Former Chelsea manager is now in charge at Manchester United on a three-year deal.
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ANALYSIS – David Moyes whose tenure as manager of Manchester United football club came to an end with two messages on twitter always had a difficult task – for one he had to follow in the footsteps of a great man and perhaps more importantly the side he inherited needed serious surgery. The decision by the board at the club clearly shows that they could not trust the man chosen by Sir Alex Ferguson to make those tough decisions. United currently languish in seventh place out of reach of any Champions League football next season and the manner in which the side has played particularly against Liverpool and Manchester City as well as the last poor showing against Everton points to a manager unable to motivate an ageing side in the way José Mourinho has done at Chelsea.
The decision to fire Moyes has been endorsed by a rise in the share price.
That however does not address the central problem with this football club, that United have been in decline since their star player Cristiano Ronaldo abruptly left for Real Madrid. After that the club was held together for sheer force of will which meant that United were a fixture on the Champions League but no longer a force. And as long as they continued to prosper in the Barclays Premier League, there would be no complaints from the owners who could guarantee at least a third place to the shareholders. With the club languishing in seventh place and dull performances on the field the decision to fire their manager after just ten months is clearly a signal that the Glazer family have lost patience. Whether getting rid of the failing Scot will answer the clubs long term problems is however another matter.
For this is a club that is in decline and one that could have done with a man like Mourinho at the helm to steer it through those rough times. Instead, it made the decision to appoint a man with no experience of winning top level competitions and now finds itself nowhere.
Firing Moyes was easy – finding someone good enough to restore this club to the heights it once enjoyed is another matter though.
So, in the year after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson four sides that would have struggled had he remained manager are now bidding for the title of Premier League Champions.
Yesterday’s results that saw Liverpool humble the ageing giant that is now Manchester United, and Arsenal grinding out a result against a Spurs side that showed plenty of energy but little else, means that the Premier League is wide open, and promises to be even more exciting this year than it was when Manchester City grabbed a winner in the dying minutes of the season to steal the title.
Only one of the top four has the distraction of Europe – though that should not be a problem for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, whose side’s shock defeat on Saturday to Aston Villa now means all bets are off.
Mourinho has the experience and steely determination to steer his side through two tough tournaments simultaneously, although his Chelsea side are not the sharpest in the Premier League – that is surely Manchester City who are now favourites to take their second title in three seasons.
Mathematically, Liverpool can’t win should Chelsea win all their games, although this remains a league where the bottom side can still inflict a defeat on the top one. And that leaves Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal who having lost to Bayern Munich despite a very encouraging performance, who are in with a shout for the FA Cup and who managed to make Tottenham look like a second league side despite their North London rivals having most of the possession.
Until yesterday’s win, most people had written off the Gunners’ chances. But they remain contenders – whether they can make it count this season is of course another matter.
So, it is a rerun of last year’s thriller, when City beat their bitter rivals on goal difference, This time though Alex Ferguson’s men are two points clear and have a greater goal difference.
Roberto Mancini is a man under pressure, his side has not played well in the Premier league, or the Champions League either and yet they still have a chance of winning both – in the Premiership they remain undefeated, whilst in Europe, they’ll need the rub of the green to get into the next round.
United haven’t looked great either – however, they have managed to carve out the results as they have done so season after season. This time, a very young Aston Villa side found out what its like to lose to United, despite taking a two goal lead and out playing them for three-quarters of the game.
Outside the rivalry between United and City, the most interesting developments are occurring at Anfield where the newly installed Brendan Rodgers is attempting to mould Liverpool into a football force to be reckoned.
It’s not going to be easy, but Luiz Suarez has stepped up to meet the challenge, something his colleagues failed to do so.
This time, he grabbed a late goal to deny third-placed Chelsea a much deserved win.