Man Utd: Why David Moyes' Sacking Proves Football Has Moved On

The Chosen One has gone. After months of speculation about the future of Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement David Moyes, Manchester United have finally pulled the trigger after what can only be described as a woeful season for the former Premier League champions, a season epitomised by a lifeless, uninspired 2-0 defeat against Moyes' old club Everton last weekend. While few will disagree with the sacking of Moyes, what this saga proves is that football has moved on, times have changed. Prior to Moyes's appointment back in 2013, Manchester United were lauded for their history of loyalty, demonstrating the lone fight against modern football's relentless attitude of sacking managers after a string of poor results. The chopping and changing of managers within the modern game is frantic and arguably at times barbaric in its justification. With Moyes however, Manchester United were seen as the ones to give the Scotsman time; time to settle, build and make the Theatre of Dreams his home for the foreseeable future. If Manchester United could not demonstrate patience and loyalty, then who would? Sir Alex Ferguson in his farewell speech asked the fans for patience and patience was what the fans would give, for a time.
Even at the time of Moyes' arrival, many commented that his lack of European experience aswell as never winning a trophy as manager could prove fatal to the aspirations for the coming season. While there may never have been the air of pessimism around Old Trafford, a sense of realism for the incoming manager was what was to be expected. Moyes was given a 6 year contract as prove of this philosophy. Moyes had what was seen to be time on his side. However things looked bleak from the off. A tumultuous summer of letting experienced staff go, a horrific display within the transfer market with the £27.5 million acquisition of Marouane Fellaini as well as the sense Moyes had lost the players very early on, led the anxiety and fears of failure. However, time and again it was thought that this is Manchester United, they do things differently, as demonstrated with Sir Alex Ferguson difficult first few seasons with the club. Comparison has been an unrelenting talking point within social media, the comparison between Ferguson's opening season in 1986 and that of David Moyes is one that has lightened debate and provided evidence that football just isn't the same as it was back when Sir Alex first joined the club. Manchester United are now a global brand, one that demands instant results, the club Sir Alex walked into 27 years ago and the one Moyes inherited are worlds apart. Ferguson walked into a club that hadn't tasted success for years. Moyes walked into one where success was the norm. 27 years is a long time in any profession and it has proven no different in football. While Ferguson's debut season featured an average side at best, the squad Moyes inherited won the league last season and while no one really expected Moyes to emulate what is hindsight can only be considered a miracle by Ferguson last season, he was at the very least there to demonstrate where he wanted the club to go, how he wanted United to play and provide substantial evidence that United were a team that was building up for a bright future.
Sadly, Moyes never convinced under the pressure that accompanies the managers job at Manchester United. His style of football has proven to be slow, defensive and empty, his comments within press conferences also baffled some and behaviour that would never be seen as characteristic under Ferguson was on shown week in, week out. Following a season that has provided some of the worst United performances seen for some time, Ferguson's chosen one had to leave. Though Moyes was never helped. Leading the animosity were disgruntled fans who demanded things change immediately, a perspective that culminated into the decision to fly a plane carrying a banner in protest of the way Moyes was running the show. Reports of more of the United squad such as Robin Van Persie, Rio Ferdinand and more recently Danny Welbeck losing patience with the Scot also showed the Moyes was working on borrowed time. The greatest embarrassment for Moyes however was returning to old club Everton last weekend. While the performance was hollow at best, the contrast between the two clubs performances, Everton fans discontent with their old manager as well as the uninterested attitude from his players signalled a new low in an already poor season for the Scot. Now that Moyes has gone, the question posed by many in the wees leading up to Moyes' sacking is would the Ferguson who walked into Old Trafford in 1986 and suffered seasons of mediocrity be sacked in the same manner as Moyes? The answer can only be yes. While United are a different breed to what they were, Ferguson would not have lasted if he were appointed back in 2013. Ferguson is a big believer on giving managers time. The state of the modern game today proved that time just isn't a luxury managers have any more, not even the great Manchester United could afford to suffer in the mid-table, languish in the shadows of the ever improving rivals. The time of 1986 has long passed. Football within 2014 is one of instant success. While the sacking of Moyes can only be considered a personal embarrassment for Sir Alex, the bottom line is that Moyes just wasn't the right man for the job. Some may argue that United should have provided Moyes with more time, but sadly enough was enough. This summer is arguably one of the most important for United in years, with a clearout of players expected and new faces to arrive, it signals the start of a new era. A lack of Champions League football for next season means that for United, Moyes ultimately wasn't seen as the man to lead this daunting task, a more experienced man is needed. The discussion into who replaces Moyes has already ignited with Louis Van Gaal, Jurgen Klopp and Diego Simeone leading the speculation, but for now we should reflect on the season United have had, the departing manager and the importance of his sacking. Football has changed.
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Currently in my 3rd year studying for a BA in English Literature & Film at Edinburgh Napier University. Twitter - @niallmcloughlin