A Turnaround or just a Stay of Execution for Moyes?
Quite rightly, the fans had a lot to cheer about when the final whistle blew at Old Trafford last night as the club managed to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit for only the third time in their history. Courtesy of a hat trick from the apparently unsettled Robin van Persie, David Moyes guided the team through to the next round of the Champions League and a tasty encounter against one of Europe’s finest teams.
It was a night when everything went right for the Scotsman. The old guard of Ferdinand and Giggs, in particular, stood up to be counted, showing a passion and guile that had been so strangely lacking on many occasions this season. The young guns of David De Gea, Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck all put in excellent shifts that will give many fans comfort for years to come and the players in their apparent prime- Rooney, RvP and Carrick- all had their best games of 2014.
Prior to kick off, many fans had been saying it was a must-win fixture for Moyes if he was to stay in the job after this summer and the atmosphere around Old Trafford certainly echoed those sentiments. Luckily, for the first time this year, the players were seemingly able to harness that nervous energy and convert into a positive attacking display but there are no guarantees that it will happen again when City arrive at Old Trafford next Tuesday,
In fact, there hasn’t been too much cause optimism all year- other than the post match fever of last night- that Moyes is the right man to do that in the long term. There have been too many false dawns this season, so many positive performances followed up by horrible, turgid football that many fans wonder whether they could ever look forward to a free flowing, positive future with David Moyes at the helm.
Of course, last night was encouraging, exciting and ecstatic in equal measure but it must not be forgotten that United were widely expected to walk past Olympiakos when the draw was first made and yesterday’s fixture simply represented the atonement of previous sins. In itself, the two-legged affair cannot be of much comfort for fans and Glazer’s alike- who made a rare appearance at Old Trafford last night for as of yet unconfirmed reasons (Yes, they are entitled to attend when they wish but the sporadic nature of their visits only encourage to question their true motivation).
As such, there seems little reason for all United fans to suddenly repatriate their blind faith to Sir Alex’s succession plans and David Moyes. Before they can truly get behind Moyes and show their unwavering support for the Scotsman they will need cold, hard signs of aesthetic and underlying improvement.
If David Moyes wants to ensure last night was nothing more than a stay of execution, he better go about building on last night’s victory by continuing the team’s strong away record this season at Upton Park before facing his next D-Day against Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City who will be looking to humiliate the Red Devils once again!
Do you think David Moyes deserves another season?