David Moyes Is On The Right Road

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 18.41.50A lot has been made about Manchester United’s start to the season and David Moyes has been under the spotlight – welcome to Old Trafford, David, I’m sure you didn’t expect anything else.

I’ve known David for a long time, back to when he was mentioned as a possible assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson and I was interested in the same position. David has always been a fantastic coach and I’ve been a massive fan of his – for the last few years, I’ve been one of those who has always said that I felt he was the man to succeed Sir Alex, long before the man himself realised he wanted to retire.

David doesn’t need me to sugarcoat anything for him because the truth is that life at United is going to be tough and you won’t get anywhere in that job unless you have significant strength of character, just the same as you won’t if you’re a player.

It’s too early to be saying things like “he’ll come good” and “I still have faith in him” because it’s much too early to have lost faith in him or say he’s been bad. Let’s not get on his back because of a poor fixture list or one bad move in the transfer market – honestly, I was never a fan of Fellaini and I’m still not convinced by him but I want to be proved wrong and that’s what I’ll be hoping for while he still pulls on a red shirt.

One thing the player will have to learn which I am in no doubt that David already knows is that there is a unique pressure to win at United. It’s like no other place.

There’s nowhere to hide, nothing less is acceptable than a win and United supporters are used to those wins with good football. It’s not a matter of being spoiled, it’s a level of expectancy that was brought to the club by Sir Matt Busby and which I and every other of hundreds of players have tried to live up to ever since. There’s a difference in supporters spoiled by success and supporters who expect the standard of Manchester United which is expected by everyone internally and I don’t think there is anyone anywhere that would be able to say we’ve been able to see a United team really do itself justice this season.

I can understand some supporters saying they want better at the moment and I agree that some performances need to be but David is the right man to get it going in the long term, of that I’m certain. I was asked on Twitter if he should have rotated for last night’s game against Norwich City and my honest opinion was that he shouldn’t. At this point I felt David should be concentrating on finding his best eleven rather than rotating… I have no doubt his overall aim his to find a best team but it doesn’t help when he constantly gives opportunities to players that are either not performing, or players that most people know don’t have a long term future at United. You might have heard me on the TalkOfTheDevils.com podcast earlier this season voicing my disbelief at the fact that Wilfried Zaha cost £12m and wasn’t being selected. That was his first game last night!

David said himself that supporters might expect a few weeks of mixed performances – and I wouldn’t be surprised if that stretches into a few months. There are interesting signs – Jonny Evans looks like he might have moved into being a first choice, and David looks like he fancies Phil Jones as a key player in the long term but doesn’t know which position to settle him in. All that of course could change by the transfer window but it’s a nice change to discuss actual change and transition rather than speculate aimlessly on the future of players whose agents are moving for transfers!


Hi – sorry I haven’t updated much! I’ve been coaching in Boston and haven’t managed to catch a lot of football, just enough to catch up on the headlines and the United/Millwall games.

I will be back shortly writing more regular articles but for now I wanted to just share a couple of videos I was sent recently about my time at Old Trafford. The first is a documentary about the club going from the early 70’s through to the 90’s, and the second is extended highlights of a game against Sheffield United shortly after I signed – it was actually the first chance I got to watch it back recently after a long time… the game marks my first goal for United, but I was just as delighted to see the great play of the likes of my old friend Sammy McIlroy… I hope you enjoy watching them as I did.