This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to The Daily Mirror, former Manchester United manager David Moyes has insisted that he believes the club would be in the Champions League right now if he was still in the Old Trafford dugout.
After taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson’s title-winning side, Moyes had the unenviable task of having to follow in the footsteps of the United legend.
However, Moyes’ time at Old Trafford ended in disaster as he failed to even last the full season. Now, the Scot has admitted that whilst he holds personal responsibility for the Red Devils’ plight in that year, he would be confident that they would be in European football’s elite competition were he still in charge today.
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He said: “I would have loved to have done much better. It was a great opportunity and a job I felt I fitted. I am more disappointed with myself that I didn’t make it work. I believe I am much better than what I showed. I had to do better. There were mitigating circumstances. When you look at it now, what Sir Alex got from the squad to win the league is remarkable.
“What I didn’t get was time. Do I believe United would be in the Champions League now? Yeah I do, if I had been in charge. Do I believe we would have a much more stable club? Yeah, I do. I have also got to admit in the short time I was there, I had to win more games. I didn’t think I was going to be under pressure after six or 10 months because that wasn’t the club’s values. Maybe I was naive and I should have realised that quicker.”
For all of Moyes’ success on the blue half of Merseyside with Everton, stepping in to try and fill Ferguson’s shoes at Old Trafford was going to be one hell of a task. Of course in hindsight it is easy to sit back and make claims and judgements, but the job arguably required someone with a bit more of a presence and aura.
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Moyes struggled to inspire both players and fans alike and it made his appointment all the more confusing. The ‘United way’ of playing was not something he had really built up at Everton, and in the end, the club’s football lost its identity. Sticking with Moyes for the long-run could have been even more disastrous, and it was perhaps right that the club ended up cutting their losses.