David Moyes’ Criticism of the Players Cost Him
In a recent interview with Sky Sports, Paul Scholes was asked what Sir Alex Ferguson’s greatest strength was, and, without hesitation he answered; ‘The way in which he protects his players’. It’s a little ironic that after all he has won for the club, Scholes didn’t see Ferguson’s tactical nous or his ability to develop youth as his greatest skill, but it was the way in which Ferguson defended his players – sometimes to the absolute hilt – that impressed Scholes the most.
Sir Alex is a man that has been at the spearhead of a club that has provided me with so many great memories, yet, in all the years that I have followed this great club, in all the moments of hysteria and misery, I have never once heard Sir Alex neglect or harm the image of his players in an interview. What goes on behind closed doors isn’t something that the public see, but the ability to shield players from negative publicity is a skill that the best managers should all have, and an art that should be very much applauded.
After the 2-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park, Moyes bemoaned the ‘stupid decisions’ that his centre-back Phil Jones had made in giving away the penalty, which Leighton Baines tucked away to give the blues the lead. You do wonder if Sir Alex was still in charge whether Ferguson would have found a way to protect Jones, even in the most adverse of environments. The moment Moyes called one of his own players ‘stupid’, he broke an unwritten rule.
Phil Jones has been an unwilling example of the stark contrast between Sir Alex and his ‘chosen’ successor’s style of management. Sir Alex claimed in his departing speech that Jones could go on to be one of United’s “greatest ever players”, this, the same player that Moyes branded “stupid” after the defeat to his old side Everton.
It is clear that David Moyes is a good man, who demonstrated whilst in charge of Everton that he knows his football, and knows how to set up an average eam and make them hard to beat. The problem lies in the fact that Manchester United are not an average football team, and making a team ‘hard to beat’ isn’t enough for a club of United’s stature. Not only did David Moyes not have the qualities to succeed in a team that went in to every match as favorites – despite his comments before the Liverpool match – he didn’t possess the ability to successfully continue the footballing traditions of Manchester United; Free flowing, dynamic, exciting football.
It saddens me to finally admit that Manchester United and David Moyes aren’t a match made in heaven, as I was thrilled the day I found out he was to take over from Ferguson. Moyes was quite clearly out of his depth and the job of rebuilding one of the biggest clubs in the world proved too big for him, but I genuinely wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
In that same Paul Scholes interview, he talked of people within the game being ‘cold people’ who move on quickly from a range of set backs and potentially difficult changes. As fans of Manchester United, I don’t think it will take long for us to be just as ‘cold’ as those inside the club and forget about the Moyes regime rather quickly.
Written by Dan Hicklin- @MayerMUFC