David Moyes: The real deal at Old Trafford? Part 3

       Half a season gone and Manchester United are having their worst league performance in the Premier League format under the care of David Moyes. It’s been a difficult start to life at Manchester United for David Moyes and is there any hope for better things to come? The following below are 16 stats coined out from thejournal.ie and the majority of the statistics reflect that fact the Moyes has struggled to establish himself at Old Trafford.


1.      Moyes won 18 of his first 31 games in charge at United— a better record than Sir Matt Busby (15), Ron Atkinson (14) and Sir Alex Ferguson (12).

2.      United have gone out of the FA Cup at the third round under Moyes— something which only happened once in Alex Ferguson’s 27 years in charge.

3.      United are currently seventh. They haven’t been as low at this stage of the season since the 1988/89 campaign.

4.      Only Arsene Wenger, Alex Ferguson and Harry Redknapp have managed more Premier League games than David Moyes.

5.      Alex Ferguson (528), Arsene Wenger (383), David Moyes (174), Rafa Benitez (126) and Gerard Houllier (112) are the only managers to have won over 100 games with a Premier League team

6.      Moyes’ expensive £27.5 million signing, Marouane Fellaini has scored just once this season— while playing for Everton. He has failed to score in any of his eight appearances for United.

7.      United had 202 shots and 33 goals after 20 games this year, compared with 245 shots and 50 goals after the same amount of games last year. By comparison, Man City’s record reads 265 shots and 57 goals.

8.      On average in the Premier League era, United took 45 points from their first 20 games, whereas this season, they took just 34.

9.      Before taking over Man United, Moyes had the 18th best managerial win% of managers who had played 20 games or more in the Premier League era. David O’Leary, Roy Evans, Kevin Keegan, Bruce Rioch and Gianluca Vialli were among those who had superior records to him.

10.  United met Chelsea last weekend, with Mourinho having just dropped four points out of a possible 21 against Moyes, while the Portuguese boss has also never been beaten by his Scottish counterpart in the league.

11.  Man United are the third most patient club in the history of English football when it comes to maintaining managers (hiring a new manager every 5.9 years on average), with only West Ham (7.47 years) and Arsenal (6.11 years) more patient.

12.  This season, Southampton, Swansea, West Brom, Aston Villa, Norwich, Sunderland, West Ham and Man United have had an average of 12–13 shots per game. By comparison, Everton, Arsenal and Newcastle have had 15 shots per game, while Man City, Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea have had 16–17.5.

13.  United have experienced their worst home league form for over a decade under Moyes— they’ve also lost at home to Swansea for the first time ever, to West Brom for the first time since 1978, to Everton for the first time since 1992 and to Newcastle for the first time since 1972.

14.  So far, David Moyes has a better win% record (57.58) than any manager in United’s history apart from Alex Ferguson (59.67). Moyes’ win% with Everton was much lower though (41%).

15.  United have won no points from goals scored within the last ten minutes of games (aka ‘Fergie time’) this season, compared with 11 points by this time last season.

16.  They have already lost more games in the league under Moyes this season than in the past three full seasons under Ferguson.

            These stats have shown that Moyes has not gotten his feet right with Manchester United. The board and the fans seem to have faith in him probably bearing in mind his lack of experience at a top-level club and also that he signed a long term contract. Managers get short term contracts these days because you never know when bad results start coming in so rather than take a risk of signing a manager on a long term deal and then sack him shortly and have to pay heavy outstanding fees and clauses, club owners stick with a short term deals. That’s not the case with Moyes. It seems united want to continue with the tradition of having long term managers hence the patience of keeping Moyes. If Moyes were to be in a club like Chelsea, lying in 4th place by this stage could get the exit door open talk less of 7th place.

            The woeful start to the season for Manchester United has also seen the club’s valuation drop by £250 million from £1.75 billion to £1.5 billion in just one month and its getting investors worried. Manchester United is the most marketable and valuable football club in the world that’s why many corporate companies come in for sponsorship. The prospect of not qualifying for next season’s Champions League can further damage United’s finances and sponsors can decide to pull out if the bad results keep damaging United’s business profile. The Glazers won’t be happy if this happens, considering that United is trying to pull itself out of huge debt. The Glazers have given Moyes a huge transfer kitty so it’s left for him to make the right signings that will continue to drive the club forward. Recent signing Juan Mata is a good buy but Moyes has the task of putting the right tactics that will make him flourish as he did at Chelsea. Man United are still in the Champions League so it’s a bit of a consolation but question is how far United can go in the competition with a dismal season overall? The group stage was ok especially the resounding 5-0 away victory at Bayer Leverkusen which is United’s biggest away victory in the Champions League. Topping the group ahead of Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Sociedad and going unbeaten was probably more rewarding but United have a bigger task ahead. United face Olympiacos in the 1st knock-out round of the Champions League. It won’t be an easy task because Olympiacos look a determined team and if United don’t take the game seriously, it would be another bad result for Moyes. United must ensure qualification for the Champions League and have a top 3 finish.

            Moyes faces a big task of trying to rebuild a squad that has been weak in some areas especially the midfield and defence. These too areas have been weak for some seasons. Only Fergie’s brilliance made sure the attack covered up the blushes behind. Quite a few players seem past their prime and it’s time to add some new faces. Moyes must ensure he gets the right players, get the right tactics. Moyes also needs to motivate the team. This United team looks bereft of any confidence. United are not playing with spirit to win a match even if they are a goal or two down. This was something Fergie never lacked. The motivation spirit was there and why? A reason is you won’t want to have a taste of Fergie’s hair dryer treatment. Teams looked a bit scared under Fergie. They never really attacked but sort to defend. I’m surprised that teams like Swansea, Newcastle, Westbrom, Sunderland among others had such high confidence against United. They attacked and outplayed United and got the desired results. This is a shame as it brings damage to what Fergie had done over the years to make United what it is today.

            Moyes made a costly mistake of sacking key members of United’s back room staff such as Rene Meulensteen who had been a key member to United title success with Fergie. It’s ok to bring your own staff but you can’t sack people who have been key to the success of the club. Moyes knows nothing about United and so getting tips from people like Meulensteen would help and not from your own staff from your former club also know nothing about the new club.

            Moyes has a big task of fixing up the mess United are in now. He can still be given a chance at least maybe till next season. The club is still exercising patience. The fans put up ‘the chosen one’ banner at each home game, so there’s still a lot of faith in him. Moyes needs to take advantage of the chance by proving himself as a worthy manager. If United fail to qualify for the champions League and the finances don’t look impressive, it might be a case of the fans putting up angry banners and the board taking Moyes through the ‘exit’ door.



Kunle Fayiga

Writer & Blogger

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