David Moyes believes he should have been given more time at Manchester United - he was sacked 10 months into a six-year contract - and perhaps he has a point.
However, there’s no doubt the Scot made a series of catastrophic mistakes after replacing Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2013.
Succeeding to most successful British football manager of all time was always going to be a tough, perhaps even impossible, job - but Moyes could have made things a little easier for himself had he done things differently.
Arguably his most baffling decision was asking the Red Devils’ hugely experienced and successful centre-back pairing, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, to watch videos of Phil Jagielka defending.
This was man-management suicide. If Vidic and Ferdinand lost complete respect for Moyes at that exact moment, you couldn’t blame them.
With all due respect to Jagielka, his CV pales in comparison to that of the two United legends’.
Vidic reveals how being asked to study Jagielka felt
Asked how he felt when Moyes asked him and Rio to study the Everton centre-back, Vidic told FourFourTwo: “[Pauses] Players don’t always like what managers say to them. That’s normal – it even happened with Fergie.
“The sad thing for me wasn’t any specific incident; it was that with David as manager and me as captain, we didn’t do well.
“As a team we wanted to prove people wrong after Fergie went. We hoped to be better. We were not. We all lost and must share the responsibility and guilt, David as manager and me as captain.”
Would Vidic have stayed knowing Moyes would be sacked?
Vidic, who announced midway through the 2013-14 campaign that he would be leaving Old Trafford for Inter Milan at the end of the season, was asked if he would have stayed at United had he known Moyes would be sacked.
“The decision was made before David left,” the retired Serbian defender continued. “I felt it was time to leave. I didn’t push for a new contract. I had injuries and felt my body wasn’t the same as it was when I was younger. I saw that the car was running down and the brake wasn’t working properly.”
Vidic explains why it went so wrong at Inter
Vidic failed to perform in Serie A; his move to Inter was an unmitigated disaster. But why did it go so wrong in Milan?
“The club was going through a lot of changes, in the same way as Manchester United were – maybe even more,” Vidic added. “At the same time as I arrived, seven or eight players left, and important players, too: Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso, Diego Milito. There were big expectations for me and I tried hard, but there was trouble for me from the start.
“We played three at the back. I played in the middle and felt like I was there to fix problems, but even if there were no problems you’d get them in that position. I didn’t enjoy that role – I hadn’t played it for a long time.
“I tried to adapt but it just didn’t happen. Then [Roberto] Mancini arrived. We didn’t start well; I didn’t play for two or three months. We didn’t have a great relationship. Then I got injured. That’s basically the story.”
Should Nemanja Vidic have stayed at Manchester United - or was he finished by the 2013-14 season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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