“Moyes Out” Plane Banner Will Do More Damage Than Good at Manchester United

Firstly, I am not a David Moyes supporter. He wasn’t my first choice as a successor to Sir Alex Ferguson. For what it’s worth, Moyes wasn’t even on my list of potential candidates as Manchester United’s new manager. But those decisions aren’t in my hands. And unfortunately as a fan, we just don’t have a say in those matters.

With that said, I am a former coach (albeit of a different sport). I know the difficulties and issues involved when a new coach (manager) assumes control of a new team.

In most cases, there is a minor transition period where as a team’s production drops off as compared to the season before. That can be expected. What fans would hope for are signs that the team is moving in the right direction. That “progress” provides hope that there will be success in the future.

Sometimes there is actually a “spike” and the team thrives under the new leadership. In the long run, that spike may only prove to be temporary or it could continue towards an upward trend.

Then there are times when the new management and its inherited team are met with failure. David Moyes and Manchester United are currently in the midst of such a scenario.

Because none of the parties involved will actually come out and make public statements damning individuals specifically, fans are being left to speculate over what is going on inside the club. Supporters can only listen to the opinions of footballing experts, tabloid articles, unnamed sources, former players and managers on the issues going on behind closed doors at Manchester United.

All of this leads to misinformation and uncertainty.

In spite of this, with Manchester United suffering through one of the most difficult seasons in its recent history, the one thing that has been a constant has been the support of their fans. I’m not referring to the ones who follow the matches on television and/or who take to Twitter to voice their pleasure/frustrations about the club. I’m talking about the season ticket holders at Old Trafford and the travelling Red Army. These supporters have remained loyal to the club and stood by the new manager despite watching some uninspired player performances and seeing Manchester United hit all-time lows.

Now it has been reported that a group of Manchester United supporters have come together through the Red Issue website and raised almost £1,000 to have a plane fly over Old Trafford during Saturday’s match against Aston Villa, pulling a banner that will call for manager David Moyes to be sacked. The arrangement is for the plane to carry the message: “Wrong One – Moyes Out” as a response to the “Chosen One” banner that has hung inside of Old Trafford.

This action will only further damage the club’s image, open it to even more ridicule from rival clubs and tarnish the reputation of each match-going supporter of Manchester United.

One of the biggest differences between Manchester United and other top clubs has been the patience and unwavering loyalty of its supporters. The value of United’s fans cannot be underestimated. Players and managers from every club across Europe have gone out of their way to comment on the unity and cohesiveness between Manchester United, the club and its supporters.

Earlier this season, a Chelsea supporter reminded me of comments made by manager Jose Mourinho during the heat of the summer transfer saga involving the London club and Manchester United. With the media pumping out daily stories of Rooney’s imminent departure, and anticipation of a harsh reception during his first match back at Old Trafford, the striker turned in a man of the match performance against Chelsea. Instead of jeers, Rooney was roundly applauded and serenaded throughout the contest by United supporters.

Mourinho’s post match interview speaks volumes to how he and most managers view Manchester United:

“This club must be a very special club because at every club in the world, when the player wants to leave they [the fans] don’t support him. When a player wants to leave, they give him a hard time — but [here] they support him all the way, so I think this is a real special club with special fans.”

That loyalty and stability is one of the major reasons Manchester United is one of the world’s greatest franchises. The fans are a major recruitment tool for the club, whether it be for growing the club’s commercial successes (sponsorships) or the recruitment of world class players.

All one has to do is look at Manchester United’s colossal sponsorship deals. The latest being a reported world-record kit deal with Nike estimated at £600million over ten years; or read Juan Mata’s blog to see how quickly the Spanish international and two-time former Chelsea Player of the Year has been won over by the passion and loyalty of Manchester United fans.

Yes, David Moyes has done an abysmal job of navigating his way through his first season at one of the world’s biggest clubs. His tactics (as compared to United’s previous staff) have been questionable and he has also done a poor job of man-managing the players he inherited from Sir Alex Ferguson. While some players have flourished under Moyes, the majority look uninspired or a shadow of their former selves.

With that said, this is not David Moyes’ team. It is apparent that some of United’s players don’t like playing for Moyes and/or the manager doesn’t value some of the players he inherited. He should be given the summer and the next January window before he is judged on his performance. He needs time to build a club in his image and one that buys into his philosophy.

For anyone who hasn’t read the Harvard Business Review’s article on Sir Alex Ferguson and his formula for success, the former manager mentioned “Dare to Rebuild Your Team” as one of his keys for a club’s long term fortune.

David Moyes needs more than nine months and two transfer windows to build “his” team. And he needs the loyalty and stability of Manchester United supporters.

If the club is in a similar position at this time next season, it’s safe to say there won’t be any need for public outcry. There will be no need for a plane flying over Old Trafford carrying a sign or fans protesting outside the grounds… Moyes will be sacked. But until then, Manchester United fans need to support their club and its manager.

For more Manchester United news, analysis and opinion, visit the Manchester United team page.

27 thoughts on ““Moyes Out” Plane Banner Will Do More Damage Than Good at Manchester United”

  1. ‘One of the biggest differences between Manchester United and other top clubs has been the patience and unwavering loyalty of its supporters’

    Until things aren’t going well and then…well…uh…yeah.

