I have got a feeling that David Moyes will have wry smile on his face as we stand. As two of his former clubs, Everton and Manchester United build up to their FA Cup semi-final this coming Saturday, it could be argued that both clubs (on the football pitch) are in a worse state than when he left them.
THEATRE OF SCREAMS!!!!!!!
He was not a success at Manchester United (he definitely did not understand the feeling and pressure of managing a club the size of Manchester United), that is a given, but it blatantly obvious now that he was clearly not supported by a board run by what I knew then (the public have realised now) is a football idiot (commercial genius) in Ed Woodward. 27.5m was spent on Marouane Felliani (4 million more than the buyout clause figure they could have bought him for) then in the January window Juan Mata was purchased for 37m – though I still maintain that was an Eddie buy just to keep fans happy. He eventually was unceremoniously sacked on April 22nd with the media knowing before he did (says more about how Manchester United is now run than him I think). A certain Louis Van Gaal took over, admittedly a manager with more gravitas, the trophies and pedigree to boot. LVG took over and let’s be honest if I was given 250m+ I would expect to see vast improvements in the team – however it is actually worse now. I personally maintain that if Moyes had been backed by the club, especially with the unprecedented spending that has gone on in the LVG reign he could not have done any worse than the Dutchman has, especially this season. The football has been awful the majority of the time, the tactics are clueless, substitutions that make little or no sense and if you thought some of Moyes’ after match thoughts were bizarre – listening to what the Iron Tulip has to say after games you could not make up some of the rubbish he spouts, its like he was watching a different game – its usually never his fault too.
GOOD TIMES AND BAD TIMES
As for Everton, I was surprised by how much stick Moyes got from their fans when he left. He had been there over 11 years, he was brought in to save them from relegation which he duly did. In his first full season he secured a more than adequate improvement finishing 7th, though a 4th from bottom finish the next season understandably raised question marks. However a storming 2004/05 season saw them finish 4th in the Premier League. This meant entry into the third qualifying round of the Champions League the following season where an awful and mystifying refereeing decision robbed the Toffeemen of the opportunity of reaching the group stage phase. In every season bar one from then he secured a top half finish in the league, whilst not being given much money and having to sell star players on a regular basis, and in his last 2 seasons he finished above city rivals Liverpool. In 2009 he reached the FA Cup final, again however they were bridesmaids losing to Chelsea in the final. A match Everton fans do question (and probably was the perfect job interview for his adversary that day) was a home quarter final in the FA Cup against a Roberto Martinez Wigan side in 2013. The Spaniard out coached Moyes easily in a rampant 0-3 victory (3 goals scored in less than 4 minutes) to say the supporters were furious was an understatement, especially as Wigan went on to win the trophy that May.
ONE OUT ONE IN
Moyes was confirmed as the new Manchester United manager a couple of months later and it was not long after Martinez took the vacated position at Everton. His first season at Everton was outstanding with a 5th place finish and football, all the Everton fans would admit, was much more pleasing on the eye than under Moyes especially in an attacking sense, doing the league double over Manchester United helped too. The level of abuse the Scotsman received on his return to Goodison Park, including a Grim Reaper sitting nearby (coincidentally this was also his final game as Manchester United manager) was in my opinion harsh, he had done a decent Job at Everton but was being absolutely lambasted as if he never achieved anything for them. I suppose at the time Martinez was the saviour and was going to take them to the Champions League and beyond. First forward to now and thing are not so rosy, especially as they languish in the bottom half of the Premier League as we stand (following a bottom half finish last season) and they have only accrued 17 points in 17 home league games this season.
If rumours are to be believed both incumbent managers at Everton and Manchester United are under big pressure for their jobs. To be fair LVG has been understandably under the cosh for some time, as he has failed miserably, despite being afforded everything he has asked for (unlike the previous manager) especially this season. Martinez has his detractors, especially from the clubs supporters (Mythinez is the standard nickname) he has worrying got into the habit of post match analysis which sounds rambling and bears minimal resemblance to what has actually happened on the pitch. With the club having been boosted by an injection of cash by Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri, he is under pressure to show he is the man to spend the additional funds. For both managers a cup final appearance will take a bit of pressure off and wherever David Moyes is watching the game (I suspect in a TV studio somewhere) he can be forgiven for enjoying himself and seeing the pressure spotlight fall on the two clubs who are in difficult places at the moment.
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