Reports are coming out of Carrington that divisions have increased between management and players in yet another blow for David Moyes. With Nemanja Vidic announcing his departure at the end of the season, and Rio Ferdinand taking to Twitter to ask who will be next in the management merry-go-round (a move that is clearly attached to an agenda), there are still persistent rumours that the more senior players are refusing to take Moyes seriously.
Robin Van Persie has questioned the training regimes initiated by the Everton coaching staff and whether his injury plagued season has been directly linked to these mid-table methods. Moyes is certainly getting it from all angles and with another important run of games about to begin, there seems no real likelihood of anything becoming any easier.
United face Fulham at the weekend, followed by two trips to London to face Arsenal at the Emirates, and Crystal Palace. After that, they have Olympiakos in the Champions League and if Moyes fails to take United through, you wonder if the Glazers will be forced to show their hand.
There is no doubt that Moyes will continue to stick to his guns and proceed in the way he sees fit, but how much longer will he be allowed to continue? Failure to gain qualification to the Champions League looks likely at the moment and if this happens, how difficult will it be to regain this status next year when being forced to play Europa League football on a Thursday?
United have obviously historically given every manager a fair crack at the job, but perhaps sometimes it is more appropriate to cut your losses. Moyes may not be there yet, but if United suffer a couple of losses in the next 4 or 5 matches, will this be enough damage for some serious decisions to be made?
The fact that Vidic has called time on his United career is massively symbolic. He may have had a stop-start season and looks slightly off the pace at times, but are Smalling, Evans and Phil Jones really viewed as adequate replacements? Would Vidic have decided this if Ferguson were still there?
From Despair to Where?
It’s been a season of pure unpredictability thus far and there is no telling what could happen, perhaps everything will suddenly click into place and they will sneak through a few rounds of the CL and grab 4th place in the League, or perhaps they will crash out against Olympiakos and struggle to get 7th spot.
Anything could happen and this is something that United followers are not used to. At the very least, you expect to see an attacking line up with flair and a ‘we will score more than you’ kind of outlook. Currently this season it has been pretty far from that.
Moyes has carved a lonesome figure in post match interviews and seems at odds with himself, skirting around the problem and convincing himself that they have been unlucky. It’s not convincing anyone else, and the Glazers are likely to step in pretty quickly if things continue in this vein. People must look to their management of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where they have not been frightened to swing the axe if things aren’t going well. Of course they could never have done this with Sir Alex, but now their new man has so many question marks over him regarding performances, transfer dealings, excuse making and player unity, it will be interesting to see whether by the end of February or mid-March they have intervened.
Remember that although United aren’t a club that traditionally sacks managers after 8 months in the job, the Glazers have a somewhat different outlook. Those that suggest that Moyes will be given a year or two regardless of results are sadly mistaken. Anybody who thinks that the Glazers will be just fine with Europa League football next year and the massive loss of revenue this will cause, are simply kidding themselves. Watch this space……
Drop a comment below – will the Glazers be patient?