Former Man United manager David Moyes. *AFP photo
Former Man United manager David Moyes. *AFP photo


By Don Burgess
t’s always tough following a legend.

No matter who Manchester United chose to attempt to fill Sir Alex’s shoes, they were bound to come up short. When Bill Russell succeeded Red Auberbach as head coach of the Boston Celtics, the team’s string of consecutive NBA championships ended at eight.

You can find similar stories of the men who followed John Wooden at UCLA or Vince Lombardi with the Green Bay Packers.

It’s an impossible job because the expectations are set at such a ridiculously high standard. Anything short of that, and you’re a loser.

Which is hardly the case.

Over Moyes first matches he had a record of 27 wins, nine draws and 14 defeats. And what of Sir Alex? In his first games he was 22-18-10 — giving Moyes a six-point advantage.

Of course, Sir Alex was not taking over the Premier League champions. But Moyes has to establish his system and make his own way rather than be a puppet to the former path.

David Moyes was always going to have a short leash at United, but now was not the right time to let him go.

By letting Moyes go now, United are signalling that anything short of Sir Alex’s exceptionally legendary standard is not acceptable and whoever is the next manager will have that spectre looming over him as well. It does not breed an atmosphere of success but one of fear and looking over one’s shoulder for the Grim Reaper. 


By James Burton
It’s hard not to feel sympathy for David Moyes; a competent manager who, when his time came on the biggest stage, froze. The steeliness that characterized his time at Everton evaporated and he looked out of his depth.

The players also shamefully deserted him but the manager was clearly not rated and a £5m pay-off will do little to nurse a deeply-bruised ego.

However badly handled his sacking was — and it was done with little class by a club that for so long  derided the trigger-happy nature of others — there is little doubt it was the right decision.

Moyes just did not get to grips  with the stature and expectations of the club. It was less about the botched transfers of last summer and more about the attitude, approach and tactics of the man.

A Manchester Utd boss does not talk in the ‘hopes’ and tries’ language Moyes so often fell back on. And he certainly does not say “we’ve really enjoyed” the Champions League after being knocked out.

United demands a winning mentality and a less stodgy, rigid tactical approach. It certainly did not help Moyes that their biggest rivals, Liverpool, and his previous club,  Everton, now have more adventurous coaches producing  regularly-thrilling and, crucially, winning football.

Moyes was taking United backwards and he did not look like he had the ability to reverse it. He had to go.