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A lot has been said, discussed and written about David Moyes’s calamitous tenure at Manchester United. It started with an euphoria before anxiety and fear crept in, and it didn’t take much long for the fans to realise their “Chosen One” is completely out-of-his-depth and incapable of handling a big club like Manchester United.
On a broad level, it was there for all to see that United regressed under Moyes. The results were poor, the playing style was dire, man management resembled old school type – it was really painful to see a club in free-fall that won Premier League the season before.
And yet there are counter arguments. Some say Moyes didn’t inherit a good squad and that was he wasn’t given enough time for rebuilding. One gets the feel the reason why United fans supported his appointment was because he was hand picked by none other than Sir Alex Ferguson himself. Even, fingers were raised at Ferguson for the rapid decline of this team.
In his updated book, Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography, which is officially released tomorrow, the legendary United manager rejects the popular belief that he was solely responsible for the appointment of Moyes.
“There appears to be an accepted view out there that there was no process,” Ferguson writes. “Nonsense. We feel we did everything the right way: quietly, thoroughly, professionally.”
In an additional chapter entitled “United In Transition”, which did not feature in the first edition of the autobiography published last year, Ferguson says that his successor went against United traditions by adopting a slower playing style which led to his downfall eventually.
“The reason for playing at speed was that United players had been accustomed to operating that way,” he writes. “If the tempo slowed for any reason, I would be into them at half-time. ‘This is not us,’ I would say.
“Playing with speed never hindered our results. It was our way: energy and determination in the last third of the pitch.”
Ferguson writes that Moyes found it a massive jump to move to United and “he hadn’t realised just how big United is as a club”. The 72-year-old also points out that he tried to talk Moyes into retaining Mike Phelan as assistant manager but the former Everton manager chose to ignore such advices.
New manager Louis van Gaal has been spectacular either and despite being handed a good run of easy fixtures, United have managed only one point better than what they were last season under Moyes at this stage. Ferguson reveals that he had been left completely out of the loop over the decision to sack Moyes and also the appointment of Van Gaal, whom he describes as “formidable” and “one of those committed ultra-professionals”.