David Moyes: What Went Wrong For The Chosen One?

Perhaps the biggest mark against the now fired David Moyes is that despite being labeled “The Chosen One”, it was never a job that he had chosen for himself. Moyes said of his appointment ...
David Moyes: What Went Wrong For The Chosen One?
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  • Perhaps the biggest mark against the now fired David Moyes is that despite being labeled “The Chosen One”, it was never a job that he had chosen for himself.

    Moyes said of his appointment that he was called over to the residence of Sir Alex Ferguson and told that he had the manager position at Manchester United FC.

    It came to him as a complete and total shock. In retrospect, it’s clear it was never a position for which he had ever been mentally or emotionally prepared.

    He was told that he was the new boss and that was pretty much the end of it.

    From Day 1, Moyes was simply a guest in the “house that Ferguson built”. On Day 348, he has been kicked out for vandalizing someone else’s property.

    It seems almost unfair to punish the man for not being Ferguson.

    He was seemingly never expected to be able to make adjustments that would allow him to make the United team his own.

    He very likely found out (the hard way) that the Manchester United club wanted him to leave everything just the way that Ferguson did when he departed. In truth, tumbling to 7th is unfortunate, but in a new coach’s first season at the helm, it’s not unexpected.

    However, he had only one so-called task to do: Everything as Ferguson did and not deviate an inch. He failed because he tried to deviate, thinking he was going to be allowed to actually manage the Manchester United team. He failed because it was not his club and not his team with which to experiment, change, and certainly not cost Champions League football.

    Too many assumed that because Ferguson was able to get the most out of a team he personally crafted that Moyes need only mimic the man to see the same success repeated.

    Moyes was not a Ferguson clone; he had been an Everton fan. Everton was mediocre (less so since his departure), but not so bad as to expose Moyes in any way as inept. Still, many neutral observers saw the writing on the wall before the season even started. Nothing good could come of this.

    The Ferguson-ordered love affair drowned out any warning cries. Moyes was “The Chosen One” or so it said in the front pages of British newspapers. The words were arrogantly echoed on the huge banner that Manchester United hung proudly at Old Trafford.

    Months later, a devastating loss would force security guards to prevent Manchester United fans from ripping that same very banner to shreds.

    After 34 games, not even a full season, a man that was never truly in control of his own destiny at Manchester United has been shown the door.

    “You are no Sir Alex Ferguson!” is the sneering response to a question of why he is leaving. He leaves having never established himself at a club that never intended for him to be his own man. He trashed the Ferguson legacy with a 7th place finish in one season.

    This lack of patience will prove remarkably embarrassing in retrospect if Manchester United fail to recover within months under a new leader.

    Entitlement and arrogance are deadly sins in the realm of football and Manchester United’s troubles can be blamed on both. Moyes may be gone, but if these behaviors remain unchecked, it cannot bode well for the club going forward.

    Moyes will probably feel as if he’s returned from an out-of-body experience where he journeyed into the seventh circle of Hell.

    He will leave the Red Devils behind for a new and likely more carefully chosen position no doubt.

    Perhaps his former will also engage in carefully picking their next manager. But only if they set aside expectations that he “stick to the plan” and “do it just like Fergie”.

    These are behaviors that interfere strongly with a rebuilding process. It doesn’t matter what sort of quality coach is selected to replace Moyes. If that man is not allowed his own legacy and decision making, Manchester United could find themselves delaying their return to serious title-challenging competition.

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