It’s a bad time to be a Manchester United fan. Teams are no longer afraid of United, Old Trafford is far from a fortress and every time United seems to have thrown off the shackles, reality is dealt to them by another defeat. After thrashing Bayer Leverkusen, United drew with Tottenham and lost back to back home games to Everton and Newcastle. After six successive wins, Manchester United fans were brought back to reality with a loss to Tottenham at Old Trafford.
If Moyes was the manager of any other club, perhaps barring Arsenal and his old club Everton, he would’ve been shown the door or at least there would be murmurs about the stability of his job. But Moyes was handpicked by Sir Alex Ferguson, christened the Chosen One, and United fans and board members – more than anyone else in the world know the fruits you can reap by having patience. After all Ferguson endured a horrible run of results at United, it took him four years to win the first trophy, the FA Cup in 1990 and two more before Eric Cantona inspired United to their first league title. But he was making important changes in the background and that’s something United fans and others need to remember.
After the first league title, the trophies have been never-ending and United fans started considering being in the title race their birthright. However, with Ferguson stepping down a Championship winning team seems to have been reduced to a mid-table one. The truth is that United have been struggling with injury issues and filling Sir Alex Ferguson’s shoes was always going to be a big task. To expect players who’ve been playing under Ferguson for years to continue in the same vein under Moyes was another unrealistic demand. The truth is that Moyes needs time and at United he will get it and they will creep back up the table. Here are five positives from David Moyes’ reign which reiterates why Sir Alex Ferguson chose to pass the baton to him:
The rejuvenation of Wayne Rooney
Three years ago, Rooney complained United weren’t signing enough players and wanted to leave. Last year, it was not getting enough playing and Sir Alex decided to let Moyes deal with his former prodigy. We don’t know exactly what Moyes told Wayne Rooney but we’re sure explaining to him how he could become one of the United greats if he just stuck around. He displayed amazing man management skills to convince Wayne to say and ever since he came back he has been United’s most outstanding player, scoring and creating goals at will and dragging his team along. In the era of player power, Moyes’ firm stance sure made an impression on a not-so-young Wayne who has become United’s talisman once again.
The rise of Adnan Januzaj
In his autobiography, Sir Alex Ferguson explained how the Old Trafford faithful loved players who could get them off their backsides . The last young player before Adnan Januzaj who really did that was one young Portuguese lad called Cristiano Ronaldo who dazzled after coming on as a substitute against Bolton all those years ago. Like Ferguson, Moyes has the gumption to give youth a chance. It’s hard to imagine any other manager giving Januzaj a look-in but the young Kosovan lad showed some promise in pre-season and United finally have another player who has the potential to become a world-beater. Would Jose Mourinho or any other candidate have picked the youngster ahead of seasoned veterans like Valencia, Nani or Young? It’s doubtful.
Performances in Europe
United’s league form has woeful – there are no two ways about it – but they’ve been pretty good in the European Champions League topping their group. They even thrashed Bayer Leverkusen away from home – a 5-0 vintage performance – United best away win in Europe in a long time.
The Everton Legacy
David Moyes’ old side Everton came to Old Trafford and beat United 1-0, something Moyes failed to achieve in his time there but the team that’s left behind for current manager Roberto Martinez has Moyes stamped all over it. Wheeling and dealing with very meagre funds, Moyes kept Everton punching above their weight for a very long time. He managed to find gems like Wayne Rooney, Leighton Banes, Ross Barkley and Tim Cahill and during his management he averaged a league position of eight was amazing considering the funds they had at their disposal.
He understands United’s legacy better than anyone else
Many fans were clamouring for a fancy name like Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardialo or Jürgen Klopp to take over but Ferguson picked Moyes for several reasons. He was British, understood the United tradition, was a crazy workaholic, knew how to behave in public and got on magnificently with his players. The most important reason was that he was not a journeyman or foreigner who wouldn’t have stuck around. Pep might have moved on for the next challenge while Jose has a historically short attention span. Moyes is going to build the club from the ground up and he needs time. Like Sir Alex said in his farewell speech, it’s the fans’ job to stand by Moyes. United fans would do well to remember their favourite manager’s words.