Connect with us

David Moyes

Sacking David Moyes Would Be a Setback For British Football Managers

The media frenzy about David Moyes’s ability to handle the Manchester United job has reached a boiling point with countless tabloid articles and speculation about the manager’s future. But as a supporter of a rival club who enjoys seeing the Red Devils suffer, let me explain why I have a soft spot for Moyes and ultimately would like to see him succeed in some way.

We live in a day and age where we are constantly being preached too by many people about the inadequacies of British football and how much more sophisticated everything is on the continent. The top English clubs have followed this lead and have gone continental with their management preferences. Manchester United, a club whose best managers have all been Scots through the years, stands as a shining exception.

The obsession with continental tactics, personalities and players is understandable. But what I want to see is younger British and Irish managers and younger British players given a fair shake at the bigger clubs. Brendan Rodgers hiring by Liverpool was a good sign as was, of course, Moyes hiring by Manchester United. But Moyes’s hiring was made strictly out of deference to Sir Alex Ferguson and one must assume if he is sacked he will be replaced by a continental. Arsenal is breaking in younger British players, but Chelsea and Manchester City both of whom once had tremendous youth systems, have taken to simply loaning Academy players out until inevitably selling or releasing them.

Moyes worked his way throughout Preston North End, building a side that came close to promotion to the Premier League on multiple occasions and took Everton from a annual relegation candidate to the UEFA Champions League in a few short seasons. Those types of managers previously were rewarded and given deference in English football. But today, instant gratification characterizes much of the narrative as does a self-loathing attitude by many towards anyone of Scottish, Welsh, English or Irish background.

While the Premier League is an international phenomenon, all its matches are played in the British Isles. Players and coaches must live and work in England or Wales, and this fact seems lost, often on those who critique managers and players.

Today Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan would never have been given the opportunity to manage Liverpool. Both won European Cups, and both took what Bill Shankly built and improved it.  Perhaps the same can be said for Kevin Keegan, or dare I say Sir Alex Ferguson.

This article is not meant to belittle the impact of continentals especially the likes of Arsène Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Rafa Benítez and Roberto Mancini, who have all made a remarkable impact on the English game and title races. But it seems today, an English, Welsh or Scottish manager is starting with an automatic disadvantage and a built-in bias against him from many in the press.

Do I believe if Moyes were a continental who had led a mid-level side like Everton to several top half finishes in, let’s say La Liga or Serie A, that he would be given more deference? Yes, I firmly believe this.

The bias isn’t conscious in most cases but expressed subtly. The narrative often exaggerates the style of football advocated by continental managers and the time it takes to implement stylistic changes. For example, even while Manchester United sat ahead of Manchester City in the table at the last international break, the media was questioning Moyes while giving Manuel Pellegrini time to implement his new “style.” Last season at Southampton, Mauricio Pochettino’s results were no different than Nigel Adkins but lavish praise was given to the former for changing the way the Saints played while the later was dismissed as a “Championship level manager.”

Everton’s results this season, it can be argued, aren’t terribly different than they were under Moyes but the Martinez-Moyes contrast being played in the press is striking. This having been said, Roberto Martinez is virtually a British manager having spent almost his entire professional career in Britain. But were Martinez actually British, would he get the same level of praise?

The constant negativity surrounding Roy Hodgson in the press reflects this bias. It is often forgotten that Hodgson has actually accomplished a great deal as a manager on the continent and was even considered for the Germany job once, the only foreigner to ever be seriously thought of by the DFL for that post.

My sincere hope is that David Moyes will be given time and deference he deserves as an accomplished Scotsman in English football. But alas, in this day and age that seems unlikely as the media feeding frenzy intensifies by the day.

Editor’s note: For the latest Red Devils news, analysis and opinion, visit the Manchester United team page.

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
  • Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
  • Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
  • Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more



  1. yespage

    January 10, 2014 at 9:16 am

    If Manchester United were 19-0-0 right now, the tabloids would be going on about how it wasn’t Moyes, but the team that Ferguson left him and the spirit of the squad. The tabloids are ridiculous!

    I don’t think Moyes can do good regardless. Man. U needs to ask themselves a question, are they in it for the long haul and hope Moyes works for them for the next 20 years or do they think they can replace him immediately and then get the talent on the field to actually win and make the Champion’s League.

    If the former, give him a couple years. If not, give him the ax now, but they better have a name in mind for his replacement.

  2. rkujay

    January 10, 2014 at 4:34 am

    I am not looking for ‘instant gratification’. It is the instant destruction of my team that I object to. The chosen one is not the man for the job.

  3. gillyrosh

    January 9, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Interesting. AVB came in with his continental tactics and the English media didn’t seem to have much time for him.

  4. Smokey Bacon

    January 9, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    When is the spotlight going to fall on a Ferguson and his part in all this? The Guardian did a piece today along these lines. Ferguson left Moyes a shambles of a team. No midfield, a pair of ageing centre backs, had Rooney ready to leave and truth be told blindsided Van Persie who went to united to play for Ferguson. Basically, Ferguson’s ego was out of control by the end and led to poor decisions being made, like hiring Moyes without even casting the net.

    I know it’s sacrilege to have a pop at Ferguson but he arguably sowed the seeds of this mess. The only way Moyes survives is if he is given the times to build his own team. He has to ease out the remains of Fergusons old guard. It might take a season or two of missing out on champions league to do it.

    Btw, it’s amazing to hear the revisionist nonsense about Moyes time at Everton. He did great for that club. Everton did not suddenly start playing football when Martinez arrived. He may not be right for United but Moyes is still a talented manager.

