Sport Football Moyes was always on borrowed time
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Moyes was always on borrowed time

David Moyes
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David Moyes’ sacking from his role as Manchester United manager is symptomatic of a generation unwilling to wait for anything.

The consensus seems to be that, with the squad he inherited from Sir Alex Ferguson, he should have done better than a season without silverware and a likely seventh-placed league finish.

The argument has some merit. Moyes did inherit a team boasting a few handy players, but the fact that United has terminated his contract smacks of short sightedness.

In these days when a club’s share price is its most important indicator, to expect any kind of vision beyond tomorrow may be far fetched.

Moyes seemed caught in two minds – to chase the glory on offer with the team Ferguson left behind, or to start afresh and try to put his own stamp on the squad.

In the end it was this indecision, and the inability for people these days to wait for anything, that cost him his job.

Who’s to say that Moyes couldn’t have been the catalyst for another golden age at Old Trafford given time?

Phillip Adams wrote in The Australian this past weekend of the human race’s evolving relationship with time, how we are now incapable of waiting. We live in an age when download speeds can dominate the political agenda. Such an emphasis on the clock creates stress, anger and fear.

“We’ve all been conditioned to look upon time as our enemy,” Deepak Chopra once wrote.

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There has been speculation Moyes and stalwart Ryan Giggs don’t see eye to eye. Photo: Getty

“Unlike a rock, which cannot defend itself against wind and water, or a machine, whose parts wear out over time, humans have a relationship with time.

“And like all relationships, yours can be good or bad.”

Moyes’ relationship with time over the past year must have been hell – especially in recent weeks when it became clear to all that his was borrowed.

Sure Moyes, who has – almost since his appointment – looked like a man crippled by the weight of expectation from the United faithful, has done himself no favours.

United are on track to finish in seventh place, comfortably their worst league season since 1989/90 (Ferguson’s third full season in charge) when they finished 13th.

In Ferguson’s first four years at Manchester United, the club finished 11th, 2nd, 11th and 13th in the old First Division. An FA Cup in 1989/90 saved Ferguson’s career. Were it not for that 1-0 replay win against Crystal Palace, his name would be a footnote. As far as ‘sliding doors’ moments go, Lee Martin’s goal that day at Wembley must be right up there with Gwyneth Paltrow catching (or not catching) her fella in bed with Jeanne Tripplehorn.

Ferguson recognised the need for change, that the club’s standard of professionalism needed an overhaul, and he moved on plenty of good players who did not fit with his vision.

Moyes, who only recently started to speak of the regeneration of his squad, should have made his mandate clear from the outset.

For Moyes, it must have been like trying to go on at Woodstock after Jimi Hendrix – and finding out the band didn’t like his ideas.

Instead, he ploughed on with what Ferguson left him – and from all reports old hands like Ryan Giggs, Robin van Persie, Nemanja Vidic and Danny Welbeck have not warmed to the former Everton gaffer.

For Moyes, it must have been like trying to go on at Woodstock after Jimi Hendrix – and finding out the band didn’t like his ideas.

United showed the way 25 years ago by persisting with Ferguson, and the results were greater than the club could have ever imagined.

Who’s to say that Moyes couldn’t have been the catalyst for another golden age at Old Trafford given time?

In 2014, with Twitter, fan forums, the 24-hour news cycle and a scandal-hungry press, time is a luxury football managers simply aren’t afforded.

What a shame. Twenty-five years ago United bucked the trend and persisted with a manager who took them into the stratosphere as the biggest football club in the world.

Now, they’re just another sheep following the herd.

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