David Moyes was sacked by Man Utd and ridiculed at Real Sociedad. At West Ham, he’s risen again – spectacularly.
Hi, I’m Chloe and this is the Playmaker.
One story every day to make sense of the world of football.
Today… the Moyesiah.
The Manchester United manager is struggling.
The press are saying he should never have been given the job in the first place.
According to them, he’s tactically inept and only got the job because of his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson.
Fans are on his back.
Former United players are calling for him to be given more time.
You’d be forgiven for thinking I was describing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer here.
But I’m not.
I’m talking about David Moyes and his time as Man United boss.
Yes, the same David Moyes who just eliminated Pep Guardiola and Manchester City from the Carabao Cup.
City have won the trophy for the last four years in a row, by the way.
“Said Benrahma with this kick of the ball to end a Carabao Cup era. Benrahma scores! And City are out! At last! Finally!”West Ham United
It’s the same David Moyes who got West Ham into the Europa League, the first time the club had made the group stage in their history.
They now sit top of Group H with three wins from three.
The same David Moyes who currently sees his team fourth in the Premier League table… three points above Man United.
The West Ham fans call their boss the “Moyesiah”.
So… why weren’t those qualities on show when Moyes took over from Ferguson at Manchester United?
“And that mindset came from being an Everton manager. A lot of the time, I think, David Moyes played in the big games sometimes first not to get beat and see what I can get out of the game. Whereas we was always on the front foot.”BT Sport
That was Rio Ferdinand talking about what it was like to play for Moyes when he first arrived at the club.
He could well be right about the Moyes mindset then. Managing a consistently successful club was a huge step up from running one where success was occasional.
Ferguson, remember, had been at Old Trafford for 27 years and had won everything – repeatedly.
Moyes, on the other hand, had not.
He would have wanted to have done things his own way but, as Ferdinand’s comment reveals, he was always going to be compared with Sir Alex. He would always hear how things used to be.
The club was in transition but Moyes wasn’t given the benefit of the doubt for long. Fans were supportive for a while but goodwill at big clubs is always dependent on trophies. And Man U weren’t winning them.
“Next Tuesday April Fool’s Day. He’s the biggest fool in Manchester. And that is you David Moyes. You have lost the fans tonight, you don’t deserve the fans. You don’t deserve anything from this club. You got the job on a technicality, off a legend who recommended you. You are nothing, you are a fool and you are a waste of time. Good night.”Stretford Paddock
In January 2014, a plane was flown over Old Trafford that said “Wrong One – Moyes Out.” The pressure was building.
Three months later, Moyes was sacked… ironically after a defeat to his former side Everton.
His record? In 51 games in charge, Moyes had won twenty six games, drawn ten and lost 15.
For most clubs, that’s a decent account. It’s an average of 1.72 points per game. For context, that’s Moyes’ best ever record. He averaged 1.54 at Everton and 1.67 now at West Ham.
A respectable record it may have been but respectable is never good enough at Old Trafford. Moyes was sacked – an experience that understandably affected him.
“How long did that experience take you to recover from at Manchester United?”
“Er…maybe longer than what I hoped, but I think maybe when you look at the situation at Manchester United er you’d maybe understand, you know, it’s a big club to lose your job at, it really is because it’s documented all over…all over the world. And er I still felt that at the time to only be given ten months in the job wasn’t long enough. And I think now, maybe people looking back at Manchester United would understand that there was a lot of difficulties.”beIN Sports
For Moyes, however, the difficulties only grew. New jobs followed his time at Old Trafford but they didn’t last.
He was humiliated at Real Sociedad. He struggled at Sunderland. And he wasn’t offered a new contract after his first spell at West Ham. He was made into a laughing stock.
“I know some of the players. They have been training with me er… er… dos, tres, quatro er times.”Soccer AM
But that was then. The wheel of fortune has turned and Moyes is once again being praised for his work at West Ham second time round.
He’s essentially shaken off the bad press that has followed him since the United days, and he has admitted that he’s lightened up – making training sessions more fun.
Moyes has been praised for his tactical flexibility, improving individual players – take Declan Rice for example – and his focus on crossing the ball well produced superb results for Tomas Soucek in particular.
It’s hard now to avoid the conclusion that Moyes wasn’t given enough time at Manchester United. Or maybe he just wasn’t suited to the club and the immense pressure that came with the job.
“But to go back round full cycle and to go back to the level of management that he was once at with Everton, that got him the Man United opportunity, shows you the depth of character, the belief that he has in himself.”talkSPORT
The United fans expected him to be their “Moyesiah”.
But at West Ham, he seems to have found the perfect place to rebuild his reputation, and his career. And the fans love him for it.
Today’s episode was written by Chloe Beresford, and produced by Studio Klong.