    • Mufc77

      January 9, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      I laugh when people say Martinez has made Ross Barkley a better player.

      Roberto Martinez has had as much to do with Ross Barkleys development as David Moyes had to do with Adnan Januzaj development.

    • Christopher Harris

      January 9, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      As an aside, I had quite a bit of criticism for Sir Alex Ferguson and the way he left the club in an article I wrote earlier this week at

      • Mufc77

        January 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm

        I don’t disagree with any of those seven points gaffer. Points 1 and 3 alone would be enough to screw up any team with a new manager. Add in the other 5 points and it looks like a disaster waiting to happen.

        While I’m fully supportive of Moyes for at least two seasons I’ve never lied about the fact that I thought Jose Mourhino was the man to take over from SAF. People thought I was exaggerating when I said that the period after SAF retires is going to be one of the most important times in the clubs history and look what happening now.

        What really infuriates me is the fact that David Moyes wasn’t made to sit in front of the board and explain his vision for the future of the club. He should have went through a proper interview process to get the biggest job in football last summer. Instead he was told the job was his over a cup of tea round at Fergies house.

        Now as bad as things might look right now with our league position I’m still not panicking. 5 points bavk from the champions league spot with 18 games to go in the league is nothing and anybody who’s been watching the EPL long enough knows that. Once Rooney & RVP are back playing again and Carrick is properly healthy the team will improve. They might not become world beaters but they won’t be losing those games to lower placed teams and that’s the ones you need to win to make the champions league spot.

  5. Dean Stell

    January 9, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Sorry Kartik. I really respect your opinions on most things, but as a United fan, I want Moyes fired the moment the season is over. There’s no point it doing it now, because there is nobody better to bring in to finish out the season.

    But, I feel like there’s ample evidence that Moyes isn’t “the guy”. He’s probably competent, but United should aspire to having someone who is excellent.

    • Mufc77

      January 9, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      And who do you want to replace him ?

      • JJ

        January 9, 2014 at 9:59 pm

        I think for a start De Boer would be a fantastic coach for us. We could pryhim away from Ajax at the end of the season. He’s a much better coach than Moyes. Other coaching options are Vicenzo Montella of Fiorentina, Joachim Lowe could be pried away after the WC with Germany, and Cesare Prandelli is leaving the Italy job after the WC. All better than Moyes.

        • Dean Stell

          January 9, 2014 at 10:34 pm

          Yes…precisely! You took the words out of my mouth. All of those would be better than Moyes. The thing is, none of those guys would have wanted to follow SAF, but you can hire them to follow David Moyes and his 7th place finish.

      • Dean Stell

        January 9, 2014 at 10:33 pm

        Honestly, I’d take just about anyone over Moyes. I’d take Heynckes before him. And there will be a few big-time managers who are available after the world cup. I’d take Capello over Moyes, for example. Maybe Lowe is done with Germany after the World Cup. I’d take him.

        The problem with Moyes is that he is sinking the ship. This isn’t good enough and it will not get better with time. Cut your losses and try something else. I’d rather let Ryan Giggs be player/manager than have more Moyes.

  6. JJ

    January 9, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    It’s just that a lot of the British managers are mediocre at the moment. Read the piece by Fernando Duarte about no Brazilian coaches being offered jobs. These things come in cycles. 10 years ago if you didn’t have a French or Italian player something was wrong now it’s Spanish and German players along with the ever present Brazilian players. Rave or Nationality should never come into play for a job. Moyes shouldn’t be given more time or even the job itself due to him being Scottish. That’s wrong to me. The only time nationality should come into play is for international jobs.

  7. Tony Butterworth

    January 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Don’t worry, he won’t be sacked that’s why he has the really long contract.

  8. Ardwickian

    January 9, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I love the chosen one banner displayed at the cesspit knowing old bacon face is squirming in his seat,let the good times roll.

  9. goatslookshifty

    January 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Both Everton under Moyes and Man Utd historically ended the season strong so all is not lost just yet. This may sound sacrilege to Utd supporters but bombing out of the FA Cup, League Cup and CL, but getting top four in the Premier League might be the salvation to the future of David Moyes and Man Utd’s label as still being one of the top clubs in the world where players want to be.

  10. Flyvanescence

    January 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    I support the same rival team and have the same enjoyment of seeing the rags suffer.

    Therefore i am loving the incompetence of David Moyes and hope his managerial stint continues long into the future.

  11. Cantona

    January 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    United are playing like a mediocre Everton side… Until Moyes can put his stamp on the side ie New Signings.. This team still belongs to Sir Alex. How could you fear Moyes after playing for Sir Alex? I believe in Moyes but it will take time, at least a year… Which is going to be difficult for most United fans.. Moyes is the right guy he just needs the owners to open the checkbook..and he needs at least one big name to sign on. Once we get that things will start turning around


  12. Pres

    January 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    You called Everton an annual relegation candidate… NEVER BEEN RELEGATED. Come on Kartik you know this.

    • Kartik Krishnaiyer

      January 9, 2014 at 4:40 pm


      Everton was relegated one time in the 1930s and came straight back up.

      Also go back and look at the tables in Howard Kendall’s second stint and Walter Smith’s time and recall how Everton came close on MULTIPLE occasions to going down. Just because they did not go down does not mean they were not dangerously close before moyes was appointed.

      • Kartik Krishnaiyer

        January 9, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        And the 1950s…just looked it up. I was right about the 1930s and Everton was also relegated in 1951.

    • Christopher Harris

      January 9, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Relegation candidate is different than relegated team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in David Moyes

Translate »