Stop with the excuses
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David Moyes received a mixed reaction from the Manchester United fans after his team's back-to-back Premier League losses at Old Trafford. A section booed him, while the Stretford End loyalists applauded. Moyes still has the support of the United board but the loss to Newcastle United has put him in a tight corner — he faces the biggest challenge of his managerial career.
At Everton, Moyes worked on a shoestring budget for close to 11 years and never complained. But the United job is a different proposition and the Scot seems to be wilting under the pressure.
He spoke about the club's transition after the Newcastle game but only seven months ago, when he had taken over from Sir Alex Ferguson, he had spoken about the squad strength and how lucky he was to inherit a bunch of winners.
United almost won the league in January last season and were very close to seeing off Real Madrid's challenge in the Champions League before Cuneyt Cakir ruined it with Nani's red card.
The question to Moyes is this. How have a set of players, who were so dominant last season, become so limp?
Yes, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Michael Carrick are not getting any younger. But Ferguson had the skill to inspire them to walk the extra mile. Moyes has failed in that aspect because of his conservatism.
For all his good work at Goodison Park, Moyes didn't win anything during his 11-year rein at Goodison. And it has perhaps made him a little too circumspect. This could be the reason why his United look short on confidence.
For those who are used to winning, there's no such thing as a transitional phase. Bob Paisley knew that when he succeeded the great Bill Shankly at Liverpool. The club won six major tournaments under Shankly. Under Paisely, the club won 20 trophies in nine seasons. More recently, Bayern Munich didn't lose their verve and are witnessing a smooth transition from Jupp Heynckes to Pep Guardiola. As of now, they are seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
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