Updated: Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 09:06 | Comments
Manchester United have announced that David Moyes “has left the club”.
The club this morning thanked Moyes for the “hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role” of manager.
There had been intense speculation about Moyes’ future from Monday afternoon, when a number of journalists with strong connections to United reported that he was set to be fired.
The 50-year-old Scot was appointed on the personal recommendation of Alex Ferguson who retired at the end of last season after 26 years in the job having steered United to the title for the 13th time in his reign and 20th time overall.
Moyes, who had been manager of Everton for 11 seasons but never won a major trophy, was given a six-year contract but the Old Trafford club have lurched from one crisis to another.
A 2-0 defeat at Everton on Sunday was the final straw for the club’s owners, the Glazer family, as seventh-placed United have failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1995-96.
Former United defender Gary Neville criticised the manner of Moyes’ sacking, but conceded that the club had struggled this season.
“I’m a traditionalist and I think it could have been dealt with a whole lot better,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“There’s no disguising that the football this season has been poor, the results have been poor. As a fan, I’ve not enjoyed watching it.”
Nevill said that the players had to share the responsibility for United’s poor form.
“The players have to take massive responsibility,” he said. “They’re the ones out on the football pitch […] It’s always the players.
However, Neville suggested that that they were better than their results might suggest.
“These are players who were champions nine months ago, and the decline has been, well, the decline has been surprising, to say the least.”
Moyes’s sudden departure evokes memories of the traumatic spell the Old Trafford club suffered between 1969 and 1971 when Matt Busby retired after 24 years as boss.
His hand-picked successor Wilf McGuinness only lasted 18 months before Busby took over the reins again.
A SEASON OF LOWLIGHTS
The reign of David Moyes was short and disappointing. The following are ten lows in a difficult period in charge:
22 September, Man City 4 Man Utd 1, Premier League
United were swept away in emphatic fashion as City ruthlessly exposed a gulf in class between the two teams. The hosts led 2-0 at half-time thanks to Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero, before two more inside five minutes of the restart all but sealed victory for Manuel Pellegrini’s men. A late consolation from Wayne Rooney did little to comfort United.
28 September, Man Utd 1 West Brom 2, Premier League
A superb Morgan Amalfitano run and chip had United rattled before Rooney’s free-kick found the back of Boaz Myhill’s net. Youngster Saido Berahino struck after 67 minutes to give the Baggies their first win at Old Trafford since 1978 – and ensure a worst start to a league campaign in 24 years for United.
7 December, Man Utd 0 Newcastle 1, Premier League
United suffered their second home defeat in four days as Yohan Cabaye secured victory for the visitors – their first at Old Trafford since 1972. The previous game had seen Moyes’ old team Everton come back to haunt him with a 1-0 win, courtesy of Bryan Oviedo’s late strike.
5 January, Man Utd 1 Swansea 2, FA Cup third round
This one appeared to be heading to a replay until a Wilfried Bony header after 90 minutes gave Swansea their first ever win at Old Trafford. It was United’s second defeat in four days after Tottenham had beaten them 2-1 in the Premier League. Fabio’s red card for a reckless challenge on Jose Canas capped another bad day.
19 January, Chelsea 3 Man Utd 1, Premier League
Defeat at Stamford Bridge all but ended United’s Premier League title hopes, leaving them 14 points off pacesetters Arsenal. Captain Nemanja Vidic was sent off for a high lunge on Eden Hazard.
22 January, Man Utd 2 Sunderland 1 (aggregate 3-3, Sunderland win 2-1 on penalties) Capital One Cup
United’s season of woe hit new depths as they were knocked out by relegation-haunted Sunderland. Sunderland edged a terrible penalty shoot-out, scoring two of the three spot-kicks converted.
16 March, Man Utd 0 Liverpool 3, Premier League
Liverpool completed the double over United for the fourth time in the Premier League. Steven Gerrard scored two penalties and missed a third, and Luis Suarez scored late on for a team who finished 28 points behind the champions in 2012-13.
25 March, Man Utd 0 Man City 3, Premier League
United were overwhelmed by their local neighbours from the moment Edin Dzeko put the visitors in front inside the first minute. City registered further goals from Dzeko and Toure. Defeat effectively ended United’s hopes of a late Champions League surge and left them in danger of missing out on the top six altogether.
9 April, Bayern Munich 3 Man Utd 1 (Bayern win 4-2 on aggregate) Champions League
United took the lead at the Allianz Arena through Patrice Evra’s stunning strike. But the advantage lasted just 22 seconds as Mario Mandzukic levelled and goals from Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben settled the tie.
20 April, Everton 2 Man Utd 0, Premier League
Moyes was booed on his return to Goodison Park and his players did little to improve his mood, producing an abject display as goals from Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas ended the visitors’ hopes of Champions League qualification.