at the club.

Robin Van Persie clashed with Moyes earlier this season over an alleged disagreement over training methods. RVP believed that the greater emphasis on endurance and running had led to him being more vulnerable to injuries. The Netherlands international was also unhappy that his compatriot Rene Meulensteen had not been kept on as he enjoyed his training methods.

This wasn't the only occasion the star striker revealed his unhappiness at the David Moyes regime. In February Robin told a Dutch TV station that he didn't agree with his manager's tactics in the inept performance in the Champions League away to Olympiakos. He felt that the position of his teammates was not helping his game and that they were often occupying the spaces that he wanted to play in.

Moyes' management of Wilried Zaha remains unusual and no one is quite sure why he was never given an opportunity before being farmed out on loan to Cardiff City. United spent a potential £15 million on the former Crystal Palace player and gave him a five-year-contract. Yet Moyes was obviously never impressed by Zaha as he only appeared in two Premier League games. His future at the club remains unclear, but one would think when such a large amount of money is invested in a player they would want to give him experience and game time at the club. Especially when at times the side seemed devoid of any creativity.

Of course poor results, and their worst ever Premier League standing culminated in the demise of Moyes but the club would also want to make sure they kept their star players happy. Welbeck will be part of the long-term future of the club, whilst Van Persie showed in the second leg against Olympiakos that he is still a match winner.

Constant tinkering with the starting line-up didn't help anyone and it did often look as if the players weren't playing for their manager and they had lost all belief in his capabilities. Obviously that is not acceptable given that they are paid an enormous amount of money to play for the club, but if Moyes didn't have the players on his side then there is no way he could continue.

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