As the news of David Moyes being sacked makes the round and finds its way across the globe, we cannot help but wonder as to what went so wrong in these ten months that Moyes was in charge. He lost the players, the fans and finally, it seems, the management too. But what this news also implies is the inability of Manchester United to differentiate itself anymore.
When Alex Ferguson was brought into the club in 1986-87, he had an upheaval task to achieve. And he took time. He took time to rebuild the lost Busby Boys to turn them into Ferguson’s Fledglings. It was only in the sixth season after he had taken over as the manager that Ferguson did manage to win the league. And the rest, as we say, is history. He retired after 26 seasons with the club, having won 20 leagues with Manchester United.
We cannot expect to find a Sir Alex Ferguson in every manager that Manchester United appoints. It was his sheer genius and ability to bring out the last ounce of talent from an already ageing team, suffering from years of under investment. Is it only Moyes then, who is to blame for the debacle of Manchester United this season, or are their other forces equally, if not more, guilty?
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This is exactly why the sacking does come as a surprise for a club that has always taken pride in “doing things our way”, a club that had invested six long, tumultuous years in Sir Alex Ferguson, in his ways and in his methods, in building the brand we know as Manchester United today.
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Of course Moyes is to blame for the poor show of the club, but there are other concerns too that need to be addressed immediately, concerns about the owners, the club’s financials, a severe under investment in rebuilding the club, concerns about the succession to follow.
Manchester United could have tried meeting these issues before it sacked its manager, before it took the path beaten to death by other clubs, before it sacrificed its individuality of “doing things our way”. Manchester United has always been respected for the respect it shows to its players, the staff and fans, they have an obligation to live up to it.