The post-mortem of when it was that David Moyes’ position at Manchester United became untenable is conducted in the press on Wednesday, and a few interesting stories have come to the fore.
Leading the charge that David Moyes lost his job after losing the Manchester United dressing room is the Daily Mail’s Ian Ladyman.
Whilst many will question the narrative wholly that Moyes was sacked because his players didn’t like/respect/value him, the Daily Mail are spending huge efforts convincing football fans otherwise. Ladyman writes:
As if immediate memories of a 2-0 defeat by the worst team left in the Champions League were not enough to darken the mood on the Manchester United flight home from Athens in February, the sight of David Moyes’s reading material was enough to prompt further shaking of heads.
A management self-help guide called Good to Great was Moyes’s choice after his team’s 2-0 defeat by Olympiacos that we now know was the tipping point of the Scot’s dismal reign at Old Trafford.
We are the Premier League champions,’ said one source from that flight. ‘Why on earth did our manager need to read a book to learn how to manage us?’
Next up is a story about what happened when Man United went to Dubai for a team-building trip.
In January when Moyes took his team to Dubai on a training break, he allowed them a night out. Some players rewarded him by returning at 5am, waking other guests.
When Shinji Kagawa — never trusted by Moyes — arrived so late for the flight to Munich this month that he had to be fast-tracked through departures by United’s security staff he did so with a fixed smile on his face hinting that he really did not care.
In fairness to the Daily Mail, The Times are also peddling stories showing how United’s players didn’t respect Moyes.
James Ducker, in an article headlined “Discontent in Greece showed instability of David Moyes’s doomed empire”, told the following story from the same match at Olympiacos.
Piraeus, February 25. There were only seconds left of Manchester United’s wretched 2-0 defeat by Olympiacos in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie when David Moyes began remonstrating with the fourth official. Out of the United manager’s earshot, but loud enough it seemed for Steve Round, Moyes’s assistant, to hear, came a shout from a disgruntled player — “Send him off, we’d be better off”. On the substitutes’ bench, there were astonished glances. Had they really just heard that?