Sacking David Moyes Is the Wrong Option for Manchester United

Nathaniel ReevesCorrespondent IApril 21, 2014

Associated Press

A tumultuous season for Manchester United is expected to conclude with the imminent sacking of first-year manager David Moyes.

While United’s struggles in the Primer League this season are undeniable, this is not the right time for the club to let Moyes go.

Following a 2-0 loss to Everton on Sunday, it appears that Moyes is set to be sacked. There has been no official word from Manchester United, but multiple reports, including one by Sky Sports, suggest that Moyes will be gone "by Tuesday at the latest."

The club has denied that he has been sacked at this point, but a decision is likely to come soon.

Moyes had had an extremely difficult reign in his first year as United manager. The defending champions currently sit in seventh position with four matches remaining and will be out of the Champions League for next season.

But the situation Moyes inherited was nearly impossible to succeed in. He took over an ageing and flawed Manchester United squad that didn’t address numerous key issues at the opportune time.

Matthew Peters / Getty Images

A big reason for United’s struggles has been its midfield, which was left in shambles following the club’s run to the title and offered little offensive threat this year while also being porous defensively at times.

The club acquired one big midfield player in Juan Mata, but that felt more like a signing for the sake of adding a big name than one that would fit with the team. While that was a mistake by Moyes, it was one he made while under extreme pressure to do something.

Sky Sports

Combine that with the fact that Moyes had impossible shoes to fill following the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, and it was very doubtful that he could have succeeded this year. Moyes simply needs to have more time.

He appeared to have bought that in the Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich. Despite being overmatched, United held Bayern to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford and even took an aggregate lead in the second leg as late as the 57th minute.  

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Moyes' tactics have been heavily criticised, but the first leg against Bayern proved he could be an effective tactician. Barney Ronay of the Guardian wrote of Moyes' tactical change that helped minimise his club’s weakness against what was an overwhelming position of strength for Bayern, which worked well enough to keep United in it.

Moyes replied by allowing his condensed midfield-five simply to back off. With Wayne Rooney the extra man when Bayern had the ball (unless stated otherwise, Bayern always had the ball) this left Danny Welbeck a lone but significant central striker in what was for a while a fancified game of kick-and-rush.

There’s no doubt that Manchester United will undergo an overhaul this summer. With £200m to spend, the club will be able effectively to address its weaknesses. The issue was going to be who would be in charge of that overhaul, as indicated by Ian Darke of BT Sport and ESPN.

Moyes would have no excuse for failure next year if he was the one tabbed for the rebuild. But United won’t give him the chance and never did give him a chance to succeed. Give Moyes one more year, and he can prove that Ferguson made the right choice for his successor.