David Moyes has made history at Manchester United, but not in the way he would have hoped when he succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson last summer.
That day, the day where he became the Chosen One and was photographed in the United dugout on the most beautiful of summers days, seems a very long time ago.
Back then, he was Ferguson mark two. Now, he is more Wilf McGuiness, the unfortunate man in United folklore who succeeded Sir Matt Busby and, like Moyes with Ferguson, found it too difficult. What is most demoralising is just how much Moyes has tried. It is clear from the grimacing, ageing face that this experience has drained him. Whether he has enough in his locker to ever return to the elite remains to be seen.
If he does, he will not be the same man. He can now expect a life where question marks over his capabilities will linger most highly. In order to improve, he must resign to the fact that he was to blame for this debacle. The mocking, the scorn, the plane that flew over Old Trafford in front of the world and all its cameras as well as members of his family will ensure his place in the clubs story remain cemented in the most haunting of chapters.
The tale will say how Moyes was employed with the belief he could ensure continuity and make the transition seamless, only for it all to go horribly wrong. It will be a campaign talked about for years, and the perfect simile for the phrase ‘out of his depth.’
Liverpool’s imminent title triumph will also get a mention. It is understood their attacking football that has left many chambers of the game purring was another factor in the Glazer’s decision to wield the axe, with United’s performances consistently sluggishly abject.
Ethos and tradition is important to clubs of United’s stature. Attacking, mesmerising football that yields results is part of the manifesto, and has certainly not been a box ticked by Moyes over the course of the season.
Mauling’s dished out by the aforementioned Merseyside club, Chelsea and Manchester City have given the Old Trafford faithful very little to cheer about. They will hope for a day when the tales told of those miserable experiences can be so with United back in contention for the biggest prizes on offer.
They say time is a healer. The club may bounce back, but the Scot, perhaps needing some very strong medication, may not.
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