  2. Good thing this article was posted. I was getting worried we would go one day without a “Moyes Must Go” article.
    In Moyes I trust

  3. I don’t care whether Moyes stays or goes, but he has made this team what it is. Does anyone actually think United would be in 7th place if SAF were still in charge?

  4. I wanted to disagree with you because I, like many others, are done with Moyes. However, thinking back when Blackburn supporters resorted to that type of behavior to oust the Venky’s, my thought was that club is in disarray and lo and behold, it is. Man Utd are not at that point. The board and owners won’t let the club go down. The supporters do need to finish out the season with a bit of dignity and wait until next season.

  5. Sorry but Moyes has shown nothing at all in the last 9 months that he has the ability to turn things around with new players and time. Not even a glimmer of what we can expect in terms of a new style of play.

    How can any player at the club who has won the league 3-4+times believe in Moyes when he’s never won a game away against a top 4 team in his career. How can they follow a man that continually makes the same mistakes over and over again. How can they have faith in a manager who paid 27m for Fellaini.

    You can not give this man 150m to spend on new players because when he waste it you will then spend another 2-3 seasons trying to recover. You only have to look at the 100m Kenny Dalglish wasted at Liverpool as proof. It severely limited the transfer spending of Rodgers who missed out on players because transfer funds where so tight.

    1. Agree with you and disagree with Peter.

      Good chefs can make good food from limited ingredients. Same as manager. Again and again: it’s not that United lost, it’s how United lost.

      Peter, as a former coach, you know that if you know what you’re preaching, you’ll win respects from your players. They’ll buy into your systems and philosophy.

      Moyes just can’t cut it. He’s probably a good manager, but not good enough for United. Nothing’s wrong with it. Even Sir Bobby Robson lost the dressing room at Barcelona, Guus Hiddink reportedly lost dressing room at Sporting Lisbon and he was villified by South Korean media before the World Cup. But Hiddink had credibility and the players bought his ideas resulting in good performance in 2002 World Cup.

  6. I’m sorry man…..I just totally don’t agree. I’m as big of a United fan as anyone else but I think the club is doing itself a huge disservice in sticking with Moyes. What I like about United is that I feel it is committed to excellence. The winning is a by-product of that commitment. I want to see a club in United’s position doing something to indicate that THIS is simply not acceptable.

    Sticking with Moyes is an endorsement of mediocrity because of fear of what could happen next. It is true that sacking a manager after 9 months is less than ideal and it leaves United with less margin for error with the next appointment. But they still need to do it.

    At the same time, every player should be examined to see if they are part of the problem. Is it just that Moyes is such a pain in the butt that all the players hate him? Or have some of the players actively made it worse? Are those players good enough to keep around? Does that offer any insight into what type of manager should be hired next time? Etc….

  7. Everton were expected to struggle post-Moyes, almost in the same way United might post-Ferguson. Instead the club has moved to a new level.

    Under Roberto Martinez they have altered their style of play and have 57 points from 30 games, sitting above United in the league. In Moyes’s last five seasons at the club they averaged 12 points fewer (51, 40, 40, 45, 48).

    1. Agree.

      Here’d be my main argument against him:
      You expect guys like Ferdinand, Vidic, Giggs, and maybe van Persie to lose a step as they have moved on a year. But why have their young players like Cleverley, Phil Jones, Rafael, Smalling, and Welbeck seemed to have gotten worse?

      Sure, he gave Januzaj a shot, but there was no improvement after he broke through.

  8. I was thinking about the long contract but look at this way. Let’s say it costs 20million to buy him out and 20mill for a new manager, that’s equal just the transfer fee for a top player and the right manager will have far more effect.

    1. It won’t cost that much to buy him out. He will settle for less if he wants to manage again any time soon. I also read a article yesterday saying the club HAD included a early termination clause in his deal. I’m guessing once we start hearing more and journos report on the release clause that’s usually when the axe finally drops.

  9. If the Glazers stay with Moyes, it is tacit evidence that they have intended to milk the team for the money as some have suggested. If they truly believe in the team, the brand, and its history, they have to cut losses, hire a real manager who has some semblance of a cv. I don’t think the Glazers need or want that kind of publicity.

    1. I actually think if they want to milk the team for the money, they will also fire Moyes. I don’t think the sponsors are dumb enough not to have a clause enabling them to opt out of the sponsorships/endorsements if United’s performance doesn’t meet certain standards.

  10. I think united fans calling for Moyes to be sacked are every bit as loyal as those still deluded enough to think things will improve. Why? It’s because they can see this is a train wreck of epic proportions that has to be stopped before more damage is done.

  11. What he has been able to achieve in 9 months is breathtaking. 26 years to turn OT into a fortress gone in 9 months. Sweep by your two main rivals. No CL and no silverware. H e could not handle the top 4 sides at Everton and he has carried it over to MUFC. The only good thing he has chased off the gloryhunter.

  12. The Glazers should apply THE WIZARD’S SIXTH RULE at this juncture in order to save the MUFC BRAND.


  13. The question is not whether Moyes should be sacked or not. Its how should fans of United act to show their displeasure. Is flying a banner over Old Trafford on game-day the best way to show displeasure? If this goes ahead and Moyes does leave, will fans take to using this technique in the future every time fans are disgruntled?

  14. Gary Neville: “Manchester United fans have been classy all season in support of the team/manager when it’s been poor. This stunt let’s all our fans down!”

    “In protest at the protest every united fan should sing DM name or boo for the entire stunt!!!”

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