Poor David Moyes, sacked before the season ends. Living up to the standards set by Sir Alex Ferguson was always an impossible task, especially since Fergie left Manchester United in a shoddy state. Moyes inherited a squad stuffed with arrogant past-its like Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Young. It’s testament to Ferguson’s terrifying force of personality that United managed somehow to win the league last season with such a dodgy ensemble; but he deserves criticism too for leaving a mess behind.
Yes, Moyes failed to handle the big ego players — which seems to be the essential skill for a top manager these days. Yes, he never seemed to know his best starting eleven. It’s worth noting, though, that until last weekend’s loss at Everton, Man United would have been top if the league table were done purely on away form. It was at home, at Old Trafford, that they struggled — and here again the haunting figure of Fergie, sat red-faced and glowering in the stands, might be held somewhat responsible. The consolation for Moyes is that at least now it’s over, that and a mega pay off. He could blame Fergie for his failure, but he is probably too much of a good bloke to do that.
Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.