The Chosen One.
That was the moniker given to David Moyes last year as he began his tenure as Manchester United manager. Ten months later, following his sacking on Tuesday, it became clear that he was the wrong one.
Manchester United’s season has been a disaster for them. From champions by 11 points last season to currently seventh place and 23 points off the top this time around. Already they cannot mathematically qualify for the Champions League next season; the first time this will happen since 1995 when only one English team could qualify. They have won just 27 of their 51 fixtures and have lost 15 times.
They lost home and away to their three big rivals; Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City; and scored just one goal in the process, a Wayne Rooney free-kick when already 4-0 down at the Etihad Stadium. They were beaten for the first time in 41 years at home to Newcastle United, for the first time against West Brom since 1978, for the first time in 30 years against Stoke City and for the first time ever at home to Swansea City as they crashed out of the FA Cup in the third round. They lost three games in a row for the first time since 2001. Their home record this season is worse than Stoke, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Norwich’s.
The only time this season that the Red Devils were in the top four was on the opening day of the season following a 4-1 win away to Swansea. Having won the Community Shield against Wigan at Wembley the week previous, the highlight of Moyes’s reign came at the start of August. Since then, it has been nothing short of terrible.
In truth, David Moyes never stood a chance at success at Old Trafford – he was just the wrong man for the job from the start. The job he did at Everton was admirable but was not one that suggested he was first in line for the biggest job in English football.
Moyes’s Everton side was solid, dependable and he arguably had them punching above their weight. But alone, these qualities were not going to be enough.
Under Moyes, Everton never won a match away to Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool – Roberto Martinez, his successor, won at Old Trafford in his first fixture at these four clubs. He won just three of his 26 Merseyside derbies. His Everton side never won a trophy and in truth, never looked like they would do so, with them capitulating at the first sign of success on numerous occasions, none more so than the 3-0 defeat against Wigan in last season’s FA Cup.
Moyes was characterized as a safety first manager; A man who would not risk defeat to potentially win a game. This made his appointment all the more bizarre…He was never really a winner and did not appear to have the force of personality to drive a team over the line. His teams were solid, yet hardly spectacular.
He also had no experience of collecting silverware and competing at the highest level, and therefore had none of the required qualities you would be looking for had you drafted a job description for the post.
Promoting him to the manager of Manchester United based on his time at Everton was flawed. It would be like giving the man who runs a corner shop and turns over a small but healthy profit the job as chief executive of Tesco.
Moyes realistically could not turn the job once it was offered to him. But he should never have been the first, and indeed, only, candidate for the post. The fact he was can only be a failure on behalf of the Glazer family and Sir Alex Ferguson.
A mistake was made with the appointment and now that has been rectified. It is a shame for Moyes but unfortunately he was never qualified to do the job he was asked to take on.
He was supposed to be the Chosen One, but instead, he turned out to be the Wrong One.